Guided by a new social contract, here’s how you can develop working models that deliver for your shareholders, employees, and global communities.
Digital transformation. Automation. Globalization. A persistent productivity-wage gap — and the anger and activism it can engender in the workforce. Those are just a few of the headwinds buffeting business leaders as they try to set a course for the work of the future. And that’s before accounting for pandemic- related shocks like supply chain disruptions, inflation, and the changing norms around hybrid work and geolocation.
Business leaders “need to build strong companies and good jobs in a globally competitive economy where technology is advancing, with the social diversity we find in our world.” That’s how MIT Sloan professor of management Thomas Kochan introduces his online executive education course, “Leading the Future of Work.”
Across industries, workers are worried that automation and artificial intelligence will steal their jobs, said Kochan, a member of the MIT Task Force on Work of the Future. Kochan shares those concerns, but also sees “tremendous” innovative potential in new technologies. “We believe that we can harness advancing technologies to create a productive and more equitable future,” he said
In the U.S., nine out of 10 people born between the 1940s achieved a higher income and a higher standard of living than their parents. In contrast, only half of people born after 1980 have been able to achieve a standard of living that’s higher than what they grew up with. Globalization, the presence of the “informal economy” of jobs without a social safety net, and the decline of union membership has led to “an imbalance of power at work that needs to be addressed,” Kochan said.