What is fundamentally transforming work is extraordinary connectivity.

by Lynda Gratton

Little big planet: As a result of connectivity and globalisation millions of jobs across the world are disappearing, according to Lynda Gratton

In the near future, at least five billion people around the world will use some form of mobile device to download information, access knowledge and coach and teach each other.

Some will have the intellectual capacity and motivation to really make something of this opportunity, wherever they happen to be born. These people will want to join the global talent pool and, if possible, migrate to creative and vibrant cities.

By doing so, this vast crowd of talented people will increasingly compete with each other, continuously upping the stakes for what it takes to succeed.

It seems to me that this will impact all of us in three ways – the hollowing out of work, the globalisation of virtual work, and the rise of the ‘transnational’.

Hollowing out of work

As a result of connectivity and globalisation millions of jobs across the world are disappearing.

This hollowing out of work is seeing the disappearance of middle-wage, middle-skilled jobs such as managers, secretaries, or assembly line workers. These jobs are at risk because they can either be outsourced to a region with lower wages, or they can be replaced by technology.

So what is left is the jobs at each end of the skill and wage spectrum.

At one end there are high-skill, high-wage jobs – like investment bankers, lawyers, engineers, or IT specialists – which need complex knowledge and expertise and cannot (yet) be substituted by technology.

You can expect these jobs to be paid increasingly well. Read more…

Lynda Gratton is Professor of Management Practice and director of the Future of Work Consortium. Her last book – about the future of work was ‘The Shift’

As published in www.bbc.co.uk on September 6, 2012.


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