A recent and fascinating paper by PwC looks at the future of work, identifying three distinct worlds of work – blue, green and orange. The blue world where corporate is king is described as “capitalism rules as organizations continue to grow bigger and individual preferences trump beliefs about social responsibility”. The green world “where companies care, and where social responsibility dominates the corporate agenda with concerns about changes in climate and demographics, and embedding sustainability becoming the key drivers of business”. The third world is colored orange “where small is beautiful and companies begin to break down into collaboration networks of smaller organizations; specialisms dominate the world economy”.

The blue world is driven by profit, growth and market leadership. Scale is the crucial differentiator. Employees balance job security and long-term service against commitment and flexibility with a relentless pressure to perform. The green world is driven by positive social and environmental impact. Companies develop a powerful social awareness and sense of responsibility. Consumers demand ethics and environmental credentials as a top priority. Society and business see their agendas align. The orange world maximizes efficiency while minimizing fixed cost. The orange world embraces the rise of the portfolio career, hiring a diverse mix of people on an affordable, ad hoc basis. Employees value flexibility, autonomy and varied challenges in return for working on a short-term contractual basis.

To learn more about how the changing world of work will impact the workplace, consider attending an upcoming “Implementing Workplace Strategies” seminar; coming soon to Irvine, CA, September 19th & 20th and Shanghai, China, October 24th & 25th