The nature of work is changing. Most business leaders and pundits agree on that point. But how it’s changing isn’t always obvious; nor is how we need to respond. So I created a visual representation of this transformation to help clarify what’s happening and how we can prepare for it.
This morning, while perusing my Google+ stream, I came across a cool video by RSAnimate featuring Dan Pink, author of A Whole New Mind: Why Right Brainers Will Rule the Future and Drive: The Surprising Truth About What Motivates Us. RSAnimate takes the audio of speeches by noted authors and thinkers and draws them out, in real time. It’s a visually stunning way to present ideas. This particular video was focused on what actually motivates us in our work and life. Hint: It’s not necessarily money.
The changing nature of work
This video also speaks to the changing nature of work, from fairly simple projects and command-and-control leadership (your boss tells you what to do and you comply; little or no creativity is required. In the words of Nike, “Just do it!”) to more complex, ad hoc projects today and the trend toward more self-directed work. What I did is add several bullet points to the end of this comparison that depicts the predominant thinking styles and tools used up till now, and those that are increasingly being used to handle tomorrow’s complex, self-directed work. Not surprisingly, mind mapping software is one of the key tools that are enabling savvy executives to create and produce great work today and tomorrow.
How real is this transformation?
As luck would have it, the mind mapping software survey I produced earlier this year touched on two of the topics that Pink raises in his presentation – complexity and creativity:
- Complexity: Nearly half of my survey respondents (49.2%) said their work has become “significantly more complex” in the last 5 years. Another one-third (37.3%) said it has become “moderately more complex.”
- Creativity: Just under 40% of respondents said that their work requires “significantly more” creativity; another 42% said it required “moderately more.”
The survey also looked at the pace of work required today. Survey respondents said that the pace of business today is “significantly
faster” than it was a half-decade ago. So not only must executives work on more complex projects today, but they’re also expected to do so faster and more creatively – and with less direction – than ever before. That sounds like a perfect storm to me!
What tools are you using to handle the changing nature of work? If you’re not already using it, mind mapping software should be on your short list of tools to consider.
Here’s the RSAnimate video of Dan Pink’s talk, in case you’re interested. I strongly recommend that you watch it!
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