For a decade we have talked about accelerated change. More than any other factor, the pace of change in technology, the economy, and society are reshaping the future of work. Yet even as forward-thinking leaders have pondered effects of accelerated change on their organizations, actual transformation has been, paradoxically, slow.
If the future of work requires restructured workplaces, redefined roles, rapid learning, and reserves of trust—and it does, organizations are being challenged to do all that and more as they address the coronavirus pandemic. While we have long spoken about VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous)environments, we are finally and undoubtedly facing one. In the span of a few weeks, the world’s economy traveled a path from cautious observation and common-sense health advisories to massive cancelations, business shutdowns, and work from home mandates. JPMorgan, AT&T, Google, Amazon, Nike, Facebook, among many, many more are hustling to virtualise business operations as social distancing continues to be the best practice to “flatten the curve” of contagion.
Coronavirus, it turns out, might be the great catalyst for business transformation.
In fact, where we once saw the future of work unfolding over years, we now believe that with coronavirus as an accelerant, everything we’ve predicted about the future of work will unfold in months.