Unprecedented global dynamics since the beginning of the pandemic left little time for executives to strategically prepare to effectively connect a remote workforce. The accelerated projections for digitization and automation of technology adoption are staggering.

In response to a Fall 2020 McKinsey survey on how executives envision for the post-pandemic world, 85 percent of respondents said their businesses have somewhat or greatly accelerated the implementation of technologies that digitally enable employee interaction and collaboration.

As we rapidly adopt and adapt to the Future of Work triggered by less physical human interaction, the absolute need for collaborative connectivity increases proportionally.

Executives, Organizations and Investment Stakeholders most likely to succeed in this era of intensely accelerated digital transformation will demonstrate appetites in the following areas:

  • Intense focus on their vision for the future.
  • Committed support of management upskilling.
  • Valued appreciation for organizational cohesion.
  • Change management facilitated by incentive redesign.

Focus on Vision for the Future

The CEO is the lifeblood of the organization. As such, they set the critical behaviors, needs and motivators adhered to in the culture which permeates throughout the organization. They are the model and the behavioral example that ultimately affects the performance of the organization.

By demonstrating intense focus on their vision for the future of the organization, the CEO sets a standard. They make it possible for their executives team and upper management to strategically adopt and successfully adapt incoming technology for a transformative and defining era.

It shifts from a checkmark objective to a tangible movement within the organization fueled by momentum. Very purposefully and intently honing in on the vision for the future will be the foundation for increasing stakeholder value, improving the employment experience, and ensuring longevity.

Management Upskilling

This prolific statement from C3.ai blog post, “It’s Time to Re-educate Your Workforce”, says it best.

Digital transformation – represents a massive step change in how organizations will operate and the information technology they will rely on. And it will significantly impact the skills required of your workforce. Developing and operating AI-based systems requires expertise in rapidly evolving disciplines like data science, machine learning, and neural networks.

Business leaders must face the facts: your technical and management personnel currently do not have the skills to succeed at this [and] you can train them.

The Future of Work and intense vision for the organization’s future will be complemented by upskilling through education and training. Organizations that incorporate a growth-learning philosophy are historically known to sustain competitive advantages and improved retention among key talent.

It is likely that organizations who do not take the upskilling of the management teams seriously, will fall behind competitors and return less value to stakeholders. Learning how to effectively adopt, adapt, manage and utilise digitized predictive analytic and AI platforms is instrumental to transform to the Future of Work.

Consider how in an unpredictable period of time, data points previously unmeasurable, untrackable, and seemingly unimportant are at the crux of the new era of human interaction and connectivity. Management’s understanding on how to use new insights, effectively apply the data in the real-world must be complimented by education and training.

Organizational Cohesion

A comparison of pre-pandemic cautions to post pandemic realities provides insight into current needs of organizations and how they are impacted today by the Future of Work.

“In November 2019, Forrester’s future-of-work team began exploring the inevitable shocks that organizations would need to prepare for in the years ahead. From the beginning, it was clear to us that organizations with great EX (employee experience) more effectively protect themselves from the worst effects of these risks. Now, that’s exactly what’s happening . . . but only to those high-EX companies.” – Forbes: Predictions 2021: Remote Work, Automation, And HR Tech Will Flourish

Forbes Enterprise Tech 2021 predictions are supported by reminiscent reflections of 2019 and successes of organizations today surviving the sudden shift to virtual, remote work. The answers are clear and the path forward is sure.

We now know the implications of social-capital theory as it plays out in organizational cohesion.

“The data support the positive relationships between group cohesion and both willingness to participate and commitment to learning. Group cohesion is likewise positively related to meeting management goals. Resources within an organization should support the climate of learning and the building of team participation.” – Group cohesion in organizational innovation: An empirical examination of ERP implementation

The companies, leadership teams, boards of directors and investment stakeholders that understand and amplify the bonds within an organization can sustain the innovative transformation and are more likely to return value.

Incentive Redesign

The Future of Work is different and so must our incentive goals and structures be. When we talk about change management we must think in terms of incentivizing to achieve the desired outcomes.
“With that many people working remotely long-term, companies will need to rethink what that experience is like — not just from a technology and environment perspective but from leadership, change management, and career-growth perspectives, as well.”

Successfully leading change will be one of the distinguishing characteristics of CEOs and executive teams over the course of the next critical years. Redesigning incentives will take top-level support, feedback from management and employees, and partnerships with innovative tech platforms to measure, assess and pivot to the changing needs of the workforce and re-aligning them to the overall business strategy.

Innovative tech platforms can deliver on the current insights needed to benchmark and predict behavioral-based models on potential incentive structures to analyze how the optional incentive structures will be received and which behaviors will change. Alleviating the time required to test, implement and administer focus groups, and analyze per outdated methods.


The organizations most prepared for the future of work will stand out as influencers and pioneers in the following areas:

  • Intense focus on their vision for the future.
  • Committed support of management upskilling.
  • Valued appreciation for organizational cohesion.
  • Change management facilitated by incentive redesign.

Instinctively navigating unprecedented global dynamics of change through leadership to adapt and innovate will be the defining legacy of the CEOs today.