Some of us work to live. Some of us live to work. Some of us, by design or default, don't work at all. Whatever your position, as a stakeholder in today's society, there is no avoiding the complex web that is the world of work. Everyone is affected to some degree by issues such as stress and work-life balance, teleworking, offshoring, stakeholder democracy, globalisation – the list goes on. But, as things continue to change at an ever-faster rate, what can we expect work to look like in the next five, ten, or twenty years? Above the Clouds is the result of a future studies project carried out by the European Foundation for Quality Management (EFQM), a not-for profit foundation that promotes excellence in European business. The project aimed to identify trends that will have an impact on the world of work over the coming decade. Work here is defined in terms of methods, organisation and future challenges. It took two years to create the full picture, which is now available in this book.
"Trendspotting" sessions were organised across Europe as a means of gathering ideas on where work was heading in the future. The experience and insights of people from a diverse range of backgrounds were included in the project. Working with raw material from these sessions, researchers investigated each of the trends and their possible ramifications on the world of work. The resulting articles were posted for comment online. People from all around Europe responded and some of these views are quoted in this book. In addition, academics and leading CEOs and executives were asked for their reactions to these trends. Each of the 15 chapters of Above the Clouds analyses a trend in detail and includes perspectives from business, academia and comments from the European public.
There are disagreements, but also a surprising amount of convergence on issues such as leadership, outsourcing, global risk, women, age, spirituality, stress and technology. Rather than trying to offer certainty, the book aims to equip people and organisations with the awareness and adaptability they will need to meet tomorrow's challenges to the way we work. It is fascinating reading for anyone interested in how the big issues of work are likely to impact on us all.
The book … seeks to raise awareness of the many facets of work and the workplace which, if properly considered and incorporated into our output planning, could generate positive improvements in life and the environment we live in. This book is ideal for the lateral thinker who is looking for stimulating ideas and trains of thought. - Eagle Bulletin Vol. 17 No. 1 (July 2006)
1. The End of Big Ego Leadership By Lorraine Mallinder Respect is a two-way street A word from business: Eugenia Lianou and Paris Nikou, Maxi Coco-Mat Big ego leadership may be out, but leaders still need solid egos Thoughts from academia: Jean-François Manzoni, IMD International "Macho CEOs realise they need to soften style" Selected comments from the public 2. The Fragile Condition of CEOs By Josephine Woolley Today's CEO is alive and kicking A word from business: John Condron, Yell An increasingly tough job, but someone's got to do it Thoughts from academia: Phyl Johnson, University of Strathclyde Graduate School of Business "Leave them to get on with the ribbon-cutting jobs" Selected comments from the public 3. Give Us More Shareholder Democracy By Josephine Woolley An ethical business democracy A word from business: Jesús Catania, Mondragón Corporación Cooperativa Towards responsible corporate governance Thoughts from academia: Lutgart Van den Berghe, Vlerick Leuven Gent Management School, and Céline Louche, Vlerick Impulse Centre for Business in Society "Transparency can easily be manipulated" Selected comments from the public 4. Outsourcing: A Zero-Sum Game? By Lorraine Mallinder Eurozone must adapt to survive A word from business: Rijkman Groenink, ABN AMRO Outsourcing: different trends and different implications Thoughts from academia: Marcus Alexander, London Business School "The ultimate sufferer is the global workforce" Selected comments from the public 5. Risky Business: The Domino Effect of Global Risk By Josephine Woolley Rationalising global risk A word from business: Marie-Christine Lombard, TNT Offsetting risk with effective supply chain management Thoughts from academia: Kevin Hendricks, Richard Ivey School of Business, and Vinod Singhal, Georgia Institute of Technology "Media inflates spectre of risk to large degree" Selected comments from the public 6. Ctrl-Alt-Delete: Generation Y Reboot the Workplace By Lorraine Mallinder Keeping the Y-ers on board A word from business: Anne Catherine de Decker, Orange No revolution, but generation Y is pushing in the right direction Thoughts from academia: Frédérique Alexandre-Bailly, European School of Management (ESCP-EAP), and Béatrice Delay, Paris V University "You"re a decade behind the times" Selected comments from the public 7. Ageism in the Era of Workforce Shrinkage By Josephine Woolley Meeting the changing expectations of an older workforce A word from business: Tara Brady, B&Q Forward thinking on workforce ageing Thoughts from academia: Alan Walker, University of Sheffield "I may be in my 50s now, but I was 18 yesterday" Selected comments from the public 8. Changing the Game: Women at Work By Lorraine Mallinder Diversity promotes a richer world-view A word from business: André van Heemstra, Unilever Feminisation: a major change in the way we live and work Thoughts from academia: Harriet Bradley, University of Bristol 'Everything should boil down to results' Selected comments from the public 9. Under Pressure: Stress in the Workplace By Lorraine Mallinder Securing staff commitment in a stressed-out, competitive world A word from business: Anton Lauber, Schurter Tackling the root causes of stress Thoughts from academia: Andy Smith, Cardiff University "For me, today, work is not more important than my health" Selected comments from the public 10. Can Work and Life Be Friends? By Josephine Woolley Working better, not harder A word from business: Peter Brabeck-Lemathe, Nestlé Setting the standard for work–life balance Thoughts from academia: Maria Nuria Chinchilla, IESE Business School, University of Navarre "Roll on the me-centred world" Selected comments from the public 11. Spirituality in the Workplace By Josephine Woolley Unlocking individual potential A word from business: Marina Dewitte-Schiettecatte, Cronos Workplace spirituality: contribution or contradiction? Thoughts from academia: Emma Bell, Queen Mary, University of London "The job is as bad as ever, let's use spirituality as a 'sticking plaster' " Selected comments from the public 12. Love Me Do: Engineering Products and Services with Emotion By Lorraine Mallinder Market-driven emotion A word from business: Frank M. Rinderknecht, Rinspeed The real emotional economy: the fury and disappointment of living with poor products and services Thoughts from academia: Patrick Barwise, London Business School, and Sean Meehan, IMD International "Anyone who claims immunity is talking with pride, not honesty" Selected comments from the public 13. The Age of Rage: Customers Get Stroppy By Lorraine Mallinder Professional at all times A word from business: Geoff Fenlon, Edinburgh International Conference Centre Customer dissatisfaction, complaint handling and recovery management Thoughts from academia: Tor Wallin Andreassen, Norwegian School of Management "Tearful and angry after a few minutes of abuse" Selected comments from the public 14. Productivity in the IT Age By Josephine Woolley Micro and macro productivity gains in an accelerated world A word from business: Juan A. Zufiria Zatarain, IBM Thinking differently about IT and about productivity Thoughts from academia: Chris Clegg, Institute of Work Psychology, University of Sheffield 'Many companies don't understand productivity' Selected comments from the public 15. The Multiplication of Not-for-Profits By Josephine Woolley NFPs in the 21st century: breaking out of the charitable paradigm A word from the not-for-profit sector: Charlie McConnell, Carnegie UK Trust Social enterprise: too big to be ignored by business Thoughts from academia: John Vaughan, Liverpool John Moores University NFPs "probably helping the overall business environment" Selected comments from the public About EFQM