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Global workforce on the verge of upheaval: Boston Consulting Group

Admin| Apr 01, 2017 - 12:29 AM India

Global workforce on the verge of upheaval: Boston Consulting Group

Workforce dynamics are undergoing worldwide upheaval. Rapidly evolving technologies, business models, demographics, and workplace attitudes are triggering a tidal wave of change, according to a report by The Boston Consulting Group. The report titled Twelve Forces That Will Radically Change How Organisations Work is the first in a series on the New New Way of Working. 

BCG looked at 60 major trends, grouping them into 12 primary forces that affect both the demand for and the supply of talent. These forces will require leaders to rethink even basic assumptions about their workforce. “The way we work a decade from now will be almost unrecognizable to today’s business leaders,” says Rainer Strack, a senior partner at BCG and a coauthor of the report. 


Exponential Change in Most Markets 

These trends are leading to exponential change in most labor markets. The following are among the report’s findings: 

Automation will rapidly replace both blue-collar and white-collar employees. Robots once cost upwards of $500,000 and were limited in what they could do. Today, basic models cost only $22,000 and are flexible and trainable. 

Aging populations will lead to a labor deficit in most of the world’s 15 largest economies, which make up 70% of global GDP. 

Diversity and inclusion, often seen as “nice to have,” will become a necessity. As the value of a diverse workforce increases, organizations are already turning to technology to help avoid bias in recruiting and hiring. 


Companies Must Respond 

Some forward-thinking companies are already responding to these changes, but most still have a long way to go. “For example, leaders will need to function with more fluid boundaries between what is inside and outside the company,” says 
Vikram Bhalla, a senior partner at BCG and one of the coauthors of the report. “Rigid distinctions between employees, outside suppliers, and customers will dissolve, and companies will instead focus on fostering collaboration among these groups.” 

Speed and agility will become essential. Companies will break up departments and reporting lines, organizing smaller and more agile teams that comprise people from different departments and functions. They will focus also on getting new ideas into the market as quickly as possible and collecting feedback from users.

Finally, in that highly dynamic environment, companies will need to continually develop (and redevelop) their people. This is particularly true regarding the digital skills that will power company performance in the years ahead.


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