Sep 21, 2009

The Downturn and the Future of Work

Remember the scenario planning report by PwC that I blogged about almost two years ago?

Well I received an update from them which talks about how three fictitious companies (one each for the Blue, Green and Orange worlds they talked about earlier) emerge from the current downturn and where they'll reach in 2020.

So the metrics driven global organization emerges and thrives by taking the following approach to managing people:

1. Foster a small-business culture
2. A meticulous search and selection process
3. Invest in employee development, both in- and outside work
4. Link employee engagement, productivity, retention and customer loyalty
5. A competitive atmosphere and high performance equals unique rewards

Whereas the Green World company focuses on
1. Rich rewards instead of short-term incentives
2. People metrics paint the whole picture
3. High levels of employee engagement

The network based organization (Orange organization) focus on the following ways to managing people

1. Rich rewards instead of short-term incentives
2. Create careers in motion
3. Market individuals as companies, rather than freelancers
4. Shift from buying talent to buying product

You can download the report from this PwC site.

Overall I think it's an interesting premise - that slowly all organizations will veer towards three distinct kinds of firms (irrespective of ownership or national origin) depending on what drives them - and how they are structured.

In fact, the question about the vision of an organization and how it is structured is an oft overlooked one.

Structure influences the actual processes, metrics even the goals that people follow - than merely the ones they "should" focus on.

Coming back, I think there would be some organizations that would be hybrid of these organizations that PwC envisages - I can see Orange structures influencing the Blue as well as Green organizations too