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summary points: Agile workforce has fewer rules, demanded from any company big or small these days. More about alignment with the strategy rather than prescription of what to do, leaving out command & control and focus in communicating alignment.
sceptic question: How realistic it is for a single organization to be able to adapt to several different work model? Would it not be an opposing forces to foster a company culture which contribute in building trust vs agility mentioned before?
Agility seems to be more like a philosophy rather than a model? It’s also heavily underpinned by good relationship between the employer and employee. How do we build that, if the people come and go in a fraction of a decade? Seems like a contradiction within agility.
We can’t really compare a product lifecycle with employment turnover, since the speed of the product lifecycle is actually manufactured (or at least originally so) because companies want to sell more products, to make higher income, but then many competing company are doing the same thing, thus as an ecosystem it become an external factor that force the individual company to keep speeding up their cycles to win competition.
But employment is about sense of security to sustain life of the person and his or her family (socio-psychology). Unless mortgages are made shorter and cheaper (compare 25 years of mortgage versus 9 month product cycle, compare close to $ half a million per house to less than $ half a thousand per phone, then we can see why people are seeking employment security with fear, worry and stress in their life).
The challenge, for employee, is to be agile, which means able to be employable in different aspects of a job or even in different sectors thus making him/her employment fluid to move from one sector to the next, which reminds me of renaissance era, becoming an all-rounder, multi-talented person. Maybe an expert all-rounder, that’s another contradiction in itself but that's a different topic.
I believe the challenge is also on the company, to be agile as a company, but be stable to the employee. Maybe through better recruitment process, and massive paradigm shift, to instead of finding a good skilled worker who can do one specific work, companies should start looking for someone who the company can employ, and re-train and re-employ for a longer term. Thus how to make a better training program, and re-training program, so this good employee, who already in the company for 5 years, the company can still ‘use’ him/her for the next 25 years. If the company can build that culture over time, it will win over the trust of the employee, since they can see it build its employment and training strategy around employment security. Thus the company can become more agile as time goes. and trust is contagious, as a small group trust the company, it can spread to the rest of the company and probably even spill over out to the job market, making the company easier to recruit suitable employee.
Now the elephant in the room; Can the company become profitable with such program/approach? Or is it cheaper for the company to just chuck the person out the window and hire a new one once their 'used by' date expired? If the latter is true, that company probably will never have a sustained agility and agile workforce is just a buzz word and fantasy.
…. now (to make this relevant to pedagogy issue) how do you educate your student for that? is innovative learning approach enough to resolve that? Maybe the nature of the relationship between a university (or any educational institution) and a company need a bit of innovating. Because probably the key, or at least one of the key, to resolve this was an old buzzword, life-long-learning, but we need to take that off the buzzword list, and into the education system to make it real. blurring the line between education-system and job-market.