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Color Me Ready

Over the last eight months, Gifted Leaders has sought to further define fundamental beliefs, clarify organizational vision, and identify specific ways to collaborate with clients so they can experience individual and organizational success.

A fundamental belief is that organizations need to re-design the way they operate to respond to the radical changes that are impacting businesses in every sector and in every country in the world. Future leaders will want to increase human connection in a diverse workforce that will likely have less face-to-face interaction. They will need to consider the growing demand for work/life integration when the lines between the two are increasingly blurred. They will want to acknowledge the fact that traditional career “paths” have been replaced with the hop-scotch mentality that seems to work well for employees and some employers. And they will have to incorporate social responsibility into every aspect of business while maintaining a degree of profitability to sustain the core business.

In Reinventing Organizations (2014), Frederic Laloux chronicles the history and evolution of organizational development and offers a model to describe his research that is based on colors ranging from red (ego-centric, power-based leadership) to teal (fully distributed leadership). He suggests that the future of work will be a shift toward teal that is grounded in self-management, inner wholeness for each person, and a desire to create workplaces where the work is not only productive, but satisfying and meaningful.

Image Source: Ulrich Gerndt's Summary of Reinventing Organizations

In a study by PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC) and the James Martin Institute for Science and Civilization at the Said Business School in Oxford that began in 2007 and was updated in 2014 entitled The Future of Work, a team of consultants presented the findings from a survey of 10,000 people from China, India, Germany, the UK and the US. This effort to understand how the workplace will continue to evolve also identified three possible worlds of work based on the colors of blue, green and orange.

While the color schemes of these two studies differ, both suggest that organizational change must be innovative and responsive to the current and anticipated realities of how work gets done. The need to re-design our workplaces is no longer an option – it is an imperative!

The Head of Human Capital Consulting for PwC in the aforementioned report states the following: “No exploration of the future of work could ever be definitive. Indeed, one of the defining characteristics of our age is its ability to surprise and confound. However while things happen that we cannot predict, we can still be prepared.”

The success of our efforts lies in preparation for whatever the future world of work becomes. Regardless of the approach you take to re-defining your organization, adopt the idea of Color Me Ready for the continuing saga of organizational development.


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