Well, are we all amused…? You know, things going your way, life better than it was a decade ago or at least a couple of birthdays ago…?
- The Pope
- The Supremes (Court that is…)
- Playoffs – pick your sport…
- Civil law changes
- Constitutional law changes
- Pollution outlook
- Food shortages in developed countries
- Creation of diseases to use pharma’s research results
- Barrel of pain @ $115
- Oh, and that political thing going on…makes a person bitter just watching
Nothing’s perfect of course so there are some things going well and others in or headed toward the big porcelain bowl.
Check out a February, 2008, U.S. government statistic that estimates that 77 million workers will leave the workforce in the next few years. Most are members of the baby-boom generation. I guess that makes them “Gen B” in modern marketing parlance.
Look to the left, look to the right, we’ll lose 6 to 10 % of the workforce by the time you all notice changes in your environment…as opposed to a written prediction that you find here.
The up-“and thinking about it” generations of workers will not be nearly large or skilled enough to replace those Gen B workers, figuratively or literally. Technologies promise is being fulfilled but the billion days of experience encased in those that leave the workforce can’t fulfill the needs to use the technology that exists. It’s impossible.
So what we have here is a great potential for those that have a work ethic that they are able to promote to the highest bidder. We also have a bunch of Peanut-like cartoon characters who want what they want which is not inline with what the workforce needs, the world needs or the mall needs.
Already we have a shortage of talented workers. That means that there are skills gaps all over every industry, every sector of commerce and every level of employment. Again, it is contextual. If you have the juice to do the stuff that is needed, it is a VERY good thing for you as an individual contributor. If you have a skateboard in the living room next to your direct connect Facebook profile or your iPod tree of accessories, you may find the coming years a challenge…assuming of course that you recognize challenges when you trip over them.
Amidst the impending shortage of workers and looming skills ‘black holes’, there is an increasing demand for results and continued pressure to improve the ‘bottom line’. Now, there is not a big difference between the shareholder’s bottom line, the employer’s bottom line and your bottom line. As we are all finding out, we are all interconnected. Not by some fuzzy, energy-laced icon, or a pillar of metaphorical musings or soft and romantic notions of nationality or piety but by relatedness in the absolute sense. Screw up the aspirin formula in a lab in Malaysia and those in Germany and Mozambique get sicker, not better.
We are all related in numerous ways that we don’t attend to. We do things and others do things and together we interact and do other things. We are related by the context of what is around us. What is around us is that which is going on in Bosnia and Boston, Denver and Dubai. THAT context is the context that will never grow smaller, never become diluted and never disappear.
Today is always different than yesterday or tomorrow…[I know, heavy!] But now, in this time period, we are more aware of things going on all around the world. With our greater access to everything we have greater potential for confusion when competing values must be confronted.
With workforce changes exerting their effects and economic complexities exerting theirs, it all leads to increased pressures on whatever we are doing. The rapid pace of business, the demands of families and the need to have some ‘stakes’ in the ground in different areas of our life… all make for a world more competitively primitive like that from which we evolved millions of years ago than a world provided by a John Grisham or some contemporary historical romance author.
So, here is the warning bell. Take note… to overcome the losses from Gen B leaving and increase the probability of a single employee will be able to perform the work several employees have done in the past, there is going to be a wholesale changes in business performance software. Everything gets measured. People are the ‘Business.’ Commerce uses what commerce needs. Skill gaps identify contribution to cost. Skills equate to value.
All this will be confounded by little attention for “casual Fridays” or a need for a window office. Gen-NEXT will be hired based on performance at every measureable level, get evaluated seamlessly, will perform where needed, get tracked to available tasks and get paid only for results rather than ‘work’.
It’s already started. There is less need to build robotics if you can get maximum production out of employees that need to feed their kin or code content. There is a mushrooming interest in empirical learning and training that will come to dwarf philosophical and quasi-political niceties. Get ready.
Oh, and then we’ll need to figure out the other parts…those family relationship changes, social community interactions and the individual identity agony that is sure to follow.