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The Future of Work – is there such a thing as going back to normal?

June 2020 Update

I hope this message finds you well.  I’m finding members in my close network are split between those who love the isolation and WFH peace and those who miss the daily face to face interaction with their work colleagues.  I think this serves to highlight how different we all are and the different daily routine we need to help maintain connectivity and productivity with remote working.

Craig Saphin
bank finance for small business

Ghost Town

Last Monday I was on a walk with my dog, Mocha, in Sydney along the King Streets wharves and into the all-new Barangaroo precinct.  Even though it was a weekday and 11 am there were all the hallmarks of a ghost town complete with a noticeable wind and squeaky signs echoing in the empty corridors between the buildings.

Recently I saw an interview with an executive from the commercial property titan Dexus.  He maintained that commercial property was sound and that things should return to “normal” in a short time.

We hear a lot about “normal” and “new normal” these days.  The advisory and NED roles I hold with successful SMEs mostly indicate that the best we can anticipate at the moment is a division into “A” and “B” teams with just half of the staff in the office at any one time.  The other half will continue to work remotely.  For the foreseeable, this scenario seems more realistic than the overly optimistic Dexus opinion.

Humanised Workforce

Future of work or FOW features in much news feeds and blogs at the moment.  One of the trends has been the decrease in the scary and sensational components of FOW and the insertion of calming rational projections.

A well-encapsulated version I read recently was from the CEO & Editor in Chief at People Matters, Ester Martinez who said: “The future of work is not something that happens to you, it is something you create for your company.”

Martinez seems to challenge all business leaders to take responsibility by working out what the required skills are for the future and how the correct training and talent acquisition can be implemented to position each business in a sustainable manner.

I was in a BBG Super Forum Zoom conference this week where Brian Sher from the Fortune Institutewas the guest speaker.  Brian has published several books and is a well-known marketing and competitive positioning expert.  Recently Fortune released an influential report: “The 14 Powerful Megatrends in a Post COVID 19 world”.  #12 in the list of trends is “New Skilling” which supports the point made by Martinez. 

Reskilling at company level and individual level are going to be necessary so that workers can do the roles which are emerging and can move on from those which are coming to an end.  Part of this will involve change, so resilience and mental toughness also come into play.
Scaling New Heights – A Review

“Upon first leafing through Craig Saphin’s Scaling New Heights book, its structure meets well any CEO/CFO’s need to obtain expert business assistance — fast. Simply pop onto the table of contents.  Short and referenced topics are there, as easy to spot as the author’s Expert Opinions and Sources. Quick and wise info any time.

After all, we often feel there is little time to read. Author Saphin’s Pillars are succinct and pertinent: Business Foundations, Sales Strategy, People and Culture Strategy, Strategic Marketing, Operational Excellence.  These sections strategically divide this important business book into the smart best-practices. Topics lead readers to gradually plan and evolve anew any company. The 5 Pillars become fundamental resources with sub-divided chapters, only 4-5 pages long and mapped in concise a format of “Executive Topic Summary, Content, and Actions Lists.”

Mr. Saphin’s penchant for enumerating key practices frames each mini-chapter into an essential guide for revamping or simply refining a company—especially in this wildly changing world. And the minimalist illustrations, by Colleen O’Reilly, energize the book with Ms. O’Reilly’s edgy sketching style. Scaling New Heights is a vital survival kit for any business founder/owner leader in our post-C-19 global commerce arena.

As you review this book, know that you are a conscious evolutionist*.  You are a leader who is a curious, life-long learner. You manage business growth consciously. Bravo. Evolving businesses self-improve, grow, and stay in business long-term – on purpose.

Own your next business improvement plan. Grab Scaling New Heights in both e-book and paperback, so you may reference it anytime and anywhere. Boost your next business operation into a higher practice of excellence.”

*Refer to: Barbara Marx Hubbard’s “Conscious Evolution” books.
Book Review by Linda Lee Ratto, Ed.M., Author, 15 books

Find out more on my website.

Posted on June 2, 2020

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