Future of work- A different lens

July 8, 2019

Rarely a week seems to pass without businesses talking on technological changes and its implications on our jobs. Mostly the future of work focuses on developments in areas such as automation, artificial intelligence (AI), robotics and digital communications – and the implications for country economies.

However, how is the future of work will impact the environment, employee-employer relationships, innovation that matters?

Recently, during a roundtable by People Matters in partnership with ABC Consultants, Swati Yadav, Director- People & Culture at Roche shared the case studies of the organizations which are preparing for the future which is beyond technology.

Patagonia’s mission for sustainability
Since 1985, Patagonia has pledged one percent of sales to the preservation and restoration of the natural environment. From its founding in 1973, the designer of outdoor clothing and gear for the silent sports- Patagonia has been outspoken on environmental issues and has practiced what it preaches.

The company’s new mission statement is: ‘Save our home planet.’ The company is taking special measures where design team, at the concept phase, to make clothing that is sustainable. That could mean using recycled polyester instead of virgin polyester. The company is getting close to 70 of its product line using recycled or renewable fiber.

In an attempt to reduce the consumption of resources, the company shut down the particular line of clothing irrespective of being highly profitable.

The company stated in media that it is on track to be carbon neutral by 2025—including its entire supply chain and company-operated retail. Its eventual goal is to be carbon positive and capture more carbon than it emits.

Haier’s win-win strategy
Haier is a Chinese giant with over 70,000 employees. Since the 1980s, Haier has reinvented itself several times. Most recently the company broke itself the company into more than 4,000 micro-enterprises. These self-organizing micro-businesses act as separate entities. The core idea is that employees get ownership, decision-making rights, and a customer-paid salary. They truly become entrepreneurs.

The above model is famously known as the RenDanHeYi model

The CEO of Haier, Zhang Ruimin was quoted in the media saying, “With the RenDanHeYi model, we truly enter the network age. But the network aspect is not even the most important. What is more important is that we should no longer try to delegate to, or ’empower,’ employees. It’s now time for every employee to be his or her boss. If everyone acts as a CEO, we will grow collectively as an enterprise and be no longer dependent on a few key people.”

Spotify’s zeal for experimentation and adaptability
Spotify conducted a public experiment which began in 2011 and was regarded as a flop by 2014. The Spotify team decided that they were going to become “the” platform for music by not trying to create an app but rather an entire app store. However, within three years after commencing, they decided to shut it down completely at a tremendous monetary and moral cost to the company.

To get ideas moving rapidly through an organization, Spotify believed that iteration with purpose is vital. And with continuous experimentation, Spotify is now the leading music platform in the world.

By Anushree Sharma

Source: People Matters

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