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By Hari Abburi

As we try to grapple with rapid changes in customer behavior and the technology enabling these changes, it is often left to leaders to first decode complex constructs before they even try and apply them. The future of work is one such area on which so much discussion is taking place.

The future of work is a state of being a highly customer-centric company. One way to approach the future of work is by building an agile organization, which starts with embedding agility into your business strategy. It’s highly unlikely that a single-industry-thinking, rigid strategy is agile enough to achieve the customer-centricity required. In my experience consulting companies, and as I’ve previously written, agility is more about how you do things than how you are organized.

It Is Always About The Customer

Future-of-work discussions should be anchored in a business strategy that innovates without the boundaries of industries, technologies or expertise areas. It involves acquiring capabilities that are dissimilar or unnatural to your business. This can mean the difference between thinking like a siloed industry or thinking like a customer, because in a customer’s mind there are no boundaries.

Companies spend enormous time and effort on strategic planning. While most of this is necessary and sometimes works, one area that often lags is strategic workforce planning. Most companies are still focused on productivity games like sales per headcount or revenue-growth-based hiring plans, but this can be done by a finance person sitting in an isolated room on an Excel sheet — or in today’s world, by a bot.