So Much Potential

The future of work means being bold and creative

Arela Simerson
3 min readJan 24, 2020

In our contemporary work places, we have the skills, resources and insights to make work an engaging and meaningful place where employees are solely focused on being awesome at their jobs. So then, why don’t we use them? Do we really think we have it all figured out?

Even organizations who are doing ‘disruptive’ products and services are sticking to decades old norms. Example: we know that employees need vacation, yet American companies still debate how much or even if to give time off to employees while their European counterparts have clearly established legal minimums.

As we roll into 2020 do we really have to debate many of these topics? When in fact, we have the research and qualitative data which clearly shows us how to move forward.

Example: Google rocked the world with its innovative campus and employee offerings. In the late 2000’s I was recruiting for a Google team and barely had to say their name before candidates were drooling over themselves with the prospect. Why? “Because, they have everything!” Direct candidate quote.

There are tons of articles and surveys done in the last few years about how hard talent is to find and retain. Endless articles about people pissed at their managers, companies, culture... How about then we start connecting the dots?

Millennials make up 50% of the workforce. Gen X already wanted it different, hence Google, and it’s already happening that Gen Z is making waves of new work demands. Any company that wants to stay competitive, will need to make large efforts in catching up to be able to hire and retain talent. Creating an environment which develops true product and service innovation will take even more stretch.

Yes, I know, change is hard. Even harder when you’re in the majority of those who have never been taught how to manage. We are all doing the best we can with the tools we have available. However, what about adding to the tool box?

I heard a great interview recently with the founder of DeepMind about their AI which beat the world’s best Go player. He said the AI won because it made moves and risks which just were not done, which the human players hadn’t even considered. The AI won because it unleashed the shackles of tradition. This really inspired me, such a great example of how we as humans have so many ways to grow.

Most of my clients and managers ask me to provide them HR and Org Dev best practices. However, I push back at that, I’m not there to provide these basic things you can read anywhere. Of course I use them, they are important foundations and I don’t need to reinvent the wheel. But what I’d really rather we do is release the shackles of how we think about work to expand towards the infinite possibilities for our work practices and cultures.

Many of my past articles are about topics which seem to me, like common sense. So I’m going to make a shift and only focus on being bold and creative. In the next articles to come, hopefully I can inspire you to join in on creating the future of work!