Does the Future Of Work Have You Spinning?

Strategy+Business recently published “A CEO Guide to Today’s Value Creation Ecosystem.”

Despite the wonky title, a colorful image always captures my eye. Thankfully. Because said “value creation ecosystem” is proving a valuable tool for me in shaping conversations with leaders pondering the Future of Work (FOW).

The challenge at the heart of FOW is that - by definition - it’s unknowable.

It’s easy to get lost in the spin of all we can’t predict; the totality of questions we can’t answer.

But what if we focused instead on a single question we can answer? 

How will we create value as we head into the FOW?

 Enter the Value Creation Ecosystem, in all its technicolor glory:

The enterprise value framework is designed to help CEOs define how their organizations will create value. It’s comprised of 3 components:

   1. Financial productivity: how financial investments are allocated

   2. Resilience: how we respond to shifts and surprises

   3. Society: how our decisions impact citizens and stakeholders around us

As I read the article though, my mind kept asking “why can’t any leader at any altitude use this framework to define the value their team will deliver?”

So I boiled each pillar down to its essence, and granted myself the poetic license to reframe the ecosystem this way:

   1. Financial productivity:  Priorities. Where we invest our time, focus, and energy.

   2. Resilience:  Agility. How we monitor and respond to the unexpected

   3. Society:  Impact. How our choices affect our teams and internal clients

I’m starting to use this framework with various leaders to focus their FOW-related thinking - regardless of how high up on the org chart they sit.

“We don’t have to figure it all out today,” I tell them. “But let’s focus on answering some targeted questions to help guide us.”

  • 1. Priorities: What projects or opportunities should command our time and attention?
  • Who must we collaborate with in order to deliver?
  • Where are the efficiencies in achieving these priorities?
  • What conditions will enable us to maximize the quality of our outputs?

2. Agility:

  • How can we assess regularly how our projects are going?
  • How can we quickly identify the best solution to a challenge as it arises?
  • How can we experiment as we go to find new ways of delivering?

3. Impact:

  • What strategies – formal and informal – can we tap to see how our work is being experienced by each other and our internal partners?
  • What key performance indicators should we watch for?
  • How can we maintain an open and ongoing dialog with our stakeholders so feedback is always inbound?
  • How can we honor our commitment to reflect on and respond to feedback we receive?

This is where we are beginning our FOW conversations. And just giving leaders a sense of scope and direction – pulling them out of the spin – is enhancing the quality of their outputs.

So, wherever you sit in your organization – how might you leverage this framework in defining with your team how you’ll create value moving forward?

Related: How We're Moving Toward the Future of Work