Jon Williams provided one of the day’s more entertaining and inspiring keynotes.  

Jon is a no-nonsense, straight-shooter whose knowledge of workforce trends – and particularly the future of work – more than captivated delegates at the #EWS. Jon’s keynote was focused on what the future of work means for Australian employers.  

Jon has spent his career in global leadership roles at PwC, Gallup and Hewitt Associates – where he gained invaluable expertise which he brings to his advisory practice in Australia, and thankfully for us, to this year’s #EWS.   

Jon’s perspective on the future of work here in Australia was at times, unique – from the demographic changes in the workplace, to the impact of technology, Jon made one thing very clear: it’s hard to really know what the future holds. Especially in the era of shifting global powers and economic uncertainty.  

With so many factors influencing how we work today, and how we’ll work in the future, here are a couple of gems from Jon’s keynote that are worthy of your consideration… 

 

  • Organisations need to better foster care for their people – as people will always be part of their unique value proposition. Specifically, incentives like the many ‘wellness’ options available today – particularly given our working lives are only getting longer 
  • Provide and cultivate a mindset of a ‘lifetime of learning’… in the era of rampant technological growth, no job is set and forget. Learning means relevancy, growth, engagement – and, a purpose 
  • Organisations need to provide value to their people through roles that are meaningful – let the robots do the mundane stuff humans should never have done in the first place…  


Interesting philosophies, aren’t they? We thought so.   

I hope you value the added learnings provided by Jon Williams at the #EWS, below… 

  Paul Chiswick, CXC

 

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Jon took an impressive stand at the #EWS, with a bold and brave approach to the Future of Work. Put simply, he believes that...  
🤔 Interesting!
… (read this article, an op-ed by Jon in Smart Company… very timely).

Mainly this refers to popular, click-bait style content about how the robots are coming to take your white-collar job (they’re not). What will change is HOW work is done, courtesy of machine learning, artificial intelligence and robotics, for example. The two bigger impacts on the workforce and how we work, Jon believes, will come from societal changes such as extended life expectancy and shifting workforce participation and gender equality in the workforce.


Hence, it’s wrong to think about the emerging workforce or the gig workforce, in isolation from other factors like these, factors that are influencing society and individuals.

We’re living in a time of enormous change - and workers needs to feel confident about their future and the future of the organisation they’re engaging with if they’re willing to work with that organisation in a different way… for example, as a contract worker, or a gig worker.

There are key societal issues which will be assisted greatly
by the emerging technology of today such as:

… technology that will enable these changes to be a reality.

Jon’s market data told us that technology will impact the workforce, but perhaps in ways that you may not expect. Using historical evidence - the SatNav and Wifi technologies as example - Jon showed us how these technologies enhanced existing and spawned new industries, new worker types and new frameworks for working. Absolutely brilliant outcomes in many ways… (shortcomings aside).

Critically, one of the more impact statements of Jon’s presentation, which we truly support, is the importance of lifetime learning. What’s that? Well, given we’re living longer, working longer, staving off or accessing cures for disease more efficiently, we as a society (and a workforce) need to adopt the learning-for-life philosophy. No one has the luxury of a set-and-forget career or work-life any more, and the learning we undertake needs to be absolutely focused on our skills, not on our job.
 
By doing this, we’ll be able to consistently adapt to a changing world, we’ll be less focused on having a ‘job’ - the obvious risk being, that job may disappear - and we’ll be maintaining our position in the workplace of the future. 
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