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Flipping the Narrative on the Future of Work

Jamie Gardner

June 25, 2019


According to the World Economic Forum, 65% percent of children now entering primary school will hold jobs that currently don’t exist. How do we prepare today for an already changing workforce? As a mom of 8yr old twins, I am quite interested in what the future of work looks like for them!


Last month, X Sector Labs, Deloitte’s Center for the Edge and Team4Tech co-hosted a conversation on flipping the narrative on the Future of Work with business leaders across the Bay Area. We discussed how corporate Learning and Development and Social Impact leaders are the perfect partners for tapping into human potential, while also serving community needs.


As the use of AI and other technologies in the workforce continues to grow, the need for humans to complete repetitive task-based jobs will decline rapidly. If we continue to have a transactional approach to humanistic work, we will limit our ability to think creatively. Yet if we redefine work for humans as value-based rather than task optimizing, we can fully tap into our human potential and hopefully keep up with the rising demand for workers with nonroutine cognitive and socio-behavioral skills.  


According to Maggie Wooll, of Deloitte’s Center for the Edge, 90% of people say they are excited about the idea of challenges, yet only 30% actively seek out challenging work. Why is this?

Evidence tells us some of the barriers are:

  • Not knowing how to find new challenges

  • Not knowing which skills to use

  • The fear of risk and being uncomfortable


But if everything has to change, L&D and Social Impact leaders can work together to make that change benefit everyone. Here are 3 ways you can overcome those barriers:


  1. Connect people to create context and accelerate learning

  2. Create spaces to exercise latitude with guidance from peer and manager coaches

  3. Foster new practices to cultivate human capabilities 


This is exactly why social impact leaders, alongside their community partners such as Team4Tech, provide these types of opportunities. For example, they offer leadership development curriculum designed to build these integral leadership capabilities using a human-centered design approach, they curate and scope opportunities to leverage the employees’ skills, and they identify opportunities for development along with the coaching and support necessary to be successful. All of these efforts reduce the fear and risk associated with trying these new experiences. Most importantly, this approach also ensures real community needs are being met and provides employees with an expanded sense of purpose in their work.


The coaction of strong collaboration among Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) and Human Resources teams…(especially L&D and Talent Development) is imperative for creating the workforce of tomorrow. Cooperation from cross sector leaders realizing their common goals creates a space to revitalize the workplace for future leaders.


To read more about flipping the narrative from 


  • one of divisions, contrasts, and competition to one where technology augments (not replaces) humans, that’s less about skills training and more about nurturing human capabilities

  • one where we partner across cultures, sectors, and continents to extend our capabilities take a look at Deloitte and Team4Tech’s co-authored perspective here.


X Sector Labs wants to support you in making this happen for your company and community.  


How do you think CSR + HR/Talent Development can come together to better prepare leaders and redefine the value of human work?  


We want to hear from you… what works for your company and what doesn’t?




Find the original article here.

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