Just a few days ago, I posted about the fast changing labour market we are all living in, and mentioned some future strategies as to where labour market is, in my opinion, driving to.
Today, after being halfway through the book Exponential Organisations, and though agreeing most of the times with its ideas, I came to a few points I can't agree upon.
The book shares same ideas as I posted last week on the future of the labour market, about changing relationships between employer and employee, and about the need to keep ourselves up to date on technologies and knwoledge, but...
There is at least a sicking point when the book affirms and talks about ever faster obsolescence of labour force. It talks about a ever reducing length of time in which an employee can "be of use" for an organisation. In the past, an employee could be thought of as useful during as long as 30 years, but that period keeps shortening due to the rapid change of technology and the need to keep the pace with it.
I wanted to write about that opnion, since this morning I had a conversation with a young consultant working on my team. We talked about disruptive technologies, how it will, and it is already having an impact on our sector (banking), and we agreed on the issue the book addresses, but with a difference. We shared the idea of a company maintaining valuable people, and keeping them trained as to obtain the best use of their knowledge, acquired thru years of collaboration and education, and we didn't agree with the way the book sees it, being the only responsibility of the employee of keeping him/herself up to date.
If we, employees, are responsible to be constantly searching for training, we see drastic rotation of personnel, resulting in a lack of knowledge and expertise due to the constant renovation of resources.
A company is more than young people being hired, coming in by the herds... Nobody is effective in his post from the first moment. Value is added everyday to the employee, who gets fed with comapny culture, long-term relationships and being able to leverage on those relationships, cultivated during years.
For that reason, though the book may have great ideas about future relationships within organisations, and correctly explains the reasons of growth on disruptive technologies, I feel it falls naive when not seeing deeper in the value that employees, being themselves on staff (not on demand staff as the book wants us all to be) offer to any organisation.
As a summary to my thoughts. Good to know about technology, how it affects big organisations, and how to take advantage of it, but a big BUT on the book's approach to labour force, since it seems lacking reality and underestimating its value offered, thus reducing the human factor to an economic transaction.