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Exploring Human Motivation, Digital and Sustainability at #SB15sd

Digital_Sustainable_Elcom_CreatorbaseI’m covering and attending Sustainable Brands 2015 June 1st thru 4th in San Diego and really excited about this conference! You see, I started tinkering with sustainable design back in 1985 when we created a consumer product that was sold in Office Depot, etc. At the time, I didn’t know we were actually practicing sustainable design.

Fast-forward 30 years with some recent digital transformation work at various technology companies, mixed with some purpose-driven work via creatorbase and voilà -- Elcom and creatorbase are collaborating to explore the intersection of human motivation, digital and sustainability. Other organizations including Acronym and SoHalo will also participate in the initiative. I can’t wait for us to dig in!

We’re Working and Living in Modern Times

Today’s businesses of all sizes, industries, and locations are undergoing significant transformations given a number of factors including globalization, economic and geopolitical uncertainties, technology innovation, societal shifts, new cultural norms, and increasing environmental concerns. Further, the command and control management style from the 20th century is fading fast as the empowered consumer mindset continues to influence new human behaviors and expectations of all age groups in various commercial and personal settings.

From a workforce perspective, Baby Boomers (a large and highly capable cross-section of the population) are well into retirement age with many either focused on or making plans to recover what they lost in the last great recession. On the other end of the spectrum, younger generations like Millennials and Gen X are looking for meaningful and/or gainful employment with many unable or unwilling to secure full-time roles. And the freelancer movement is steadily growing given employment challenges, workforce opportunities, and independent preferences.

A recent U.S. General Accounting Office report indicates that 40% of U.S. workers now have contingent jobs – that’s a significant increase over just a few years ago. And workplace futurists like Jacob Morgan believe we’ll see more highly-skilled and capable people opting out of full-time employment for freelance work, given what Morgan describes in his May 2015 Forbes article and video as the ‘FAC’ factor (freedom or flexibility; autonomy; and choice or customization).  These workforce changes will create both opportunities and risks for organizations depending on their human capital and digital strategies.

Further, Brian Solis said in a May 2015 article that “with digital intelligence and capabilities comes the need for people to learn the skills and capabilities that keep the human workforce performing the jobs that machines cannot do today.” In the same article, a ‘Humans Need Not Apply’ video describes how automation is good but only if humans figure out how best to work in harmony with various forms of current and future automation.  

I don’t know about you, but I see both opportunities and risks between the lines here; I’m really intrigued!

Five Megatrends to Know

Looking at the bigger picture helps. PwC has been collaborating with many enterprises over the last several months to understand significant changes that are disrupting organizations worldwide and the economy at large. PwC synthesized what they learned into five global shifts that are believed to be a major influence today and well into the future:

  1. Demographic and social change
  2. Shift in global economic power
  3. Rapid urbanization
  4. Technological breakthroughs
  5. Climate change and resource scarcity

This brief video provides a good overview of the megatrends that all business should understand and know how to respond with workforce, digital and sustainability strategies. These megatrends create both opportunities and risks for many organizations.

How to Build a Successful Workforce with Digital and Sustainable Business Practices

As mentioned above, Elcom and creatorbase are collaborating on a new initiative that revolves around workforce motivations, digital and sustainability. And there are a number of good reason why we’re partnering, now.

Elcom provides best practices and digital solutions that enable employees to collaborate, engage with one another, their customers and prospective customers from anywhere, and support their organization in the pursuit of business performance, revenue growth, and improving customer experiences. And with the growing adoption of digital technologies as well as heightened awareness by the masses of environmental issues like global warming and daily increases of carbon footprints – we’re seeing a natural intersection that is forming between digital and sustainable business strategies to achieve short-term business goals as well as long-term benefits to society and the planet.

Our focus over the next few months will be on addressing key questions we believe will be of interest to the business community, including:

  • What are the top workforce-related challenges that modern organizations face and why?

  • What should companies do to attract, empower, and retain skilled, high-performing employees and contractors in increasingly distributed work environments?

  • How can employees, regardless of where they work, improve their individual and team performance – and be happy in the process?

  • What will the future of work look like with more automation and digital systems across business processes; how should companies and employees prepare, now?

  • Who should drive digital and sustainable business practices in the organization and why?

Follow and Participate

Read more about our initiative and the Elcom/creatorbase team invites you to follow our progress and participate in upcoming activities including a webinar and topical content development. We recognize that you have expertise and insights to contribute to the conversation that will assist us to deliver more meaningful outcomes.

Join us to learn more and contribute to the conversation @elcomCMS and @creatorbase. If this topic interests you, I highly recommend you tune into the #SB15sd hashtag during the first two weeks of June. It’s going to get very interesting onsite and online.

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