Friday, December 15, 2006

Loyalty gets out-dated

In his book The World is Flat, Thomas L Friedman describes how our world is being flattened by historical events and forces that in the last 15 years have resulted in the globalised, connected, speed-orientated world in which we live.

Not only are the times changing, so is the workforce. Life-long learning has become a way of life. We now keep hearing that loyalty to a company is obsolete. The new generation has moved away from their forebearers.

Generations X and dot-com are also gender-blind and quite open-minded about racial and cultural diversity. In fact, many people in these generations feel they have more in common with their peers across the world than with their parents or people of the baby boomer/ World War II generations.

Competition is the buzzword. Companies and countries are competing against each other in a do-or-die situations. Individual entrepreneurship is in high demand, with talented individuals creating a world of work dependent on themselves, their skills, their networks and their own attitude.

As we move into an economy based on connecting with our customers, suppliers, shareholders and employees, we are learning that our businesses will succeed or fail on their ability to connect.

Jobs-for -life do not exist any more. The global trend is the emergence of what Tom Peters calls the "professional service firm" (PSF). The old loyalty-based contract is hindering the development of new opportunities that favour the talent inherent in our blue-collar workforce, creating tensions between blue-collar and white-collar employees.

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