The New Frontier

Throughout the history of the United States, entrepreneurship and business have been the very engines to our economy. An economy built upon the hopes, dreams, imagination and innovation of individuals who believed in a vision inspired by a single idea to change the world, i.e., communities and societies.

A vision revealed in the mind of men and conceived in the heart of individuals. These were individuals who demonstrated an unwavering commitment to greatness, who were unwilling to submit to failure because of an inherent belief in changing the condition of humanity.

Historically, the U.S. economy has gone through various stages of economic development. These stages have included: the agricultural era, the industrial era and the current technology/digital era.

All of these specific eras have ushered in a new, expanding and continuously changing economy based upon natural resources, organizational structure, reorganizations, revenue increases, operating margin increases, stockholder demands, profit margins, labor/employment, assets, stock market growth, globalization, downsizing, goods and services, GDP (gross domestic product), pricing, inflation, deficits and interest rates, etc.

Unfortunately, most 21st Century organizations primarily focus on performance, profit and product. We now are entering a period in the U.S. economy where the income gap continues to widen between the rich and the poor.

Where the jobs are

According to a report produced in spring 2014 by the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, sustainable employment and job growth would come from the occupational areas of science, technology, engineering and mathematics, aka STEM.

In addition, the report stated that STEM occupations were projected to experience the fastest growth between 2012 and 2022, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. While these were very important professional disciplines in creating tomorrow’s jobs, it was necessary that we include education as a critical component in the development of the workforce. I call it “STEEM” – Science, Technology, Engineering, Education, Mathematics).

Education must be included as the part of the critical infrastructure needed in developing the cognitive and intellectual capabilities of tomorrow’s workforce to be positioned for tomorrow’s jobs. Not only should education primarily focus on cognitive development, but the future of job creation will be the leveraging of education that awakens the imagination and ingenuity of future workface/labor.

In my opinion, the jobs of tomorrow still are to be created and developed, because when human ingenuity is free to be expressed, it will create limitless occupational careers and competent labor pool. This will assist in building a more robust economy with more employment opportunities supporting future job growth.

Connecting the disconnect

For those who continue to miss these signs, the disconnect simply is that leaders of organizations aren’t fully aware of the drivers that precipitate change.

In the current business climate, organizations continue to be primarily focused on workforce productivity, profit margins, cost structures, revenue margins, innovation, project initiatives, shareholder value, stock market value, pricing, and maintaining a sustainable organization in a challenging economy.

This represents a linear view into the needs of an organization. These are all important components to any organization, but they are not the drivers of change; these are simply the results of change. Leaders of organizations must adopt a non-linear view into the global labor/job market which include a number of forces at work in a global economy that include: competitive, political, economic, global, demographical, social, ethical and technological evidence, which creates reverberating effects on the global labor market.

If the organization is unskilled in identifying these factors, they’ll cease to be competitive in a job market recruiting highly skilled talent in new and emerging roles.

Businesses continue to downsize and move critical pieces of their business operation overseas for the sole purpose of creating a greater profit margin. In addition, businesses continue to lay off highly skilled employees to meet the demands of a global economy and investors seeking to increase shareholder value (maximize their stock purchases/investments).

To meet the demands of a global economy, shrinking profit margins and fierce competition; many organizations have undertaken “transformational organization” redesigns in an effort to remain competitive. Transformational organizations have been defined as, in an organizational context, a process of profound and radical change that orients an organization in a new direction and takes it to an entirely different level of effectiveness.

Unlike “turnaround,” which implies incremental progress on the same plane, transformation implies a basic change of character and little or no resemblance with the past configuration or structure.”

In my opinion, the jobs of tomorrow still are to be created and developed, because when human ingenuity is free to be expressed, it will create limitless occupational careers and competent labor pool.

Transformational organizations often focus on organizational structure re-alignment, leadership engagement, improving performance, changing behaviors/culture and capabilities, modifying policies and procedures, human resource alignment, improving the bottom line, streamlining processes, mergers, acquisitions and improving product/service delivery with the hope of remaining a financially sustainable organization.

Often, transformational organizations are stimulated to change based upon external business conditions affecting mission, strategy, leadership and culture. In its essence, transformational organizations focus on changing their business model with the sole purpose of generating greater profit margin in a globally competitive economy.

I believe we’re now entering into a Humanitarian Era, which requires entrepreneurs, businesses, and corporations to become purpose/people driven and not profit driven organizations. It is an organization that’s willing to lead change that profoundly impacts people, communities, and society by the goods and services it sales.

It is an organization whose primary purpose is to invest in people within its organization and serve its community by leveraging its assets to build sustainable communities. This type of organization focuses on solely leaving a positive mark on society while leveraging the gifts and talents of its workforce.

It is an organization that has the ability to inspire and invoke the type of change necessary to help/facilitate humanity to awaken to the divine attributes of: love, compassion, harmony, prosperity, unity, purpose and peace. It is taking the natural resources of the earth and the untapped potential of people to create better living conditions for all.

5 things every leader can do

  1. Engage his CFO to research, analyze and evaluate current health of local, national and global economy, and how they impact the profitability of the organization
  2. Develop a robust information technology infrastructure ecosystem that allows the organization to capture and analyze Big Data to perform industry and labor market analysis
  3. Develop and build an HR department that has a fully functional talent acquisition component which has direct access to career centers and educational institutions so that a pipeline of talent is recruited and trained for the emerging labor market/job roles etc.
  4. Trust his inner guidance (the intuitive entrepreneur or leader) using his intuition, synthesizing unseen information with factual evidence, being prompted by a feeling or gut instinct to change, and having the innate ability to know the state of his organization and global economic climate without being impeded by it (job, labor, economy, etc.)
  5. Create a robust educational infrastructure for continual/continued (on-going) learning within the organization to stay ahead of emerging job markets requiring highly skilled talent with multi-disciplinary and cross-functional skill-set.

Source: Eliakim Thorpe