Today, your office headquarters could be an impressive office block, your humble study or the local deli. Because the modern office environment has changed (and continues to transform even while you read this), new work opportunities have arisen. Together with these opportunities several prerequisite changes have come to the forefront; changes which are essential if we are to ensure a successful outcome for both the worker and employer in the new millennium. Trying to play by the ‚old rules‛ will not work or be much fun in the 21st-century office where men and women will face challenges that others before them never even contemplated.
But what has wrought this change of which I speak? Technology. The world changes as fast as technology advances. It is technology that enables us to understand the global picture in an instant. It is technology that keeps us informed on the minute, every minute. The hour does not dictate when we will hear about an important or catastrophic event. We do not rely on traditional media any longer to report an incident on the radio or evening news. We can search for breaking news on the Internet ourselves, or receive important information on our cell in the form of text, voice or picture.

Ultimately, advances in technology have brought the world within the reach of individuals; individuals who are willing to share their opinions online as blogs and are able to read up on any subject using search engines. Technology has also allowed individuals to be more mobile. What is the point of fighting traffic to get to the office when you can calmly answer your urgent emails while drinking an espresso in your local ‚coffee office‛ while waiting to meet a client on your side of town?
Our world is changing at a pace that is difficult for most to comprehend. The old office rulebook will have to be rewritten if we want to play the game with the new generations who are aware of, and ready for, the changes that technology has created in the world of work. There is no longer just talk of the connection economy. We are beginning to see it and live it as connections and relationships become more important than they ever were before. Building and maintaining relationships will be vital to surviving the game; we will all need networks to help us move forward and up.
But if you thought you were playing the game on a humble snakes and ladders board from your childhood, think again. The game will have multiple networks – families, interests, skills development, work, friends and many others â€? which will stack up like a three dimensional game of snakes and ladders in your life. If you are skilled in the area of relationships, have solid values, and are able to use technology, you may be able to stay in the game.
It is possible that family life will face similar challenges to the workplace. Many young couples who are trying to manage this new work-life balance are finding it difficult. They’re stretched and uncertain and what seems most prevalent is a lack of foresight or direction. I am sure you have heard the saying about climbing the corporate ladder only to discover that the ladder was leaning against the wrong wall. Well, it this incorrect ladder choice that I believe will be one of the greatest ‚make or break‛ factors in the new game, especially for the female competitor. Climbing a ladder instead of sliding down a snake does not happen by chance but by dedicated pursuit. Those who are able to use their modern skills will survive and thrive in a world similar to that of the futuristic cartoon family, the Jetsons. All I am left to say is: Play!
So what will you need to excel in this game?

  • Flexibility
  • Skill
  • A good attitude
  • A strong value base
  • Technology skills
  • Discipline
  • Self-actualisation

And what are the new rules?

  • Win-win will always be best
  • Have a good understanding of trends, global changes and diversity
  • Be open to change
  • Have lifelong learning as a strategy
  • Develop strong networks and good relationships
  • Make sure you climb the right ladders
  • Beware of the snakes as you play
  • From time to time the dice will be put in a position of power. Make and use your decisions wisely
  • The dice will also fall badly from time to time. How you react will determine whether you stay in the game or not.


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