Future of Work
How Will Employment Change?
How Will Employment Change?
By Epic Talent Society
June 5, 2024
The magazine “Visão” released an issue dedicated to the theme “How Will Employment Change,” and our Founder Speaker, Tiago Forjaz, had the privilege of being invited by Margarida Vaqueiro Lopes to contribute by answering the questions posed.

Q: Have organizations been forced to become simpler, more efficient, and with fewer internal administrative procedures – is this here to stay? What will happen to people affected by these tasks until now?

I think it’s here to stay. Companies need to be more adaptable to the unknown; there must be more autonomy among people. People deserve that trust. I believe we’ve entered the era of principles. Companies will work on establishing principles, and empowerment must be given to people to work in teams and create their own work procedures.

There has been much talk about ambidextrous companies, companies that can reconcile execution to generate wealth through efficiency processes with collaboration, which is essential for exploration and expanding innovation. We know companies like Google and others do this, but we don’t know how to build an operational culture that fosters ambidextrous leaders.

We can’t generalize about what will happen to people. What we know is that people who are more open to learning and decide to learn will evolve, while others will surely regret it.


Q: What functions might disappear? Does it make sense to think about it?

Certainly, there will be functions that disappear because if a part of the economy disappears, naturally, people will seek to do other things out of immediate necessity. When the economy rebounds, I believe some may resume their careers or simply move in other directions.

For me, what makes sense is to think about how to use time to learn, to think about everyone’s talent, and decide which skills to invest in to develop a sustainable career driven by each person’s passion, regardless of the technologies and constraints that may arise to perform them.


Q: It seems clear that reskilling, upskilling, and the like will be necessary: does the company have the capacity and plans to provide them to its teams?

The traditional approach to this challenge of reskilling or upskilling involves thinking that companies first need to inventory the skills of their people, then have an idea of the skills needed for future roles, and finally try to identify sources of training and development for those skills.

The problem is that companies don’t have much insight into any of this information or know the companies that work in this domain. This approach comes from a specialization mindset, and it’s all well and good, but today we’re transitioning to a world where learning agility counts. What matters is how quickly and effectively people dedicate themselves to learning and failing with the right attitude.

There are companies and organizations collaborating on the development of reskilling strategies, especially for countries, as politicians are elected or ousted by unemployment numbers. But these studies and analysis tools have not yet reached companies, but they will.

So, I think for most companies, it’s not even a question of financial resources; leaders and managers don’t have the information or the ideal partners to make this move, at least not in Portugal.


Q: Older and more autonomous people have adapted better to a remote work environment. How will the younger ones, who need more support and to work alongside more experienced people to learn, be supported from now on in a different context?

I am convinced that tacit knowledge is very important; history inspires us as much forward as backward. These days, I started watching a documentary about Kobe Bryant, and I loved seeing that an important part of his motivation came from the legacy that the Lakers players offered him and the responsibility he felt in that. But I think that more than support on how to do things (commonly called coaching), mentoring will be important, how to take advantage of personal development relationships that really make us grow as human beings.

I believe that applications will emerge to help people identify mentors with a greater likelihood of matching our interests and life challenges. Otherwise, I think we all realize that we’ve been in the era of YouTube tutorials for a long time. “Whoever searches on Google is in charge.” I believe that some modern authorities will produce content on YouTube about what is important to learn, and we will have to make peace with what is lost.


Q: From your experience, how can a strong and uniform culture be maintained in an increasingly decentralized environment?

My favorite author on the subject of culture is Prof. Edgar Schein. He advocates that the only culture that matters in a company is the culture of the customer. As long as people are excited about thinking (and leveraging the diversity of talents of their people) to solve customer problems, we will always have a strong and uniform culture. It seems that simple to me.


Q: Are there or aren’t there characteristics that will become more valued from now on? (Such as autonomy, for example)

I am convinced that the most important characteristic of any professional will be their learning agility. Those who are capable of understanding that we only truly learn if we are able to embrace the emotional discomfort of having failed, and then catch the exponential ride of what we can learn next, will be able to learn more and better, faster. Learning agility is composed of the ability to seek out problems, discover in an exploratory attitude, and receive feedback as learning process errors (without letting it affect our self-esteem), internalize what could have been done better (but in a dialogue with ourselves), and then have the discipline to apply those teachings.

For those who want to train their agility, I’ll leave a tip: there is more agility in yoga than in athletics, so there’s no point in confusing speed with agility.


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