What will human resources look like a decade from now? This is the question asked of HR Execs by Workforce Management magazine. You can read their full report here.

The headlines are fairly unsurprising. I really hope that HR is shaken up more than this in the next ten years. But, they are insightful in describing the current trajectory of thinking by the people in charge of HR at the world’s large companies:

  • Collaboration will be key. The top-ranked prediction was: “There will be an increased focus on infrastructures — such as social networks and wikis — to support building strong relationships and collaboration.” (This is a topic one of our team members, Dean van Leeuwen, is an expert in, having completed an MBA thesis on learning about alliances from coral reef systems – see his presentation on “A Brave New World” that highlights collaboration is crucial to success in the next decade).
  • The second-most popular choice predicted novel work arrangements: “The structure of work will become more adaptive, more informal and less focused on formal structure and static design solutions.”
  • Expanded use of virtual teams of employees who communicate extensively through videoconferencing, e-mail and text messaging.
  • The concept of “offshoring” will cease to exist.
  • Millennials (Gen Y) will redefine jobs, doing work at home and taking home to work.
  • The labor market will look more like eBay than Monster or Yahoo HotJobs.
  • Companies will engage in “crowd sourcing.”
  • An HR executive will become CEO of a Fortune 100 firm
  • Leadership development will be critical
  • “The strategic role of decisions about talent and how it is organized will increasingly be recognized as pivotal to sustainable strategic success. Leaders will be held accountable for the quality of those decisions.”
  • There will be continued labor shortages, particularly in leadership positions.
  • “Companies will need to balance the need for a unified global culture with local strategic and cultural differences and make core global values locally relevant and easily understandable for all employees.”
  • The corporate social responsibility movement will grow stronger.
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