The New Way to Work: Top 5 Trends to Watch in 2010
Looking back at pivotal events that took place within the business world in 2009, it is becoming increasingly clear that there are five macro trends that will be shaping a New Way to Work in 2010 and beyond. Together, these five trends point to a New Way To Work in which creativity and innovation are more valued by employers than ever before and the traditional notion of work as merely an economic activity is being supplemented by ideas about happiness and well-being.
Here are the five trends that I feel are creating The New Way To Work and what they mean to me:
(1) Organizations will embrace Design Thinking. In 2009, Tim Brown, the CEO of IDEO (arguably one of the most important design consultancies in the world), published Change By Design, which suggested that organizations must go even further in their
embrace of right-brain, creative thinking. Design must become more than an
aesthetic -- it must become an integral part of the overall process of how
companies think about products, services and customers. By extension, "design
thinking" must now become part of any worker's toolkit.
As Daniel Pink first suggested five years ago in his bestselling A Whole New Mind, right-brain thinking -- in the form of creativity, innovation and big picture contextual thinking -- is an increasingly important way for workers to demonstrate their value to their employers. Design thinking is, if anything, a stronger form of creativity and innovation that is focused around achieving specific business goals and objectives. As a result, design thinking will continue to play a key role in any organization's business strategy as it attempts to differentiate itself vis-a-vis competitors. The most obvious examples are companies like Apple and Target, which have made breathtakingly-beautiful design part of their core value proposition.
(2) Women will play a more important role in re-defining traditional notions of work. In 2009, Maria Shriver and the Center for American Progress published The Shriver Report, which attempted to catalogue the many ways that women are changing the U.S. workplace. In 2009, for the first time ever, women now account for more than 50% of all jobs in America. At the same time, women account for 57% of all bachelor's degrees and 60% of all master's degrees, making them the most important part in any company's talent pipeline. Quite simply, with women now a majority in the U.S. workforce, organizations will need to reassess how well they are responding to the needs of women in the workplace. This ranges from new thinking about customized careers and flexible work arrangements to fundamentally important notions of how to encourage managerial traits such as empathy and compassion.
The most successful organizations will be companies like Pepsi, which has made the recruiting, retaining and promoting of women a company-wide priority. At Pepsi, not only is the CEO a woman (Indra Nooyi), but nearly one-third of all executives are women. There's an economic payoff, too, from ensuring that women are members of your Board of Directors and members of your senior management team. Business school researchers at Pepperdine and Maryland have found that companies with women in these roles actually out-perform their rivals.
(3) Small business owners will become the new stars of economic growth. The "credit crunch" of the past 12 months, in which financial institutions systematically withdrew liquidity from the banking system in the hopes of stemming the tides of bad loans and foreclosures, appears to be coming to an end. As liquidity slowly makes its way back into the banking system, the first beneficiaries will be small business owners -- some of whom had their access to funding turned off seemingly overnight. In recognition of this fact, the Obama Administration has made small business the linchpin of many of its economic policies. At the same time, companies like Goldman Sachs -- which recently created a $500 million fund to foster and launch 10,000 small businesses -- and American Express - through its OPEN Forum for small business owners -- are jumping into the fray, in the hopes of galvanizing economic activity at the grassroots.
Small business owners have often been overshadowed as the traditional media focuses on the empire builders (yes, Donald Trump, that's you) and the titans of industry rather than unheralded small business owners. Heading into 2010, though, this trend appears to be reversing. Monocle, for example, published a Small Business Guide for 2010 that is chock-full of examples of how resilient small business owners around the globe are re-inventing their industries. From equity research companies in Stockholm to interior design firms in Tokyo to graphic designers in Munich, these small businesses are inspiring examples of how creative, nimble and risk-taking ventures can bring real economic change to any industry. The women and men who dare to dream big now will be the first to reap the rewards once economic growth returns.
(4) "Happiness" will become a way to measure economic prosperity. In September, Nicolas Sarkozy, the (often controversial) president of France, announced that his country was seriously considering a "happiness index" that would transform factors like "quality of life" and "vacation time" into a broader measure of overall economic well-being. In short, the traditional way to measure national economic activity - Gross National Product (GNP) - would be supplanted by something called Gross National Happiness (GNH). This, of course, is a fundamentally new way to think about work that surely has economists scrambling to find a way to quantify something so unquantifiable as "happiness." Other than France, only the tiny Himalayan nation of Bhutan has had the pluck and audacity to adopt the concept of Gross National Happiness. In 1972, Bhutan adopted GNH as a way to symbolize its dedication to spiritualist, Buddhist ideals rather than purely materialistic, Capitalistic ideals.
In many ways, this thinking about "happiness" is part of an overall paradigm shift in the world of economics that takes us further away from the purely "rational thinking" paradigm. Behavioral economists, led by Princeton's Daniel Kahneman (who won the Nobel Prize in Economics in 2002), Yale's Robert Shiller (who famously coined the term "irrational exuberance") and Harvard's Daniel Gilbert (who is typically credited as the founder of the "science of happiness"), are helping us understand that purely rational considerations are not all that matter when it comes to making decisions. (Shiller, in fact, specifically asked prominent New Yorker cartoonist Edward Koren to illustrate the book cover of Animal Spirits with his irrational wild things). Within the Obama Administration, ideas from the emergent field of behavioral economics are informing everything from solving for health insurance plans to helping workers save more in their 401(k) plans.
(5) Personal branding will become the buzzword of talented workers around the world. 2009 was the year that Gary Vaynerchuk and Dan Schawbel burst onto the scene with ideas about ways to use the leverage the Web for personal branding. Using everything from blogs to YouTube to Twitter, it's now possible for everyday people to create a personal brand online -- and then use it to launch new businesses based around their personal passions. Gary Vaynerchuk (known to his adoring fans as simply "Gary Vee") showed what's possible when you combine a passion for wine, a deep knowledge of social media, and a YouTube-ready personality. He turned a small family wine business into a national industry leader, becoming a national celebrity in the process.
Gary Vee has tapped into the current economic zeitgeist. Idealistic notions about lifetime employment with a single company are long gone. The only real job security is to create your own personal brand. With U.S. unemployment pushing above 10% in November, starting a new venture has become a very attractive option to millions of workers. Take the self-employment route and do what you love. Do it well, and you might just Crush It.
This last trend is perhaps the most important of all five mentioned above. The Internet as a distribution channel for a personal brand is unmatched. For freelance workers, the Internet has made it possible to showcase their best work to anyone in the world, at any time. Take photography, for example. Using the photo-sharing service Flickr, professional photographers have had a way to showcase and highlight their work. Starting in mid-2008, Flickr made it possible for anyone to buy royalty-free and rights-managed photos through a unique partnership with Getty Images. If your photography skills and talent are strong enough, you no longer need to give them away for free (the photo accompanying this blog entry was actually purchased via the Flickr collection of Getty Images).
Heading into 2010, I'm looking forward to watching how these five macro trends about The New Way To Work continue to evolve. Sometime in the future, no doubt, today's world of work will look as wonderfully anachronistic as the world of Matthew Weiner's Mad Men appears to us now.
[photo credit: People at Work by BestPics/Flickr Collection/Getty Images]
NOTE: This blog entry is an official submission to the Elance "New Way to Work" competition. Email contact information: basulto [at] gmail.com.
Northwell Health CEO Michael Dowling has an important favor to ask of the American people.
- Michael Dowling is president and CEO of Northwell Health, the largest health care system in New York state. In this PSA, speaking as someone whose company has seen more COVID-19 patients than any other in the country, Dowling implores Americans to wear masks—not only for their own health, but for the health of those around them.
- The CDC reports that there have been close to 7.9 million cases of coronavirus reported in the United States since January. Around 216,000 people have died from the virus so far with hundreds more added to the tally every day. Several labs around the world are working on solutions, but there is currently no vaccine for COVID-19.
- The most basic thing that everyone can do to help slow the spread is to practice social distancing, wash your hands, and to wear a mask. The CDC recommends that everyone ages two and up wear a mask that is two or more layers of material and that covers the nose, mouth, and chin. Gaiters and face shields have been shown to be less effective at blocking droplets. Homemade face coverings are acceptable, but wearers should make sure they are constructed out of the proper materials and that they are washed between uses. Wearing a mask is the most important thing you can do to save lives in your community.
Two massive clouds of dust in orbit around the Earth have been discussed for years and finally proven to exist.
- Hungarian astronomers have proven the existence of two "pseudo-satellites" in orbit around the earth.
- These dust clouds were first discovered in the sixties, but are so difficult to spot that scientists have debated their existence since then.
- The findings may be used to decide where to put satellites in the future and will have to be considered when interplanetary space missions are undertaken.
What are they?<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xODgyMDA0NC9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTYzNTM1ODc0Mn0.NH33LuauIo__sUBi4tvhwxDcsvhflDFD-Nhx9FjlSNk/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=148%2C0%2C149%2C0&height=700" id="cec96" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="acb78abe2ab46a17e419ad30906751d6" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
Artist's impression of the Kordylewski cloud in the night sky (with its brightness greatly enhanced) at the time of the observations.
G. Horváth<p>The<a href="https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Kordylewski_cloud" target="_blank"> Kordylewski clouds</a> are two dust clouds first observed by Polish astronomer Kazimierz Kordylewski in 1961. They are situated at two of the <a href="https://www.space.com/30302-lagrange-points.html" target="_blank">Lagrange points</a> in Earth's orbit. These points are locations where the gravity of two objects, such as the Earth and the Moon or a planet and the Sun, equals the centripetal required to orbit the objects while staying in the same relative position. There are five of these spots between the Earth and Moon. The clouds rest at what are called points four and five, forming a triangle with the clouds and the Earth at the three corners.</p><p>The clouds are enormous, taking up the same space in the night sky as twenty lunar discs; covering an area of 45,000 miles. They are roughly 250,000 miles away, about the same distance from us as the Moon. They are entirely comprised of specks of dust which reflect the light of the sun so faintly most astronomers that looked for them were unable to see them at all. </p><p>The clouds themselves are probably ancient, but the model that the scientists created to learn about them suggests that the individual dust particles that comprise them can be blown away by solar wind and replaced by the dust from other cosmic sources like comet tails. This means that the clouds hardly move but are <a href="https://www.nationalgeographic.com/science/2018/11/news-earth-moon-dust-clouds-satellites-planets-space/" target="_blank">eternally changing</a>. </p>
How did they discover this?<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xODgyMDAzNi9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY1Nzc4MjQ4MX0.7uU9OqmQcWw5Ll1UXAav0PCu4nTg-GdJdAWADHanC7c/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C180%2C0%2C181&height=700" id="952fb" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="a778280a20f1c54cd2c14c8313224be2" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
"In this picture the central region of the Kordylewski dust cloud is visible (bright red pixels). The straight tilted lines are traces of satellites."
J. Slíz-Balogh<p>In their study published in the <a href="https://academic.oup.com/mnras" target="_blank">Monthly Notices of the Royal Astronomical Society</a>, Hungarian astronomers Judit Slíz-Balogh, András Barta, and Gábor Horváth described how they were able to find the dust clouds using polarized lenses.</p><p>Since the clouds were expected to polarize the light that bounces off of them, by configuring the telescopes to look for this kind of light the clouds were much easier to spot. What the scientists observed, polarized light in patterns that extended outside the view of the telescope lens, was in line with the predictions of their mathematical model and ruled out other possible sources. </p>
Why are we just learning this now?<img type="lazy-image" data-runner-src="https://assets.rebelmouse.io/eyJhbGciOiJIUzI1NiIsInR5cCI6IkpXVCJ9.eyJpbWFnZSI6Imh0dHBzOi8vYXNzZXRzLnJibC5tcy8xODgyMDAzOS9vcmlnaW4uanBnIiwiZXhwaXJlc19hdCI6MTY2MjUyNDMyMH0.Zl8GmQ_rJHiL4b7hN0r_YBmgb6_ZqIRvqOVuko2ubpw/img.jpg?width=1245&coordinates=0%2C141%2C0%2C185&height=700" id="87afe" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="dd4c0b5088e601d7279cc5eb226f8b7b" data-rm-shortcode-name="rebelmouse-image" />
"Mosaic pattern of the angle of polarization around the L5 point (white dot) of the Earth-Moon system. The five rectangular windows correspond to the imaging telescope with which the patterns of the Kordylewski cloud were measured."
J. Slíz-Balogh<p>The objects, being dust clouds, are very faint and hard to see. While Kordylewski observed them in 1961, other astronomers have looked there and given mixed reports over the following decades. This discouraged many astronomers from joining the search, as study co-author Judit Slíz-Balogh <a href="https://ras.ac.uk/news-and-press/research-highlights/earths-dust-cloud-satellites-confirmed" target="_blank">explained</a>, <em>"The Kordylewski clouds are two of the toughest objects to find, and though they are as close to Earth as the Moon are largely overlooked by researchers in astronomy. It is intriguing to confirm that our planet has dusty pseudo-satellites in orbit alongside our lunar neighbor."</em></p>
Will this have any impact on space travel?<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="c3d797fff5430c64afcb5a49bddc3616"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/Ou8N3v9SFPE?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>Lagrange points have been put forward as excellent locations for a space station or satellites like the <a href="https://jwst.nasa.gov/about.html" target="_blank">James Webb Telescope</a> to be put into orbit, as they would require little fuel to stay in place. Knowing about a massive dust cloud that could damage sensitive equipment already being there could save money and lives in the future. While we only know about the clouds at Lagrange points four and five right now, the study's authors suggest there could be more at the other points.</p><p>While the discovery of a couple of dust clouds might not seem all that impressive, it is the result of a half-century of astronomical and mathematical work and reminds us that wonders are still hidden in our cosmic backyard. While you might never need to worry about these clouds again, there is nothing wrong with looking at the sky with wonder at the strange and fantastic things we can discover. </p>
New cancer-scanning technology reveals a previously unknown detail of human anatomy.
- Scientists using new scanning technology and hunting for prostate tumors get a surprise.
- Behind the nasopharynx is a set of salivary glands that no one knew about.
- Finding the glands may allow for more complication-free radiation therapies.
PSMA PET/CT technology<span style="display:block;position:relative;padding-top:56.25%;" class="rm-shortcode" data-rm-shortcode-id="676e611b970c9b516cace0870447b325"><iframe type="lazy-iframe" data-runner-src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/RHAyoQF09X4?rel=0" width="100%" height="auto" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" style="position:absolute;top:0;left:0;width:100%;height:100%;"></iframe></span><p>PSMA PET/CT is a new combination of <a href="https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/pet-scan/about/pac-20385078" target="_blank">PET scans</a> and <a href="https://www.mayoclinic.org/tests-procedures/ct-scan/about/pac-20393675" target="_blank">CT scans</a> that is believed to offer a more reliable means of locating prostate cancer metastasis. A <a href="https://www.cancer.gov/news-events/cancer-currents-blog/2020/prostate-cancer-psma-pet-ct-metastasis" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">study</a> published last spring suggests it may be the most accurate way to diagnose prostate cancer metastasis than any method previously available.</p><p>Prior to PSMA PET/CT, the primary way to look for metastatic prostate cancer was to image the body using x-ray-based CT scans and to perform bone scans, since bone is where prostate cancer often spreads. CT scans, however, often miss small tumors, and bone scans can generate false positives as a result of other damage or abnormalities that have nothing to do with prostate cancer.</p><p>PSMA PET/CT scans track the travels of an intravenously administered radioactive glucose tracer throughout the body. For hunting down prostate cancer, this tracer contains a molecule that binds to the <a href="https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1472940/" target="_blank">PSMA</a> protein that's present in large amounts in prostate tumors. The molecule is linked to a radioisotope, <a href="https://netrf.org/2018/11/13/gallium-68-scan-for-neuroendocrine-tumors/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">gallium-68</a> (Ga-68).</p><p>In last spring's research, PSAM PET/CT was shown to be 27 percent more accurate than previous methods at finding metastases (92 percent accuracy as opposed to 65 percent). In addition, it was found to be much less likely to produce false positives, and it was particularly good at detecting tumors far removed from the prostate.</p>
A good kind of avoidance behavior<p>"Radiation therapy can damage the salivary glands," says Vogel, "which may lead to complications. Patients may have trouble eating, swallowing, or speaking, which can be a real burden."</p><p>The researchers looked back through the cases of 723 patients who had undergone radiation treatment, interested in seeing if inadvertent radiation of the tubarial glands was associated with the complications experienced by the patients. It turned out that this <em>was</em> the case: In cases where more radiation had been delivered to this area, patients did indeed report more in the way of complications of the type one would expect when salivary glands are radiated.</p><p>Now that we know the tubarial salivary glands exist, therapists can stay out of their way. Vogel says, "For most patients, it should technically be possible to avoid delivering radiation to this newly discovered location of the salivary gland system in the same way we try to spare known glands."</p><p>He's hopeful that that things may be about to get at least a bit better for cancer patients: "Our next step is to find out how we can best spare these new glands and in which patients. If we can do this, patients may experience less side effects which will benefit their overall quality of life after treatment."</p>
A new survey found that 27 percent of millennials are saving more money due to the pandemic, but most can't stay within their budgets.