Posted by: prataap | March 9, 2008

POLARIZATION TREND 5: Work/Play: Two Sides of the Same Coin?






As the line between work and non-work becomes increasingly blurred especially for the entrepreneur/consultants and those working in the information based new economy, companies that have a clear, compelling mission and a culture that fosters innovation, rewards leadership, and values interaction will prevail in attracting and retaining the best talent. Talent, not money, will be the scare commodity of the 21st century. Retaining the best talent is and will be a must for most companies to remain at the cutting edge; the mediocre can be farmed out to the back offices in Bulgaria and Bangalore for now. And money alone will not lure the lone ranger of the wild wild web. She will want three things: to be recognized as an individual, to be part of a mission that will change the world, and most of all, the independence to be creative and think completely without restraint, even freedom to reinvent the wheel just for the heck of perfecting it her way!

Constant change in organizational structure, flattening hierarchy, moving deadlines, fluctuating size, malleable configuration and even radical shifts in company mission will make the workplace extremely chaotic by 20th century standards. But those who thrive on creative chaos and can build and create the next new idea, the next new thing to move ideas even faster, make nanotechnology more ubiquitous, or find a quicker, easier way to get information off the web, will survive past the age of 30; the rest will burn out or find more stable jobs in the old economy (maybe?). The New Economy will demand 250% of you 24/7, but the rewards can be magnificent if you have the wherewithal or a personal coach to help you keep your head on your shoulder, and stay away from the ugly smell of (lBO) Internet Burn Out that will be all around us in 10 years, the chic but real illness that will plague the emerging technologies based sectors of the New Economy.



Balancing work and personal life will become increasingly difficult, yet increasingly more important as the 20 something becomes 30 something with 2 kids, a $2 million condo or town house, 3 vacation homes, and a BMW SUV with no time to juggle it all. Is this all there is to life!! There must be more to life! Will these questions be asked more often by 20 year olds than by 50 year olds during their mid-life crises?

What are the opportunities you ask? Smart Companies will provide in-house personal coaches for their star executives and high priced talents so they do not burn out and can have it all. Smart Companies will also encourage the blurring of work and personal life for those stars who they must keep to maintain product edge and market cap. Perks like stock options are passé; Bonuses will become increasingly more innovative and personal than simple money.  The new bonuses will be customized and may include annual extreme sports packages, a personal coach, a house in Nevas to work from for half the year, a live-in robot or whatever the new life style demand. The exact package will be the star’s pick! If you see yourself offering one of these services, you could be someone’s bonus, one of those perk s; go and market it to the Smart Companies.  And if you are one of the company stars, then the sky is your limit when imagining your must-have bonuses. Mix and match the many aspects of who you are with your immediate and long term needs.

If you are one of the star talents of today, then avoiding burnout by 30 is your primary concern. Being a strategic coach, futurist and wise guy myself, I’d make sure that the best personal coach is part of your personalized benefits package. The Smart Companies such as IBM, Razorfish, Cisco, Toyota, and Southwest, for example, offer many of these to their employees to engender loyalty. Some send a third of the company on a Caribbean cruise each year. Richard Branson of Virgin Atlantic personally entertains a cross section of his best employees at his private island resort in the Caribbean each year.

Many companies have wine and soft ball clubs to maintain and motivate group cohesion. That’s not what this is about. This is about finding your inner star. And stars will always need more than just perks to stay and the best things to offer a star employee are a lot of freedom and plenty of challenge, along with the perks package of their imagination.  Because quitting to join the next big thing has become so fashionable, the young and talented strive for “portfolio careers” not “dream jobs”. For the star talent the trend is Expose your star potential and offer it up to the highest bidder!

Let your imagination run.

Create the future and smell the roses, it’s your move!

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