Future gazing

PWC's report, published in 2008, Managing Tomorrow's People: the future of work to 2020 outlines three plausible future worlds of work – derived from two surveys a) of 6000 graduates b) of CEOs.

They describe these scenarios as:

• The blue world: where the big capitalist company rules – controlling people and trumping states

• The green world: where sustainability, concern for others and environmental issues drive the business agendas

• The orange world: where collaborative, specialized organizational networks dominate the economy.

The report points out that none of these are givens but what the authors do suggest are givens are that the world will be more complicated, technology will advance faster, global expansion will continue, and people will become more demanding of employers as talent gets scarcer.

Any one of these three scenarios – or more likely to occur – a combination of the will force a change in business models. This is probably the most useful observation of the report as organizations as less likely to seek to change their business models than they are to try to re-organize or state a desire to 'change the culture'. Organization designers would do well to start prompting clients to consider the precepts of their business model as part of any design exercise.