Just One Thing — The Future of Work Now Arriving

There’s a must-read article at Fortune from the November 1, 2015 issue, entitled: “Every Aspect of Your Business is About to Change,” by Geoff Colvin (author of the excellent new book: Humans are Underrated.) The article reads a bit like some fantastic pulp magazine view to a future of work and business, with one major exception: this future is already here.

From radically changing business models to rampant creative destruction driven by digitization and globalization to a world where ideas are the primary form of capital and the purveyors of ideas move freely through this friction-free environment (think: gig economy), this emerging world of work and career has little resemblance to the one of even a mere decade-ago. Change is truly changing, as Gary Hamel suggests.

In a world where Apple is classified as a manufacturer (but doesn’t actually directly manufacture anything itself — it’s outsourced), and the world’s largest purveyor of rides doesn’t own a single car, the idea of building a company to scale with just a few employees isn’t far fetched. Former Cisco CEO, John Chambers, known for calling future trends fairly accurately, suggests, “soon, you’ll see huge companies with just two employees — the CEO and the CIO.”

While it’s exciting for all of us to have a front-row seat on all of this change, it’s important that you don’t just observe, but that you participate. If your expected career span is measurable in something beyond a few years, it’s essential for you to remain current, remain relevant and remain open-minded in a world where what you know and what you experienced is increasingly just nostalgia. Your first and most important job is to develop yourself.

Running in place in this world is tantamount to moving backwards at the speed of change. Keep moving.

This post originally appeared at the Management Excellence blog at http://artpetty.com/blog/

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