Great Leadership With Jacob Morgan

My conversation this week is with John Hagel, the Co-Chairman at the Center for the Edge at Deloitte, and we are talking about the future of work: what you need to know, how to prepare and what to look forward to.

Today’s guest is John Hagel the Co-Chairman at the Center for the Edge at Deloitte and author of 7 books including: The Power of Pull. John leads the Silicon Valley based research center for Deloitte. Their charter is to identify emerging business opportunities that should be on the CEO's agenda, but are not, and to do the research to persuade them to put it on the agenda

Automation and the future of work are part of a bigger shift of how business is changing globally. The main issue is the rapid increase of technology. Hagel believes that ‘robots can restore our humanity’. He explains that the way we define work - highly standardized and integrated tasks - will be able to be accomplished by robots – which are much more efficient than we will ever be - leaving the creative work to humans.

Hagel says the availability of robots will become the catalyst for a shift in the work that humans will do. Instead of routine tasks that can be done with robots, humans will be focusing on being creative.  This transition may be a painful one for some people – taking them out of their comfort zones - so we will need to look at how we can support people as they move to these new roles.

This change can be stressful, but we need to find a way to turn that anxiety into excitement. Hagel says, “People who learn fastest are those that are passionate”. They are constantly looking for the next challenge and are excited about it.

How do organizations or even individuals face this magnitude of change? Hagel suggests ‘starting on the edge’. In a large organization, such as a school, find a way you can demonstrate a new kind of work to use as a magnet to pull people in. Use time after hours to encourage creativity and provide opportunities rather than trying to change the traditional school setting.

Individuals should think about what makes them really excited. What hobby are you passionate about? Start to explore how you can make it more of what you do for a living. Start on the edge…don’t quit your day job, do this on the side.

Develop a questing disposition – what are your reactions to unexpected challenges?  Most workers go into fear and avoidance mode. The passionate are excited by the challenges and actually go looking for them.

Another element is a connecting disposition.  People with this attitude seek out others who are experienced in the field they are pursuing – so they can get answers faster.  They work to connect with others.

What is the future of work? In the short term there will be 3 things:

  1. Evolving in world as customers we have more power. We want creative services and products that are customized – not standardized mass market.
  2. Recognition of different work segments – Millennials and Boomers who are looking for ways to do more creative work and learn more in the process
  3. Technology coming in and replacing routine tasks – work meant for humans not done by machines.

What you will learn in this episode: 

  • How can robots restore our humanity?
  • Will there be a job apocalypse?
  • How your favorite hobby can be your next job!
  • How gamers and surfers’ perspectives can help you find your next job
  • Advice for parents and employees about the future of work
Direct download: John20Hagel2020Podcast-DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 11:08pm PDT

This week’s guest is Daniel Franklin, the executive editor of The Economist and editor of The Economist’s annual publication The World In....  which focuses on predictions for the upcoming year. He is also the author of the book, Megatech: Technology in 2050

Looking beyond the immediate horizon is helpful when looking at future trends. In particular, Franklin looks at the drivers of change. For instance, follow the money and what does that tell you?  Look at what might hold technologies back or push them forward and that gives some insight into future trends.

The title of the book – 2050- is a metaphor to encourage one’s thinking to push out to what might be possible in the future.

One of the future technologies that Franklin is paying attention to is farm technology. By 2050, it is predicted that there will be 10 billion people on the earth. The need to feed all of these people is critical. Therefore, a combination of advancements – such as distant farming, the massive applications of data to farming, when to sow and harvest, when to water and fertilizer, will help to meet the need to support that population.

While food is very important, so is energy. In the future, solar and wind technologies will become a large factor. Franklin sees that more power will be in our homes rather than in a big grid. This leads to a discussion of the potential to create a lack of incentive in the workplace towards finding other ways to produce energy when the “sun isn’t shining and the wind isn’t blowing” and how that will be resolved.

Moore’s Law [processor speeds, or overall processing power for computers will double every two years] has proven to be ‘doable’ by the industry. The ‘metronome’ – the regular beat of efficiency – has led to astonishing changes. The smartphone is one way in which this is exemplified. The smartphone has allowed people to now have computing power in their pockets - the same power that used to take rooms to achieve.

This makes us hungry for ways to have more and has become the lifeblood of lots of industry. We have reached the point where we can’t go any smaller so there has to be another means where we can continue to produce gains and efficiencies such as in the past.

This is the challenge of Moore’s Law – if the computer loses its metronome.  The bad news is that it’s tougher and more expensive and gains don’t come as regularly as in the past. The good news is the computer capacity will continue to grow, such as the use of ‘clouds’ and improving software.

Franklin’s advice for business leaders? Think big and broadly about the possibilities that are there, be prepared for things to happen faster than you probably imagined. Think about what happens to your industry when data processing becomes more efficient and be prepared to be flexible in the heart of your operations.

Franklin also says we shouldn’t be afraid of trends. Instead we should look at them from the point of view of ‘what does it offer me’? We should be excited about the possibilities of future trends, rather than fearing them.


Things you will learn in this episode:

  • Science fiction and its role in the ‘real world’
  • The future of wearables & autonomous vehicles
  • What about virtual reality in the future?
  • What are some big picture things that Daniel Franklin is paying attention to?
  • What the future of farming will look like
  • Why when it comes to energy we have a problem of plenty rather than a problem of scarcity
  • What is Moore’s Law and why is it important?
  • Where is augmented reality at now and where will it go in the future
Direct download: Daniel20Franklin20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Technology -- posted at: 2:26am PDT

Monique Herena is the Senior Executive Vice President and Chief Human Resources Officer at BNY Mellon. As Senior Executive Vice President, Herena oversees BNY Mellon’s Human Resources and Marketing and Corporate Affairs departments. In her role as Chief Human Resources Officer, she is responsible for all human resources strategies, policies and practices.

BNY Mellon, founded in 1784 by Alexander Hamilton, has 52,000 employees across 35 countries and 6 continents. They have two main businesses, investment management and investment services. The make-up of the company is diverse - 46% of the US workforce is women and 30% representing ethnically and racially diverse people.

BNY believes that putting people first is critical to every aspect of their mission. It is how people experience the company – through their talent.  They invest in people, believing in the power of development- “People can always be better in the next moment than what they are right now.”

They have put together a report, appropriately entitled, People Report, which is told through the voices of the associates and their experiences in a digital only experience. In this, one is allowed insight into what it is like to be an employee at BNY.

Four pillars that are the framework of the company include Lead, Innovate, Impact, Collaborate and Inspire.

Lead includes the desire to be more mobile and be where clients are – making wealth management applications more mobile, socially connect with other people, an emerging leader program – BK University – all which drive the business.

Innovate looks at the workspace becoming even more efficient and includes everything from robotics, to better accuracy, reducing risk and cost savings.

Collaboration is important to BNY. Company-wide leaders look at different ways there are to help each other to work virtually, different digital centers, have chat bot technology and so on, encouraging collaboration across all kinds of ‘borders’.

Inspiring people to be their best includes many facets such as VetNet that supports veterans returning to the workplace. This has doubled the number of veterans at BNY. They are also placing an emphasis on gender equality and are working to achieve this across the industry.

The employee experience is a two-way street. A performance review should not be just the manager’s feedback but how the employee participating in available resources. The employee needs to take a joint ownership in the process. Those that contribute the most are the most successful.

There is a ‘push versus pull’ strategy. The push says – “I’m here, what are you giving me next?” The pull strategy includes creating your brand, working hard which in turn, leads people to notice the person.

Herena’s advice to organizations who want to know what to do to start putting their people first, check out BNY Mellon’s People Report and also, from a leadership point of view – the earlier in your career that you learn to ‘make it not about you - and get other focused’ the more successful you will be in that career

What You Will Learn In This Episode:

  • Why ‘setting the tone at the top’ includes getting up at 4:25 am each day!
  • Should there be an emphasis on keeping up with business ‘trends’?
  • Does every investment have to have a dollar and cents return?
  • Background on People Report done by BNY Mellon and their findings
  • How BNY is putting their people first
  • Why bother making investments in your people if your company is already doing well?
  • How do you differentiate between perks and true organizational change
  • What do Millennials want
Direct download: Monique20Herena20Podcast-DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 2:38am PDT

This week’s conversation is all about the gig economy. Listen in to find out how big the gig economy actually is, what the skills gap is and how we can fix it and how individuals and organizations can adapt to a rapidly growing gig economy.


This week's Future of Work podcast features a conversation with Steve King, a partner at Emergent Research. Steve has extensive consulting, marketing and general management experience with both large and small companies.  He has served as vice president of Corporate Marketing for Macromedia, vice president and general manager of Asia Pacific for Lotus Development Corporation and vice president of marketing for Isys Corporation. Steve's current research and consulting is focused on the future of work, the rise of the independent workforce and the impact of Big Data on small businesses.

The gig/freelance/independent worker economy has two levels; those who have this as their full-time employment and those who use it as a way to supplement their income.   There are various estimations of the number of people who are gig workers in the U.S.

Some research shows a low number of independent workers – less than a million people to a high number - 75 million people. The 75 million includes people that have taken surveys online and received payment for it or play a game and get paid for it.  So, it is critical to define work when discussing the number of freelance workers.

Emergent Research estimates there are 18 million full-time gig workers and another 22 million Americans who are part-time.  Here, full-time is defined as working 15 hours or more per week and it is the primary source of income.

Though the percentages of workers vary, there are three things we can take away:

  1. Gig industry is a bigger than any other and just as big as the government segment.
  2. It has clearly been growing over the last decade.
  3. It is permeating every sector of the economy. There are gig workers who are lawyers, doctors and other highly skilled professionals along with the commonly thought of Uber and AirBnB.

One trend in the economy is the shift in workers’ perceptions of job security. In 2011, 27% of people believed that independent work was more secure than traditional work.  The same question in 2016, found that 47% of workers believe that independent work was more secure.

King’s advice for companies when considering the independent worker is to get a grasp on the number of independent workers they have working in their organization.  Often in large organizations, they find that 20 -25 % of full-time employees are freelancing and 8% – 10% of part-time employees are independent. 

King also says organizations should work to understand where freelancers are playing an important role in their organization. Often they are found in IT or marketing.  Then it is important to understand the role they play, how to attract the right talent and then how to train them.

His advice for individuals thinking about the role of freelancing in their own careers? It is important to be prepared. Success in gig work comes from preparation and choice. People who fail in gig work are those who are not prepared. If you are interested in starting with a gig job go with part time and keep your day job.

Things you will learn in this episode:

  • How many Americans are considered part of the gig economy
  • King’s thoughts on the taking economy
  • What safety nets can independents look for in the future
  • What are some gig markets that are less known
  • What aspects have created the skills gap and how can we fix it
  • King’s advice to individuals and organizations when confronting the gig economy
  • Are traditional jobs disappearing
Direct download: Steve20King20Podcast_DONE.mp3
Category:Business -- posted at: 2:36am PDT