All posts in Future of work

  • It’s all about context: Jon Williams at PwC

    Jon Williams

    Jon Williams is a Partner at PwC and the Global Leader of their People and Organisation Practice.

    Jon has spend the past 30 years applying a background in psychology and economics to help CEOs and leadership teams to  improve their organisational effectiveness. His large, geographically dispersed team (11,000 people across 125 countries) means Jon is generally a big advocate of hands-off leadership and looks to empower his employees to find their own strengths.

    This interview goes very broad, as we talk about government policy, education and the future of the workforce.

    Some highlights from the video include:

    • Jon’s opinion on the worst piece of common management advice: “I think the issue with management advice is that so much of it is definitive. So many people will tell you this is the right way to lead or this is the right way to run a change program, or this is the right way to run a certain type of organisation.” (Video from 1:25)
    • Jon’s view that you need to find an organisation that’s the right fit for your management style: “I do a lot of work with HR people, HR directors, and they’ll often ask me, ‘If the CEO isn’t really on-board, how do I manage that?’ And my advice is nearly always the same: find a different CEO. You can’t battle things that are out of your control.” (Video from 7:26)
    • The most unexpected workplace changes coming in the next 20 years: “Many organisations are too wrapped up in BAU, too wrapped up in three monthly financial result cycles, too wrapped up in the executive’s own careers and retirement horizon to do that planning process properly, which I think will be unfortunate for them down the track.” (Video from 11:33)
    • Changes to government policy Jon thinks will be most beneficial over the next 20 years: “What’s actually going to determine, I think, each nations success over the next 5, 10, 15 years, is the degree to which the creaking democratic political system are able to cope with a new reality.” (Video from 13:36)

    Steve Pell: I’m Steve Pell from Management Disrupted; I’m here with Jon Williams from PwC, Jon thank you for joining us.

    Jon Williams: My pleasure.

    Steve Pell: Jon could you just start and tell me a little bit about what your role here at PwC involves, what’s your title?

    Jon Williams: Ah gosh, title is interesting. I’m Managing Partner of PWCs people business globally, so I’ve got a couple of jobs. I still work with clients. So I still work with leaders, CEOs and leadership teams around organisational effectiveness. And then in my spare time, I run our global People Organisation business, which is about 11,000 people across 125 or 126 countries around the world. Read more

  • 2015 edition: The future of work in 27 powerful charts

    At least once a year, I collect the most interesting data and charts I’ve seen on the future of work into one long blog post. The only qualifying criteria is that they must have made me think deeply about the future of work. If you missed the 2014 edition, you can find it here.

    For this edition, I’ve collected 27 visuals. These are broken down into seven sections:

    1. Productivity growth and R&D investment
    2. Interesting stats on employee behaviour, tenure and work habits
    3. Jobs growth (the real drivers)
    4. The mobile evolution, user experience and design
    5. Females continue to be the driving force behind economic growth
    6. The ongoing evolution of trust (and marketing)
    7. The freelance workforce

    1. Productivity growth and R&D investment

    1A. Productivity growth is becoming less and less evenly distributed

    1A Productivity growth is becoming less and less evenly distributed

    Read more

  • Coffee, baristas and the future of the job market

    Free coffee wagon, Lotzen  (LOC)

    If you read much of the business press, you’ve probably seen plenty of articles talking about how many jobs new technology is set to destroy.

    Here’s a some good examples I found in five minutes of googling:

    As I was sitting in a coffee shop at the airport this morning, I was struck by the big flaw in this “computers to destroy jobs” thinking. The answer is in the coffee (and the number of people employed as baristas to be more specific).

    From the technical perspective, we haven’t needed humans to make coffee for us for 20-30 years.

    Read more