Saturday, November 28, 2020

g-f(2)19 10 Lessons Learned from MIT SMR-Deloitte Research on the Future of the Workforce

Extra-condensed knowledge 

MIT SMR-Deloitte research about the future of the workforce offers insight both provocative and disturbing: 
  • There is no agreement or consensus around best practice and there is no shared vision about the future role of average or ordinary workers in tomorrow’s digital enterprise. 
  • We see a profound disconnect between people’s expectations around the value they contribute and their organization’s willingness and ability to invest in them. 
  • A bimodal distribution may be emerging: some organizations seek to make their human resources (even) more transactional and disposable; others are looking hard at how to make better bets on longer-term human capital cultivation and returns.

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Condensed knowledge

Context of the MIT SMR-Deloitte research about the future of the workforce

  • The MIT SMR-Deloitte global executive survey and interviews identify the design of opportunity marketplaces as perhaps the key leadership challenge for organizations seeking to ethically maximize human capital returns.
  • To understand the challenges organizations face managing their workforces as they continue to progress in their digital transformations, MIT Sloan Management Review, in collaboration with Deloitte, conducted its ninth annual survey of nearly 3,900 business executives, managers, and analysts from organizations around the world.
  • The survey, conducted in the fall of 2019, captured insights from individuals in 126 countries and 28 industries at organizations of various sizes. More than two-thirds of the respondents were from outside the U.S.

10 Lessons Learned from MIT SMR-Deloitte Research on the Future of the Workforce

Lesson learned 1. Embracing opportunity marketplaces represents a truly fundamental shift in how most organizations can maximize returns on human capital investment.
  • It recognizes the workforce as a uniquely human resource. 
  • It demands a shift in core workforce management practices such as workforce planning and deployment, and performance management and development.

Lesson learned 2. Leaders accustomed to compliance and control should lead through influence and create options for workers in much the same way that companies attract and create options for customers.

Lesson learned 3. Practices that support workers’ growth within the company and the promotion of top talent should be driven by opportunity rather than prescribed career paths. 
  • With this opportunity approach, organizations and their people are better able to recognize that their mutual success depends on ever-smarter investment in themselves and each other.

Lesson learned 4. The return on investment in this new approach will depend substantially on an understanding of and a focus on the human and technical foundations of opportunity marketplaces: workforce behaviors and expectations, management incentives, data and analytics, machine learning and platforms, and apps.

Lesson learned 5. Lesson learned 4 plays a critical role in organizing and refining opportunity, and making it accessible. 

Lesson learned 6. As machines and algorithms become smarter, the options for productive opportunities are likely to increase. 

Lesson learned 7. With the right investments in digital tools, leadership, and culture, opportunity marketplaces become complex and adaptive systems that enable workers across the organization to create more value, impact, and personal meaning.

Lesson learned 8. SCHNEIDER ELECTRIC CREATED AN OPPORTUNITY MARKETPLACE that helps generate revenues by launching technologies that ensure its employees work more efficiently, they remain with Schneider, and their engagement levels go up.
  • The French multinational, founded in 1836 as Schneider & Cie, employs a 135,000-person workforce and has a presence in more than 100 countries (with more employees in the United States than anywhere else). It’s a legacy company, but it was compelled to disrupt legacy personnel practices when analytics revealed that nearly half the employees who left the organization did so because they felt they had no sufficient visibility to future growth opportunities.
  • At Schneider, the hard- and soft-dollar costs of attrition led the company, in 2018, to launch its “open talent market,” which uses AI to match employees with short-term projects, stretch assignments, side gigs, full-time roles, and mentors. As Schneider HR vice president Amy deCastro explains, “We are creating an internal market that wasn’t there before, and it’s a market that employees can take advantage of instead of going out into the external market.” 

Lesson learned 9. Analytics drive the opportunity offerings in Schneider’s internal market, an AI-powered platform created by HR tech startup Gloat.
  • This opportunity marketplace in turn generates a wealth of data for Schneider about its employees’ skills and interests, ensuring explicit and measurable alignment between internal opportunities and Schneider’s broader strategic aspirations. 
  • It also primes employees to fulfill the priority of better meeting and exceeding client expectations.

Lesson learned 10. Importantly, the platform’s analytics aren’t used to dictate career paths but to enable agency and choice: Employees are expected to take the initiative. 
  • “We’ve always told our employees that they own their careers, that they are in the driver’s seat,” Saidy says. 
  • With its opportunity marketplace, Schneider’s workplace culture has become more dynamic and responsive so that employees find it easier to invest in themselves
  • This commitment goes beyond retraining and upskilling: Schneider’s opportunity market can guide talent to projects aligned with their own sense of purpose and goals.

Category 2: The Big Picture of The Digital Age

[genioux fact extracted from MIT SMR + Deloitte]

Authors of the genioux fact

Fernando Machuca


OPPORTUNITY MARKETPLACES, Aligning Workforce Investment and Value Creation in the Digital Enterprise, MICHAEL SCHRAGE, JEFF SCHWARTZ, DAVID KIRON, ROBIN JONES, AND NATASHA BUCKLEY, April 28, 2020, MIT Sloan Management Review in collaboration with Deloitte.


Michael Schrage is a research fellow at the MIT Sloan School of Management’s Initiative on the Digital Economy, where he does research and advisory work on how digital media transforms agency, human capital, and innovation.

Jeff Schwartz, a principal with Deloitte Consulting LLP, is the U.S. leader for the Future of Work and Catalyst Tel Aviv (formerly the Innovation Tech Terminal–ITT). Schwartz is an adviser to senior business leaders at global companies focusing on workforce and business transformation. He is the global editor of the Deloitte “Global Human Capital Trends” report, which he started in 2011.

David Kiron is the editorial director of MIT Sloan Management Review, where he directs the publication’s Big Ideas program, a content platform examining macro-trends that are transforming the practice of management. He has coedited two books on economics and coauthored more than 30 journal articles and research reports on AI, strategic measurement, performance management, analytics, leadership, digitalization, and sustainability.

Robin Jones is a principal at Deloitte Consulting LLP with more than 20 years of organization and workforce transformation consulting experience. At Deloitte, Jones leads markets and services for Workforce Transformation, where she advises senior executives on strategy and execution of large-scale future-of-work initiatives.

Natasha Buckley, Deloitte Services LP, is a senior manager in Deloitte’s Center for Integrated Research, where she analyzes the progress global organizations are making in their digital transformations. Her research focuses on topics such as digital transformation, the future of work, and technology ethics.


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