By Dean Whittaker

While attending the IAMC conference in Pinehurst, NC, I heard Mike Walsh’s presentation on the future of work. He discussed the vast number of millennials joining the workforce and how they are significantly different from previous generations in terms of their strong expectations.

For example, millenials would rather live in their parent’s basement than do work they consider meaningless. Recent surveys show 70% of workers are unengaged in the work they do. To engage the new workforce, it will require new forms of leadership and new organizational structure with the individual at the center rather than the company. Further, the ability to build and maintain professional networks will be a necessary skill through which the millenials will collaborate on interesting work. Also, frequent feedback and flexibility are a high priority to them.

Organizational structure will change to reflect the new approach to work, focusing on networks and collaboration with customers and clients to create innovative solutions. R&D will take place close to manufacturing for physical products and close to the client for intangible services. Manufacturing will go where the talent is located and the use of 3-D printing technology will increase. Supply chains will become platforms from which designers will launch new products and services.

Walsh also said that data will drive decision-making at our work, home, and within our cities. Mobile communication will be ubiquitous throughout the world, giving everyone equal access to learning opportunities, knowledge, and information.

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