Heather and Chris are frequently called upon to provide context and vision to journalists and thought leaders writing about the future of work.
Tom Friedman is a well-known Pulitzer Prize-winning weekly columnist for the New York Times and the author of seven best-selling books. His insightful work covers a broad range of topics, including globalization, the Middle East, and environmental challenges. In this interview with John Hagel, Co-Chairman of Deloitte Center for The Edge, and Deloitte CEO, Cathey Engelbert, Friedman shares his views of the Future of Work.
John Hagel: Given your broad perspective on global events, I suspect you have a unique perspective on the likely evolution of the future of work on a global basis. At a high level, how would you describe your view of the future of work?
Tom Friedman: My thoughts on the future of work are very influenced by my friend, a business strategist, Heather McGowan. She really describes that what’s going on is that work is being disconnected from jobs, and jobs and work are being disconnected from companies, which are increasingly becoming platforms. That’s Heather’s argument, and that is what I definitely see.
INC: Future of Work INTERVIEW
Last month innovation strategist Heather McGowan gave an interesting talk at the Amplify Festival on "the future of work." I've had the pleasure of working with Heather in the past when launching the Strategic Design MBA program at Philadelphia University. Here, I've captured some of Heather's top of mind on what needs to be in place for the ways we will need to work.
Heather, just to provide some context, what's the impetus of your thoughts on "the future of work"?
The world of work has changed dramatically, and higher education is not prepared and not preparing graduates to navigate. In the last decade I have focused increasingly on the future of work and on how higher education has to prepare workers. I have since advised college/university presidents and corporate leaders on how to prepare for and adjust to these new realities.
The notion that we can go to college for four years and then spend that knowledge for the next 30 is over. If you want to be a lifelong employee anywhere today, you have to be a lifelong learner.
And that means: More is now on you. And that means self-motivation to learn and keep learning becomes the most important life skill.
That’s why education-to-work expert Heather E. McGowan likes to say: “Stop asking a young person WHAT you want to be when you grow up. It freezes their identity into a job that may not be there. Ask them HOW you want to be when you grow up. Having an agile learning mind-set will be the new skill set of the 21st century.”
FORBES: FUTURE OF WORK AND OUR SOCIAL COMPACT
Academic entrepreneur and innovation strategist Heather McGowan, speaking at Amplify Festival 2015 in Sydney, Australia, described how jobs are over, and the future is income generation. The traditional life path of individuals (Fig 1) has been as follows: we start under our parent’s safety net, then go through years of continuous education, before become productive members of the workforce and then finally retire back into the safety net of our own savings. This is idealized and based upon older lifelong employment ideals.
Interviewing a Silicon Valley Legend: Launching 1,500 Companies and Debunking the Myths
Best known as the executive producer of the DEMO Conferences from 1996 – 2009, Shipley helped technology companies bring more than 1,500 new products to market. As co-founder and CEO of Guidewire Group, she works with emerging technology companies around the world to identify market opportunities and accelerate business growth.An award-winning technology journalist, Shipley began covering the personal technology industry in 1984, and has worked as a writer and editor for a variety of technology and consumer media. Fortune Small Business Magazine placed Shipley on its “Top 10 Minds in Small Business,” and the San Jose Business Journal named her a “Woman of Distinction.” She has often been cited as a leading influencer by Marketing Computers magazine. In 2010, she received SDForum’s Visionary Award for her work with technology entrepreneurs.