Are you ready for the future?

Despite his claims to be un-intellectual, the HRD has a very thought-provoking post about the future this morning. He asks:

We’ve seen the increasing rise in globalisation. But what if fairly much anything could be done anywhere? With the speed and range of technology, with the widespread use of English language. Why do anything in the UK or US? What is the competitive advantage?

When security of employment is completely eroded. When careers become portfolio careers. Not as a lifestyle choice, just as a lifestyle.  Where long periods of unemployment follow periods of employment as labour markets move fluidly across the world.  Where skills and knowledge are of an absolute premium and history means nothing.  Where you can look almost anything up on the internet, within seconds, for free.

A portfolio lifestyle might look attractive but if you can do your job from your rural idyll in Dorset, someone else can do it cheaper from Bangalore.

This set me thinking too:

How will we react when natural resources become a competitive advantage?  When energy is king and the countries with the natural resources become stronger and those without weaker. Where to stay ahead you need to go where the resources are, not expect them to come to you.

Or when strong states seize those resources to secure exclusive access to them. It might be that climate change and competition for resources could throw globalisation into reverse.

The HRD wonders:

Are you ready for change? Because you need to be and I can tell you for certain, your company isn’t.

What really worries me is that I’m not sure our government is either.

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5 Responses to Are you ready for the future?

  1. Pingback: Are you ready for the future? - Rick - Member Blogs - HR Blogs - HR Space from Personnel Today and Xpert HR

  2. johnband says:

    A portfolio lifestyle might look attractive but if you can do your job from your rural idyll in Dorset, someone else can do it cheaper from Bangalore.

    However, crucially, *someone from Bangalore who’s spent their life working in Bangalore* can’t.

    Based on years of first commissioning work from, then directly managing, outsourcing teams in India, the massive advantage that people in the UK (and Indians who’ve spent significant amounts of time study or working in the West) have is that the education system and the wider culture value creativity, initiative and honesty, rather than the blind obeyance of rules, deference to authority, and desire to minimise offence.

    As a result, your man in Dorset is likely to communicate comprehensibly and honestly about deadlines, to clarify any points at the commissioning stage that could be misinterpeted, and to come up with new and creative ways of going about the work. Your man in Bangalore is likely to churn out a slightly shoddy version of whatever you asked him for (in the ‘garbage in garbage out’ sense that a computer does whatever you asked it for).

    This’ll probably change over the next 50-100 years. I’d be bloody surprised to see it gone by the end of my full-time-working lifetime (ie 30ish years from now), though.

  3. Rick says:

    Interesting take John. Do you not think that Indian and Chinese companies and their workers will rise up the value chain faster than that? I’d be surprised if it takes 30 years.

  4. thehrd says:

    @Rick – I agree, I think the idea of saying this is for 50 to 100 years time is akin to saying “oh look iceberg”. The change is happening now, in my humble opinion, we have two choices to embrace or bury our heads in the sand. If you want an example look to the Tata Group, 11th most reputable company in the world with a massive market capitalisation through buying up the industries that the West neglected.

  5. Pingback: No train, no gain « My Hell is Other People

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