Bloomfire recently profiled The 2020 Workplace in an extensive Q&A with Dan Camp, a training manager at McDonald’s Hamburger University. It was such an honor to have such a favorable review of The 2020 Workplace! You can read the whole interview at Bloomfire, but we’ve highlighted some of the key themes here:
Q. Thanks for joining us Dan. In one of our conversations, you mentioned The 2020 Workplace, a must-read book. Why is it useful for corporate trainers?
The 2020 Workplace is one of the most fascinating books I’ve read recently. Think about how life has changed in the last ten years. In 2000, the world was not conducting 34,000 Google searches per second. Cell phones were still seen as a luxury for most of the world. There was no such thing as Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, or iTunes. And the idea of being always on, and always connected—“hyper-connected”—was only seen in the movies.
Q. So it pictures the environment corporate trainers will soon be working in—what does that picture look like?
Most companies have already experienced huge paradigm shifts, and the rate of change will only accelerate in the next 10 years. In The 2020 Workplace, Jeanne Meister and Karie Willyerd paint a thought-provoking view of where we’ll be, and how companies, specifically HR and training teams, will have to adjust to the challenge. Among many predictions, Meister and Willyerd say:
- For the first time, five generations will work side-by-side in the workplace
- HR departments, training professionals and managers will have to recruit, train, and manage employees who are more diverse than ever, with multiple interests, life experiences, backgrounds, and needs
- Knowledge workers will be in high demand, and a large scarcity of talent will exist in many fields
- Traditional offices and standard work weeks will be only a memory in many companies
- Employees will demand, and companies will need to deliver training on multiple platforms, including live, virtually, on tablets, and on mobile phones
- Training professionals will have to be proficient in facilitating face-to-face, virtually, using simulations, and in social media
Q. Useful predictions. Despite this change, are there any timeless principles to guide us?
Meister and Willyerd say that in 2020, employees will expect five principles to resonate throughout their workplace—collaboration, authenticity, personalization, innovation, and social connection. They also highlight examples of companies currently leading the way in many of these paradigm shifts, and share their successes.
Q. Have you had the chance to apply what you’ve learned in your work?
I had four main takeaways from the book. First, my company is known worldwide for exceptional training. To stay on top, we will need to continue to design and deliver training that is relevant to multiple generations, delivered where and when our employees need it. I’m excited to say we are well on our way in this area.
Second, the days of relying solely on a resume and a cover letter to tell your story or get you in the door with an employer are over, even for those seeking positions internally. The need to communicate, lead and influence using social media is not something that’s coming. It’s here now. I need to continue to ensure I’m developing myself and my team of future leaders, and to equip them to be successful in our hyper-connected world.
Third, communication both internally and externally is growing exponentially like never before. In the service and restaurant industries, it has long been said that one unhappy customer will tell up to ten other people. These days, if a company doesn’t take care of its customers, hundreds or thousands of people may know about it in a few minutes.
Finally, although the world of business will never slow down, taking the time to think strategically about the next 3, 5, and 10 years, and creating and implementing a solid, proactive plan will only benefit the company. Companies that don’t do this will trail or lag behind companies that do.