The Future of Work Challenge
Together with numerous partners, Eindhoven Engine has organized preliminary brainstorm sessions. The outcomes of these brainstorm sessions suggest the following possible interesting scenarios that can be explored. These scenarios do not need to be considered as a strict agenda, but rather as a Smörgasbord of meaningful problems around the Future of Work. The four scenarios below are four projects on which students can work.
How to equip agents for their transformation process with the purpose to facilitate exponential innovation, e.g. for the Eindhoven Engine ecosystem?
For an innovation ecosystem to achieve exponential innovation, the agents involved will need a (personal) transformation of their thinking and of their ways of working. In this case, the agents are not only the supervisors/managers, but in fact all those involved. Without individual transformation we continue to wear out the known fixed patterns: we continue doing what we always did. The outcome of this scenario provides the tools for the agents to go through this transformation, anchor it and act as a role model. It may develop methods, workshops, joint learning and consider useful exponential technologies that could be adopted. This must be adapted to the roles of those involved (and they are a key player in the process) and fit into a continuous (life-long) learning cycle. Implementation can be for any particular project, or rather as a generic approach for Eindhoven Engine.
How to set up a virtual/physical network infrastructure to maintain connectivity and autonomy in teams and organizations, and what would be the ideal leadership support?
Inspired by the Corona era, the combination of virtual and physical work will no doubt become a permanent part of our Future of Work. In particular, the combination of a virtual and a physical reality promises to be the road to go, to reinforce the overall purpose of innovation. On top of a correct setup (and what would that mean), continuously expanding and intensifying the network is crucial to feed the engine of exponential innovation. Today, we have no real idea what steps need to be taken, which platforms or technologies to use, and how to facilitate this kind of mixed networks.
On a personal level, we see that there is an increasing need for connection AND autonomy. These are uniquely important for everyone. In our new way of virtual and physical work, this needs to be elaborated and adjusted on an on-going basis. How can we do that meaningful and impactful, however keeping the strongly needed human focus? How do organizations and individuals need to approach this? In which situations can we use this meaningfully? In such a mixed physical/virtual environment and co-creation approach, what is the role of leadership?
Life-long learning, together
The concept of life-long learning has been around for some time now, the question arises if this idea of “ongoing, voluntary, and self-motivated pursuit of knowledge” is still relevant since it is limited to the individual. The new generation “Z” seems to desire a shift towards “life-long learning together”. Together in a multi-dimensional context. Our world is developing at exponential speed; this could imply that the gap between generations is increasing at the same exponential rate regarding e.g. purpose, aspiration, attitude towards career and technology, communication media and preferences etc. In addition, not only does the gap between generations seem to increase, a gap between blue- and white-collar jobs is emerging. This scenario should provide tools to better understand and reduce the culture division between generations and between blue- and white-collar jobs to initiate life-long learning together.
The purpose of having a job has seen a large shift in the last century, from the notion that jobs are for life (maturists, pre-1945) to career multi-taskers who move seamlessly between organizations and businesses (generation “Z”, born after 1995). New forms of leadership are necessary to match the changing attitude towards work and career, enabling all generations to craft their own jobs based on their individual notion of purpose. This scenario will develop tools to enable leadership to be transformational in emerging contexts, and if necessary, redefine the role of leadership.