The EFQM Forum 2012 was organized last October 9 and 10. Under the name 'Fit for the Future', the challenges and chances that await us over the next 20 years were discussed. We are living in a dynamic, changing world where both raw materials and time are scarce, so how do we deal with that? How do we create excellence for our organization?
On behalf of the European Commission, Reinhard Buescher had a shot: 'There is no easy solution available for the current crisis. We need a new industrial base in Europe, a strong, sustainable and solid one. Mainly technological innovations enable us to structurally change society.'
Futurologist Peter Cochrane even heighted this: 'We cannot get any smarter or work harder from a biological perspective, we have reached our max.' Luckily, he was there to offer a solution as well: 'Technology can help us save the world.' A beautiful example of such innovation is the 3D printer. We can already use them for medical goals.
‘Research proved that 92% of all creative work-related ideas are invented outside the office', as says Marc Buellens (Professor of the Vlerick Leuven Gent Business School). The mind is flexible and needs a flexible organization. Or: it's finally time for 'The New World of Work'. Finally indeed, because not much has changed since its introduction in 1954 (Peter Drucker - Management by objectives), not counting the small number of exceptions.
But in the year 2012, we live in a time where smartphones, tablets and laptops have become common property. We live in a global village, can work everywhere and it's therefore unnecessary to join the traffic jams every day. Moreover, employees don't see the point of it, generation Y leading the pack. This generation – that first thinks of a virtual meeting place when they hear the term 'social network' – is exceedingly suitable for flexible forms of labour based on autonomy and own responsibility.
The Belgian Mobistar has now embraced The New World of Work, as became clear at the Work@Home, Home@Work Bbest Conference at October 8 2012. A large part of the staff was offered the chance to (partially) work from their own homes. Of course a number of rules was set, but there was more than enough space for one's own initiative within these rules. This lead to more motivation, less 'traffic jam distress' and a better 'work-life balance'. The results were also positive to Mobistar: there was a significant improvement of both productivity and cost efficiency.
Regardless of being an employer or employee: it's time to open your eyes. Only 5 years ago, Twitter and Facebook were still relatively unknown. In 2009, only 10% of the Dutch inhabitants had a smartphone, in the year 2012 over 60%. In only 2 years, the knowledge recorded on the web will double every eleven hours (!). A network society based on premium technology is the future. It is just a matter of going with the flow, or staying behind...
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