“Come gather round people, wherever you roam, and admit that the waters around you have grown…” A warning and a prophecy. A song that is both a sentimental funeral dirge and a battle cry.
This famous song written in 1964 by Bob Dylan feels like it could have been written for today. This may be one of the reasons why it continues to be covered by new artists all the time… it feels as new now as it did then. Change is eternal.
It’s true. The world has changed, we’ve changed, and we’re in the middle of the biggest shift and transition that any of us have experienced in work and in life.
It's hard to see change when you’re in the middle of it and in the messy middle is where we are. Its also extremely difficult to see where we are going from the middle of a change without a direction, a map, and light at the end of the tunnel. We will eventually get through to a new world of work, but what will things look like on the other end? I’m not going to try to predict what the future of work will look like, what kind of offices we’ll have, as it doesn’t seem to work out that well. We are not living in the 1960’s version of the future office!
Trends of the Future:
How to prepare:
Build adaptability and flexibility amongst your staff and organization. In the change lexicon, we call this change resilience. As change is going to be part of our everyday operations, we will constantly be adjusting to changes in our environment, volatility and disruption are things we must learn to expect. Some examples of this include – training for management and leaders in the new world of work, managing remote and distributed teams, and building problem solving and critical thinking skills personally, and within the organization.
Secondly, Working is becoming a transactional relationship between employees and companies, as the corporate promises of ladders, careers and corporate glory have not delivered. This is going to change culture in organizations whether leadership likes it or not. It will also mean that some of the systems of power, politics and how motivation works will change, as rewards and recognition will no longer be aligned with dominant cultural values. People leaders will need to be examining organizational culture and how the systems that they have relied on for incentives and productivity will have to change to adjust to this new world.
As the song goes… “As the present now will later be the past” We need to start looking to the future and finding ways to better adapt and respond to change, and there is no better time than the present.
To cap it off with some lightness and humor, I’ve been a fan of this song for a long time, and even will occasionally try to play it on guitar. For some amusement and fun, I’ve included a list of situationally appropriate versions of this song (aka my favorites) enjoy!
Taking you to Church The Brothers And Sisters
Narrowly avoiding a bar fight Flogging Molly
A quiet Sunday morning Herbie Hancock and the Imagine Project
Surfin’ The Beach Boys
A country ride Flatt & Scruggs