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Nigel Risner on the Seven Principles of the Future Employee.

1. Has a flexible work environment- Employees are no longer bound to the office where they are forced to commute an hour each way, sit in a cubicle, and work nine to five. Most employees will become location independent and will be able to work when and where they want as long as they can get access to wi-fi.

2. Can customise work – The basic concept is that being hired in one role for a long-term career is dead. Employees will be able to shape their career paths and choose the projects they work on. Work will become more like a “choose your own adventure game” vs “finding your way through the maze.”

3. Shares information – The mentality of “knowledge is power” means that employees hoarded information so that nobody else could take credit for their ideas. Unfortunately, this doesn’t help anyone. The mentality going forward is all about, “sharing is power.” The employees who share their ideas and information and use collaborative technologies and internal social networks are going to be the ones that succeed and grow their careers. These people who share will become the future leaders!

4. Uses new ways to communicate and collaborate – Email is no longer the most effective or efficient way to communicate or collaborate. Many emergent technologies such as internal collaboration platforms are going to start to replace email in many situations.

5. Can become a leader – For the first time in the history of business, employees have the unique opportunity to become leaders within their organisations by sharing their ideas and feedback in a public and transparent way for their peers, managers, and executives to see (via emergent technologies). Never before were employees able to build their networks within an organisation at scale and get recognised for their contributions, but technology has dramatically empowered employees and allows them to build weak ties.

6. Shifts from knowledge worker to learning working – Knowledge is a commodity, to be the smartest person in the room all you need is a Smartphone. What is far more valuable than knowledge is the ability to learn new things and apply those leanings to new scenarios and environments. This is what the employee of the future needs to focus on: “learning to learn.”

7. Learns and teaches at will – The traditional way to learn and teach was largely guided and dictated by organisations which set out training programs, manuals and set courses. Technology has connected employees and information together anywhere, anytime and on any device. This means that learning and teaching can happen between employees without official corporate training programs or manuals. Have a question? Tap into the collective intelligence of your company. Want to show someone how to do something? Whip out your Smartphone, film it, and upload it to your organisation’s collaboration platform for your peers to see.

These are the Seven Principles of the Future Employee…this is how work will get done over the next few years and it has already started in many organisations around the world.


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