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New Work: 5 Steps to Purpose

New Work is the next wave of digital transformation - the reorganization of the workplace. Here are 5 steps to new work and why it is all about purpose.

March 11, 2020
November 7, 2023

New Work: 5 Steps to Purpose - Why it's all about how to make purpose work

It seems to most of us that new terms emerge every once in a while to create new influencers. "New work" is not different in this regard. In fact, it's even worse, as it's often associated with new age, yoga, and "some esoteric bulls**t". But as with most of the other buzzwords, new work, too, is an important phenomenon connected with the Internet and the globalization of labor and the economy.

New Work is the Next Wave of Digital Transformation - the Transformation of the Workplace

Yes, new work has to do something with yoga, but it's more profound than most people believe. Josh Bersin has a wonderful article that explains the transformation of the workplace as part of the digitization (see image below).

  1. First, we automated the collection of information through forms. a.k.a. Web 2.0 (very futuristic during my studies in 2002)
  2. Then we started using tools for integrated talent management, digitizing business processes like payment and data administration
  3. Then we started using technology to interact and collaborate, and create new types of data
  4. And then Millennials took over as majority at the workplace, and it all flipped to Talent & Employee Experience. That's the yoga part.

You haven't voted for the Internet, and you won't be voting for New Work - they are both just happening.

Source: Josh Bersin

The Digital Transformation is a Transformation of Work Culture

  1. New people with new values, new technological capability, and new habits. New generations of talent joined the workforce to increase diversity and change it forever.
  2. Those new people met in new spaces, like big open coworking lofts, with Italian coffee and green walls, replacing fixed desks and private offices with communities.
  3. The new spaces enabled new communication, and most of all required more communication, on more channels, to increase transparency and the amount of information available to ever more stakeholders - power to the networks!
  4. This enabled new collaboration forms like virtual teams, self-organization, and agile management.
  5. And of course, when people know more and work differently, new leadership is required with data-driven decision-making, integrity, and new goals centered around purpose.

These are the 5 steps to New Work

5 steps to New Work

How to Make Purpose Work?

This is exactly the question we asked ourselves last year. For the first time in the history of labor, five different generations of culture, habits, backgrounds, values, and communication channel preferences, work hand in hand in the workforce. And ... they don't talk to each other, or at least not as much as they should. The future of work seems to be emerging by itself, as a random set of bubbles, driven by the giant tech companies, science, or leadership coaches - all with different agendas.

What is Future of Work - Will Tomorrow be the Result of our Actions Today?

And it better be working for more people. This was the drive behind the Big & Growing New Work Festival we started in 2019. Its goal is to create a democratic platform, connect all stakeholders, and create a future of work that belongs to the people.

New Work, New Conference

When we started Big & Growing, we wanted it to be like New Work itself - decentralized, agile, and inclusive. We wanted everything at the event to not only speak about the future of work, but actually be it. We aimed for nothing less than a complete New Work experience - that embraces complexity, uncertainty, and diversity to bring people together to make purpose work.

As a completely new type of conference - an agile conference - a decentralized event, where content is created by the audience (like in a giant BarCamp), with the goal to connect all stakeholders of the future workplace. And while it was the harder job to do, it was the one with a purpose.

Big & Growing - How It Works

In a typical conference, you have experts who deliver their content from up on the stage to down to the audience, saying how the future will be. As the future is not only unknown and complex, but also highly ambiguous, we decided to take a different approach. Our assumption - the road is the destination. Rather than finding out, we decided that Big & Growing will emphasize on the value of discourse and community. So we took the 5 steps of New Work and set them as separate festival topics, and we invited everyone to apply and host a session:

  • People
  • Spaces
  • Communication
  • Collaboration
  • Leadership

On the last day, we host a purpose conference to wrap up the results, and create actionable and sustainable outcomes - this is how you make purpose work. And you are cordially invited to try and join as a partner, host, or speaker.

To find out more about how Mentessa can foster a culture of connection and create a happier, more motivated and productive workforce:

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