Take a good future look at yourself!

Research suggest that Millennials will not live for work, but work to live… They have watched their parents slogging their guts out and grafting long hours, and don’t necessarily want to follow in their footsteps with work as a primary part of life. Their values differ due to the lack of experience in concern to employment hardship, recession, unemployment of a scale- and redundancy is not a fear.

If it comes…

Yes, things come and go in waves… remember ‘dress down Friday’? A furore broke out around this when first introduced (and it resulted in a lot of chinos being sold!), but where is it now? Every day is a Friday. Come as you are.

Turning the noun into a verb

The next generation is hyper-connected, tech-savvy, entrepreneurial, social and looking for a better work-life balance. On saying: “I am on my way to work…”, we clearly have lost momentum. It implies a noun, not a verb. In our minds it implies going to a physical place to perform an action, it clearly defines times have changed. Work has become an actionable body. A body of evidence and output. My job refers to ownership and pride. Owning a job, wow! Millennials definitely don’t see it that way, lending one…. maybe for a while, leaving when the lease term doesn’t match the quality of the product anymore.

A clear case of work in progress

So how will we refer to ‘work’ or ‘going to work’ or ‘owning a job’ in 10 years time? Let’s look at the below stated factors:

  • It will imply ownership, but not in the proprietary way
  • It will entail collective pride from work performed on demand not so much to the company it is executed for as such
  • Work will create more meaning
  • It will be challenging for all generations (mind gym)


Futurist Thomas Frey, suggests that 60% of the best jobs in the next 10 years haven’t yet been invented. It is certainly true that some jobs have come and gone. And our careers are no longer for life, or a linear path, more than ever they are now a series of chain-linked bite-size careers. Is the job description going to become a thing of the past? Quite possibly, or certainly it will go fully digital, so it can be constantly adapted.


Today, we are paving ways sub-consciously for generations to come. We have reached tipping point of classic structures. Let us take a closer look at the big shift.

For employers and companies it will imply:

  • Openness; always starting with why.
  • Altering perspectives; purpose versus goal.
  • Braveness; do you have life experience versus working experience?
  • Originality; come as you are.
  • Fragmentation; specialists and generalists.
  • Clustered energy; KPI’s becoming processing power fields.
  • Collectivity; peer pressure, peer learning, community value creation.
  • Client readiness; Quick output, rapid input, agile all the way.
  • Purpose power shift; bottom up meets top down half way to fulfil a purpose rather than a hierarchy.
  • Velocity; the brand in motion, brand mobility.

For customers and colleagues it will imply:

  • A new media emporium based on brand mobility & content.
  • There is no box to think out of.
  • New lines of business emerging.
  • End of knowledge silo’s, we’re talking platforms and partnership.
  • End of the ego.
  • Continuous exchange with a connected enterprise.
  • Working with networks of colleagues.
  • Everything is a service, the end of stand-alone solutions.
  • Technology causes industry divergence and disruption.
  • New drivers from all angles.
  • Fierce competition and pay pressure.

Fresh thoughts in old barrels

New roles, new lines of business and future professions are in the making. What role can businesses play to facilitate new professions and new working methods? Do we really meet each other on the verge of disciplines? How do we cope with this uncertainty and evolving change?

Within the workplace we see a growing trend of organisations purposely generating corporate disorganisation, in order to create a culture of fresh thinking.

Rather than uncertainty, empowering employees to think like a start-up and bring creative thinking to the mix.

As ingredients get more potent so does the dish. We see holacracy, agile ways of working, and the new workplace. We will develop as we go, with smart cities developing along with us, constantly emerging our modus operandi and matching data structures. We have networks of teams instead of teams. But still, we believe we are still ‘implementing’ new wine in old barrels. Injecting newness into old structures… while being overtaken by disruptive start-ups.

Quick fix(ation), magic micro moments

The Millennials look for instant gratification and a need to get from A to B as quick as possible. The digital world permits change at a fast pace. Turning to the bricks and mortar world of retail it needs to reflect real-time much closer.

Google puts modern consumerism on display by giving it the nominator of micro-moments, and they are spot-on: Want-to-know moments. Want-to-go moments. Want-to-do moments. Want-to-buy moments. They’re all micro-moments, and they’re the new battleground for brands*. We would like to add the want-to-wow! moment as well. (*Consumers in the Micro-Moment, Google/Ipsos, US, March 2015, n=5,398, based on internet users.) Brands have often turned to their glory days and founding myths, using language like heritage, authenticity, citing their established date as a core credential. These ‘feel-facts’ has been a pillar of strength to lean on for many retail brands- but there is a shift- and a need to appeal to the next customer.

Taking the lead in -now- momentum

The new approach will be led by some of the longest established brands, with traction of looking forward. Taking a fresher, braver and more experimental approach. Prada demonstrated this approach recently teaming up with illustrators: Carly Kuhn, Megan Hess, Blair Breitenstein, Judith van den Hoek, Wong Ping and Vida Vega regarding their ‘Raw’ eyewear collection. Here is an extract of this

For a brand founded in 1913, it’s pretty special to not focus on heritage alone. In the case of Prada, it nicely aligns with their recent opening of their Fondazione Prada institution in Milano, and tells us where their heart is.

 Different roles in a new play

What will, in say 10 years time, be the new functions at Prada? We can certainly see roles like ‘brand curator’, ‘contextualist’, ‘experience designer’ and ‘corporate disorganiser’ come to the forefront. And with the example of brand curator, we can see the future LinkedIn ad reading as follows:


Volatile Brand Curator

An innovation catalyst with an eye for tradition

Please BYON (bring your own network)

Why? We want you for the sake of our community mix. Fusing brand, visual merchandising, design, hospitality, experience and art- to maintain brand authority and reap commercial traction. Output driven focus, your own hours of work, creative headspace, limited hierarchies, quick promotions and the availability of an ‘on and offline’ workspace. Expected life experience: high. Global sabbatical sub-stations to pass through and personal development mentor provided. Salary and terms negotiable.

Eventually, in the mix of it all, brand velocity will be grounded by motivational coaches, propelled by hyper-connected entrepreneurials, and thrusted by new media emporiums. Can we all become ‘glocal colleagues’, omni-present in communities of choice, earning money by output while enjoying our micro-moments? Or will some of us still remain on the way to work?


Dit artikel schreef ik samen met Gregor Jackson van GP Studio in London. We werken samen sinds december 2015

Andere blogs…

Als eerste de stap zetten

Als eerste de stap zetten

Als eerste de stap zetten is moeilijk. Maar het is soms nodig om de eerste te zijn als het gaat om waarden. Een mooi...


Deel dit bericht met je netwerk