Ade McCormack, digital strategist and near futurist, looks at digital transformation and shares his thoughts on the organisational challenges posed by the digital age. 

The clock speed of business and society is on the rise. So much so that strategy and tactics are converging, as are the present and the future. Thus, the future of work is not an abstract concept reserved for discussions about the future working lives of those born today. The increased volatility we are experiencing today is putting traditional business models under great stress.

Post-industrial work

We are already seeing strong signs of work entering the post-industrial era.

Most notably:

  • Rote work whether in a factory (blue collar) or in a furnished office (white collar) is being replaced by new technology.
  • The emerging gig economy is changing the nature of work and organisational culture.
  • The nature of leadership is changing as the employer-employee power axis shifts towards the latter.

The digital age

For me, the digital age is mankind’s return to his true nature after several centuries of being treated like a cog in the factory machine.  Automation and efficiency were (and still are) key drivers for industrial era organisations.  But now the technology has arrived, in many respects the digital age is a return to our hunter-gatherer roots: the mobile phone being the new digital spear.  The industrial era functional/departmental model is no longer fit for purpose, so we need to look at other models for enterprise sustainability.

Modern organisations would do well to reshape organisations in the digital age to meet our anthropological needs to harness the full capability of our people.  This involves mobility, sociality, work-life integration, creativity, purpose and autonomy.

Think polymodal

To survive in the digital economy, organisations will have to have highly adaptive business models; the emphasis being on models, rather than just one model.

As mentioned in my earlier blog, polymodal business models represent the future.

The future is here

The future of work is already here. It’s been here for quite a while, albeit in isolated parts of the market. As we enter the digital age, the future of work is about to spread across the land with the ferocity of a forest fire. Be ready.


Digital strategist and near futurist