“I have great faith in a seed. Convince me that you have a seed there, and I am prepared to expect wonders.” Henry David Thoreau
The seeds of the workplace of 2025 are germinating in the soil an emerging new paradigm for business and work, which some of us refer to as Conscious Capitalism.
As with many paradigm shifts, this new orientation to business and work reflects an evolutionary adaptation, an expanded perspective that leads to a more effective way of functioning
By 2025, when this new paradigm is fully expressed, most businesses will focus their attention, energy and resources on pursuing a higher purpose that includes delivering value to all of their stakeholders, including society at large.
Based on the recognition that people are social animals who respond favorably to love, care and attention, and motivated by meaning and purpose, workplaces will be characterized by consideration for people’s well-being and cultivation of their capacities, open communications and broadly distributed authority/accountability/responsibility.
Reflecting deep trust between companies and their team members, and the natural orientation of the Millennials, the workplace will become increasingly virtual and asynchronous, and work will become integrated into a full life, where work, play, rest, social and family life blend together into a graceful dance. Productivity, creativity and innovation will become elevated as the richness of life will foster flow as a normal state for most people.
Given the increasing automation and off-shoring of most repetitive manual and technical work, the focus of work in the US will be on value-adding design, development, visioning, innovation, facilitation and coordination. It will be generative work that is important, even essential, but typically not especially urgent. The focus will be to sustain a steady stream of creative, innovative and effective solutions to challenges and opportunities, and to ongoing improvement of products, services and processes.
Based on a deep recognition of interdependence, the ubiquity of transparency, power of reputation and trust, and other realities of a wired planet, work teams will include people of all ages, races and orientations, with a diverse range of talents, skills and intelligences.
While leadership will often be a functional role that moves between people, leaders will still serve an important persistent function, particularly focused on holding up inspirational vision and purpose, and cultivating systems and a life-enhancing culture where people are continually learning, growing and developing. They will lead by example and will continually pursue their own development, as they facilitate conscious leadership development throughout their organization and business ecosystem.
In this context of vibrant, conscious businesses, we will focus our collective attention on addressing the challenges that threaten to undermine our long-term survival and well-being and on opportunities to elevate humanity.
And to maintain an appropriate sense of humility, in the words of the late George Leonard, “perhaps the safest prediction we can make about the future is that it will surprise us.”
About Jeff Klein
As CEO of Working for Good, Jeff Klein activates, produces and facilitates mission-based, Stakeholder Engagement Marketing™ campaigns and Conscious Culture development programs.
Jeff serves as Director of Marketing & Business Development for Conscious Capitalism and producer of Conscious Capitalism events.
He authored the award-winning book, Working for Good: Making a Difference While Making a Living and the newly released book, It's Just Good Business: The Emergence of Conscious Capitalism & the Practice of Working for Good. For more information, visit workingforgood.com