Managing tomorrow's people: The future of work to 2020

Managing tomorrow's people: The future of work to 2020

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Description: HR has been perceived by many as a passive, service oriented function, but given the context of tomorrow’s workplace and business environment, we believe HR is at a crossroads and will go one of three ways.

Author: Michael Rendell  | Visits: 330 | Page Views: 572
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tomorrow’s people*
The future of work to 2020




The journey to Blue


Life in the Blue World: the main themes


The Blue HR business model


Work in the Orange World:
the people challenges


The Orange HR business model


Are you ready for tomorrow’s world?



Work in the Blue World: the people challenges

The journey to Orange

Definitions: Scenarios, Millenials

Corporate is king:
welcome to the Blue World


Life in the Orange World: the main themes


Small is beautiful:
welcome to the Orange World


2020: where three worlds co-exist



Companies care:
welcome to the Green World


Our methodology


The journey to Green


Global forces


Life in the Green World: the main themes


PwC Graduate Survey findings


Work in the Green World:
the people challenges




The Green HR business model



At the beginning of 2007, a team from
PricewaterhouseCoopers gathered to explore the
future of people management. Our thinking was
sparked by the rising profile of people issues on
the business agenda – the talent crisis, an ageing
workforce in the western world, the increase in
global worker mobility and the organisational and
cultural issues emerging from the dramatic pace of
business change in the past decade. We wanted
to explore how these issues might evolve and how
organisations need to adapt to stay successful.
Many studies have attempted to capture a vision
of the workplace of the future, but we set out to
understand the people challenges that will impact
organisations and consequently the implications
this will have on the HR function as we know it.
Few business thinkers have proposed that the
marketing or finance functions might cease to exist
in their present forms, but some are starting to say
this about HR.
With the help of the James Martin Institute for
Science and Civilisation at the Said Business
School in Oxford, we used ScenariosA1 to think

A1 – Appendix 1, see appendix page 27

about the future of people
management. Our team has
identified three possible ‘worlds’
– plausible futures to provide a
context in which to examine the
way organisations might operate
in the future. In addition we surveyed almost 3,000
MillennialsA1 – new graduates from the US, China
and the UK who represent a generation just joining
the workforce, to test their views and expectations
on the future of work.
We hope you will help us to encourage debate
around this critical topic. It is said that the future is
not a place we go to, but one which we create. And
while things happen that we cannot predict, we can
still be prepared.

Michael Rendell
Partner and leader of Human Resource Services
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP

Managing tomorrow’s people Foreword

The journey to 2020




In July 2007, 2,739 graduates
from China, the US and the UK
told us about their
expectations of work. They had
all been offered jobs with PwC
but had yet to start. Some of
the key findings are highlighted
throughout this report
While some of the findings
seem to confirm current
received thinking about the
future of work, a number of
themes defy conventional
PwC is the biggest recruiter
of graduates in the UK and
a leading global recruiter
of graduates. A3

When we started our research we had some
preconceived ideas about tomorrow’s world. Many
studies have been undertaken to explore the future
of society, the environment, business and even the
workplace. Our challenge was to focus explicitly
on the business context and the impact on people
and work.
While we cannot claim to have identified all the
possibilities, several strong themes have emerged:

1. Business models will change
The pace of change in the next decade will be
even more fundamental. Technology, globalisation,
demographics and other factors will influence
organisational structures and cultures. Our
scenarios outline three organisational models of the

A3 – Appendix 3, see appendix for a full breakdown of the findings page 30

• large corporates turning into mini-states and
taking on a prominent role in society
• specialisation creating the rise of collaborative
• the environmental agenda forcing fundamental
changes to business strategy.

2. People management will present one
of the greatest business challenges
Businesses currently grapple with the realities of
skills shortages, managing people through change
and creating an effective workforce. By 2020, the
radical change in business models will mean
companies facing issues such as:
• the boundary between work and home life
disappearing as companies assume greater
responsibility for the social welfare of their

3. The role of HR will undergo
fundamental change
HR has been perceived by many as a passive,
service oriented function, but given the context of
tomorrow’s workplace and business environment,
we believe HR is at a crossroads and will go one of
three ways:
• with a proactive mindset and focused on
business strategy, HR will become the heart of
the organisation taking on a new wider people
remit incorporating and influencing many other
aspects of the business

• stringent people measurement techniques to
control and monitor productivity and
• the rise in importance of social capital and
relationships as the drivers of business success.

• the function will become the driver of the
corporate social responsibility agenda within the
• the function will be seen as transactional and
almost entirely outsourced. In this scenario, HR
will exist in a new form outside the organisation
and in house HR will be predominantly focused
on people sourcing.

“HR needs to
ensure it is fit for
purpose in order
to be proactive
and maintain or
develop its
influence in the
Keith Murdoch,
Remuneration and
Benefits Manager,
British American Tobacco

Managing tomorrow’s people Introduction


2020: Where three worlds co-exist


We believe it
is possible that all
three worlds will
co-exist in some
form, perhaps
distinct by
geographic region,
or industry sector
for example.

We identified a number of global forces that will
have significant influenceA2, and of those we felt
that individualism versus collectivism and corporate
integration versus fragmentation would be the most
significant. From this axis we identified three worlds
and business models for the future.
(See figure 1 opposite.)
We tried to capture the events and trends which
draw a picture of life in tomorrow’s world and the
people management challenges that might prevail.
The forecasting timelines and world descriptions
are not intended to be taken literally as complete
visions of alternative futures. They are designed to
present ideas and illustrate the more important
points around the people management challenges.
We believe it is likely that all three worlds will
co-exist in some form, perhaps distinct by
geographic region, or industry sector for example.
As you read this document think about how your
own organisation might be positioned within these
scenarios and what implications this has upon your
current people management strategy.

A2 – Appendix 2, see appendix page 28

Managing tomorrow’s people Introduction

2020: three worlds

Figure 1


Corporate is king: the Blue world
Where big company capitalism
reigns supreme
In a nutshell:
The globalisers take centre stage, consumer preference dominates,
a corporate career separates the haves from the have nots.






The Indian
economy expands
dramatically as
it goes through
a new wave of
acquisition sprees
and becomes a
global leader in
several industry

World’s biggest
search engine and
largest technology
company merge

The brain-drain of
Eastern European
workers starts to
reverse as workers
return home
to set up and
lead corporates,
building on
expertise gained
in several sectors

A decade of M&A
across industry
sectors peaks

Global warming
changes the
climate of Europe;
as the snow on the
Alps melts, skiers
head to the US

of Chinese respondents expect
they will use a language at work
other than their mother tongue
Size matters
The sheer size of corporations in 2020 means
that a significant number now operate with annual
turnovers that far exceed the GDP of many
individual countries, particularly in the developing
world. With echoes of the business models
promoted by companies like General Motors in the
middle of the last century, many companies now
provide the equivalent of the welfare state for their
employees to ensure they lock the best talent into
their organisations. Internally managed service
centres are sophisticated and highly efficient –
using processes perfected by the outsourcers of
the ‘nineties. People metrics become an essential
part of everyday life to keep track of individual
performance and productivity.

Corporates divide the haves and
have nots
The power of corporations means that a much
greater divide has opened up between those
working for global corporations and those
working in smaller enterprises. Employees of
mega-corporations have everything they need laid
on. Those working for smaller businesses remain at
the whim of housing markets and basic statutory
entitlements, needing to self-supplement
educational support, health and insurance
coverage, what remains of the public health
system, and so on.

Welcome to the technology age
Technology is all pervasive, entire cities in the
US, Japan and the UK operate with ubiquitous
high-speed wireless networks that allow all
commercial transactions, entertainment and
communications to be handled by every individual
on credit card-sized devices. Pinpointing exactly
what you want and being shown where it is
available from wherever you happen to be is now
taken for granted, allowing businesses continuously
to refine and individualise their relationships with
consumers, employees and shareholders.

“Our search for
talent is now a
global search.
The competition
for talent will only
increase further.”
Hanspeter Horsch
Associate Director,
Human Resources
Samsung Semiconductor
Europe GmbH

Managing tomorrow’s people Blue World



of respondents
think that workplace
flexibility will not
exist; they believe
they will be working
formal office hours

Corporates drive lifestyle choices
Sophisticated measurement and segmentation
strategies mean companies can target goods and
services across their customer base and to
employees. For example ‘green politics’ is seen as
a lifestyle choice rather than a meaningful political
movement. Corporations provide environmental
products and services to those who express a

Managing people in the Blue World
• Companies have become the key provider of
services to employees. People management
now encompasses many different aspects of
employees lives’, often including housing, health
and even education for their children.
• This strategy has led to an increase in staff
retention rates as people policies seek to lock in
talent, but the top talent is still hard to attract
and retain, many senior executives use personal
agents to seek out the best deals.

• Mass consolidation has had an impact on
cultural issues. Leadership teams now have a
high focus on the evolution of the corporate
culture with rigorous recruitment processes to
ensure new employees fit the corporate ideal.
Existing staff are subject to compulsory
corporate culture learning and development
• Huge people costs drive the need for robust
metrics and analysis. Employee engagement,
performance and productivity are all measured
systematically. Leadership can access people
data on a daily basis. This also provides an early
warning signal of non-corporate behaviour or
below standard performance.
• Technology pervades every realm of business
and leisure activity. The line between inside
work and outside work is often blurred by
technology with employers providing the
platform. This also provides employers with
added insights to staff preferences.


Employee profile

• The Chief People Officer (CPO) is a powerful
and influential figure, sometimes known as
the ‘Head of People and Performance’ who
sits on the leadership board.

• Quality assurance across the globe drives
the need to create consistency across the
organisational supply chain.

• People are graded and profiled at the age of
16 and categorised for work suitability both
in terms of capability and individual

• Metrics and data are used to drive business
performance through complex staff
segmentation strategies which identify
thousands of skills sets – creating precision
around sourcing the right candidates for the
right tasks as well as on the job performance
measurement and assessment.
• The science of human capital has developed
to such a degree that the connection
between people and performance is
explicitly demonstrated by the CPO.
• As organisations increase in size, their risk
management systems are similarly extended.
• The people risk agenda is one which is taken
seriously by the board – as a result, the CPO
and HR business partners become more
• Those responsible for people management
increasingly need financial, analytical,
marketing and risk management skills to
measure the impact of the human capital in
their organisation and to attract and retain
the best talent.

• The challenges of size and scale mean that
these organisations are at greater risk from
external threats such as technology
terrorism or meltdown and they find it
difficult to effect change quickly.
• As companies try to reinforce corporate
values, these can often be at odds with
cultural values and can present challenges.
• Organisations must develop models and
systems designed and run by HR
professionals which enable individuals and
their agents to negotiate the value of their
human capital based on employees’
personal investment strategies.

• The top talent is highly prized and fought
over. In most cases people are linked to an
organisation by the age of 18.
• University education is managed by the
company according to the organisational
career path chosen by the individual.
• At the top level, employees take far greater
control of their careers; often senior
executives have their own personal agents
who represent them to find the best roles
and deals.
• Lower level employees are also taking
active charge of their careers; they are
aware of the value that their human capital
represents and are demanding about the
circumstances in which they will invest.
• Those outside the corporate sphere find
employment choices are limited to smaller
companies that are unable to provide the
same level of development and financial


Managing tomorrow’s people Blue World

Who leads people

A people management model for the Blue World


In the Blue World where corporate is king, the people and performance model below is the closest to what
many leading companies are aspiring to today – linking HR interventions to improvements in business
performance and using more sophisticated human capital metrics to evaluate corporate activity. Under this
scenario the management of people and performance becomes a hard business discipline, at least equal in
standing to finance in the corporate hierarchy.

Human resources: the current model

Figure 2

People and performance: the 2020 model


Future view
Extract from
a newspaper in 2016


3rd April 2016


Italian pharmaceutical
giant Como saw its
shares climb higher
yesterday in
expectation of positive
news in its quarterly
results due next week.
The company, now
worth an estimated
€ 20bn has profited
from the success of its
new line of statins in
Europe and America,
but also in China, the
fastest growing
pharmaceutical market

The quarterly report
will be looked at
closely by companies
inside the industry and
beyond. Many credit
Como’s unusually
rapid rise and
dominance of parts of
the sector to the way
CEO Mario Fabrizzi
manages the
organisation’s human
capital, which the
company also reports
on in detail. Last year
earnings per employee
rose by 7% while costs
per employee fell 5%,

generating a much
improved return on
human capital.
Mr Fabrizzi said, “You
have to measure the
things you attach value
to. Measuring the
performance of our
people has allowed
us to quickly make
improvements to any
underperforming part
of the business, to
make effective plans
for succession and to
return real value to our

Managing tomorrow’s people Blue World

People metrics are integral to
analysts’ pricing strategies

Companies care: the Green World
Where consumers and employees
force change
In a nutshell:
Companies develop a powerful social conscience and green sense of
responsibility. Consumers demand ethics and environmental credentials
as a top priority. Society and business see their agenda align.





The UK launches
the London
Carbon Trading

The US signs the
Kyoto II agreement
and becomes a
leading advocate
for actions to
reduce the rate of
global warming

India becomes a
key player in the
corporate social
agenda with a
focus on
preserving the
Indian culture and

Hybrid or fully
electric cars

A group of
scientists confirm
that the rate of
global warming
is slowing

of respondents believe they will
work across geographic borders
more than their parents did.

components of the supply chain through vertical
integration. Rigid contractual obligations are in
place covering every eventuality.

How green are you?

The environmental lobby is so pervasive that
companies must be quick to react to consumer
concerns about any aspect of their business which
could be deemed unethical. Clear communication
and clarity about products and services is essential.

The audit process and quarterly company reports
are characterised by a focus on measuring
greenness detailing carbon emissions ratings, and
carbon exchange activity, as well as the more
traditional company valuations. This is an indication
of the importance shareholders and investors place
on these issues which are reflected in the share

Supply chain control

Big corporate fines

Companies have strong control over their supplier
networks to ensure that corporate ethical values
are upheld across the supply chain, and be able to
troubleshoot when things go wrong. This has led to
many organisations taking greater ownership of key

In the business world ethical behaviour is the most
important attribute to attain and preserve. Brands
can rise and fall on the basis of perceived green
credentials, with government imposed corporate
fines for bad behaviour in this highly regulated
world. Corporate responsibility is not an altruistic
nice to have, but a business imperative.

Consumers drive corporate behaviour

“We are
developing an
employer brand
reflecting our
identity as an
employer and
promoting our
long term
with our
Hughes Fourault,
Global Head of
Compensation, Benefits
and International Mobility,
Société Général

Managing tomorrow’s people Green World



of US respondents
will actively seek out
employers whose
behaviour reflects
their own.

Managing people in the Green World
• New graduates look for employers with strong
environmental and social credentials; in
response HR departments play a key role in
developing the corporate social responsibility
• Employees are expected to uphold corporate
values and targets around the green agenda.
Most are given carbon credit tokens which are
used like ration books to be cashed in for
printing documents in hard copy, company
travel and other anti-societal activities.
• The HR function is renamed ‘People and
Society’, the leader being a senior member of
the company’s executive team.
• The need to travel to meet clients and
colleagues is replaced with technological
solutions which reduce the need for face-time.
Air travel in particular is only permitted in
exceptional circumstances and is expensive.

Working across teams in different locations
therefore presents enormous challenges to
global businesses, and the HR function
dedicates significant energy to generating virtual
social networks across the operation and the
client base.
• Most companies provide staff with corporate
transportation options between work and home
to minimise the need for car use. This has led to
many companies choosing to relocate parts of
their operation to where people are based and
out of big cities.


Employee profile

• The CEO drives the people strategy
for the organisation, believing that the
people in the organisation and their
behaviours and role in society have a
direct link to the organisation’s
success or failure.

• Quality assurance and vigilance to
minimise risk is paramount.

• The common belief is that employees
choose employers who appear to
match their beliefs and values. The
reality is that the talent pool for the
brightest and best remains
competitive, and whilst CSR rankings
are a factor, the overall incentive
package remains all important.
Incentives however are not just
reward-related; for example, they
include paid secondments to work
for social projects and needy causes
– a popular trend post-2010.

• The CEO works closely with the Head
of People and Society (HPS) who,
with a team comprising a mix of HR,
marketing, corporate social
responsibility and data specialists,
drives the social responsibility
• Employment law drives responsible
employer behaviour and forces the
HPS to develop innovative solutions in
times of downturn – such as sending
employees on secondments to other
organisations where they can develop
their skills and contribute to the wider
society, bringing employees back in
when the economic environment
improves. The HPS is therefore a
well-networked individual.

• The greatest threat to businesses in
this scenario is the possibility of
non-socially responsible behaviour
either within the organisation or in any
part of its supply chain.
• Organisations operate in a highly
regulated world, where employment
law makes it difficult to lay people off
in line with market fluctuations. They
struggle to monitor everything across
the operation to be compliant with the
ethical ideal for which they strive. But
being compliant is not enough:
organisations are under pressure to
raise the bar and establish policies
and practices which go beyond
regulatory requirements. The danger
in such a regulated world is that
companies are so preoccupied with
compliance policies that the ability to
be flexible and explore new
opportunities is hampered.

• Because organisations adopt a more
holistic approach to developing
their people, including personal
development and measuring the
impact they have on the wider world,
employees are more engaged and as
a result are often likely to have a job
for life.


Managing tomorrow’s people Green World

Who leads people

A people management model for the Green World


In the Green World where companies care, corporate responsibility (CR) is good. The CR agenda is fused
with people management. As society becomes a convert to the sustainable living movement, the people
management function is forced to embrace sustainability as part of its people engagement and talent
management agendas. Under this scenario successful companies must engage with society across a
broader footprint. Communities, customers and contractors all become equal stakeholders along with
employees and shareholders.

Human resources: the current model

Figure 3

People and society: the 2020 model


Future view

In 2020, it is a legal requirement
that companies disclose their
environmental activity. This also
acts as a key differentiator when
recruiting and retaining talent.

Sustainable business report


G-BANK recognises its statutory responsibilities under the
Climate Change Act 2015, Ecosystem Change Act 2016,
and all other sustainability legislation. We have been active
participants in the International Business Panel on Climate
Change since it was established in 2010.
The group has adopted the European
Sustainable and Responsible
Corporations guidance and has
comprehensive company-wide policies
on sustainability, energy and climate
change, and responsible procurement.
We require all suppliers to be certified
as carbon balanced and eco-friendly.
During 2020 G-Bank made further
changes in its energy providers in 25
countries, so that 95% of our total
energy consumption now comes from
renewable sources. Our extensive use
of videophone technology and virtual
meeting software means that business
travel has reduced by 75% over the
past five years.
In the last quarter of the year our
environmental auditors completed their
annual sustainability audit and issued
an unqualified opinion. This has

allowed G-Bank to retain its status as
a AA+ company within the S&P
sustainability index.
Key environmental data is provided

Key Environmental Statistics

2020 2019

Energy use – properties
Total energy consumption – Gw
Energy consumption/FTE – Kw
Renewables as a
% of total energy consumption







CO2 emissions – properties
CO2 – kilotonnes
CO2 – tonnes/FTE

Business travel
Total travel-related CO2 – kilotonnes
Travel-related CO2
per FTE – tonnes/FTE

Managing tomorrow’s people Green World

Extract from
operating review

Small is beautiful: the Orange World
Where big is bad, for business, for people and for the
In a nutshell:
Global businesses fragment, localism prevails, technology empowers a
low impact, high-tech business model. Networks prosper while large
companies fall.





Facebook global
reaches 1 billion

Skill shortages
push up wages in
China, switching
the balance of
power to the
individual away
from the collective

Record number
of corporate
demergers and

71% of Europeans
shop at local
farmers markets,
popularity of
supermarkets in
steep decline

The California
Gaming Guild
achieves record
pay deal for its
7 Star rated

Only 0.6% of UK respondents
think that they will mainly work
from home
A free economy
Trade barriers come down creating a truly free
market economy and countries such as China
quickly realise that without embracing full
free-market forces they will be unable to compete.

Complex supply chains
Supply chains are built from complex, organic
associations of specialist providers, varying greatly
from region to region and market to market. The
solution is now not to outsource, but to fragment.
Looser, less tightly regulated clusters of companies
are seen to work more effectively. Often functions
are picked up on a task by task basis by ‘garage’
operations, with each transaction bought and sold
by the second on one of a number of electronic
trading platforms, with local and global exchanges.

Millennials drive technology use
Networks are key
The dream of a single global village has been
replaced by a global network of linked, but
separate and much smaller communities. The
exponential rise in the efficiency of online systems
for buying, selling and trading services and skills
has debunked completely the old orthodoxy that
economies arise from scale. Businesses are much
smaller and roles are more fluid.

The millennial generation, comfortable with
technology, is driving the usage of technology as
the interaction with services, government and work,
with an emphasis on choice and anti-monopoly
thinking encouraging innovations in this area.

“Diversity is a
huge challenge,
but also a great
Getting diversity
right will be a
critical future
success factor
for us.”
Peter Johann
Director Global HR

Managing tomorrow’s people Orange World



of Chinese female
respondents expect
to have more than
ten employers during
their career

Labour market enters the guild era
In a tightening labour market individuals develop
portfolio careers, working on a short-term,
contractual basis. They join craft guilds which
manage career opportunities, provide training and
development opportunities.

Managing people in the Orange World
• Organisations recognise that their employees
and the relationships they have across their
networks are the foundation of company
success. Companies seek to promote and
sustain people networks. This is achieved
through incentivising employees around
achieving connectivity goals and collaborative
• As guilds become more important, they take on
many of the responsibilities previously assumed
by employers including sourcing talent, medical
insurance and pensions, development and

• Employees are usually aligned to guilds and
access opportunities through professional
portals provided by guild networks – work
can be bought, sold and traded in this way.
Employment contracts are flexible to
accommodate staff churn and a rapid
• Workers are categorised and rewarded for
having specialist expertise; this has created
increased demand for workers to have a
personal stake in the organisation’s success
with direct ownership share schemes and
project delivery-related bonuses becoming
the norm.
• Recruitment has become largely a sourcing
function and has been merged with the
management of the huge number of contracts
and price agreements required for each
company’s network of partner organisations.


Employee profile

• People strategy is replaced with
sourcing strategy, as maintaining the
optimum supply chain of people is
key to this networked world.

• Organisations are heavily reliant on
their external networks to deliver what
they need, and a combination of
watertight contractual agreements
combined with a healthy degree of
business trust is imperative.

• The responsibility for skills
development shifts wholesale to

• The People Sourcing Director liaises
with expertise networks and guilds to
attract what they need for the best

• When a part of the network breaks
down, the smaller size of
organisations means they are able to
flex and adapt quickly to change. But
the flip side of this means that the
lack of company infrastructure and
resources to deal with sudden
problems can be a challenge
• There is also a strong emphasis on
technology to support the supply
chain and to develop social capital
and collaboration.

• People are more likely to see
themselves as members of a
particular skill or professional network
than as an employee of a particular
• Employees rely on achieving high
scoring ‘eBay’ style ratings of past job
performance to land the next
• Specialisation is highly prized and
workers seek to develop the most
sought after specialist skills to
command the biggest reward


Managing tomorrow’s people Orange World

Who leads people

A people management model for the Orange World


Our third world is in many ways the most radical. In this world, economies are comprised primarily of a
vibrant middle market, full of small companies, contractors and portfolio workers. People management
is about ensuring these small companies have the people resources they need to function competitively.
This allows an important role to be carved out for HR, one where the people supply chain is a critical
component of the business and is strategically led by the HR function. But the flip side is that this could
also see in-house HR becoming a sourcing or procurement function, with the high-end people
development aspects of HR being managed externally by guilds.

Current model

Figure 4

Operational model in 2020

Future view


In the Orange World, Workbook,
an employment networking site,
is used as a key route for people
to find jobs, host their work
experience and join networks

Managing tomorrow’s people Orange World

Extract from
employment networking
site in 2020



A summary of
the people
in 2020

Blue World

Green World

Orange World


Long careers and career
planning. Succession plans for
key performers.

Holistic whole company
approach to manpower planning.

Short-term careers. Lots of
contracting. HR strongly focused
on filling fixed-term vacancies.


Strong performance focus
across all levels. Top talent have
personal agents.

Broad definition of talent.
Competencies focus.

Minimal – key players in the
central ‘core’ only, but liaison
with external agents crucial


Engagement around
performance and performance
metrics. Heavy promotion of
corporate culture attributes and

Engagement around work-life
balance and social responsibility.

Short-term engagement around

Reward and

Strongly performance-related.
Pay for performance. Highly
structured according to role

Focus on total reward over
career life-time.

Contract based-pay for projects.
Individual stake in projects as
incentive for contractors.

Learning and

Begins at school. Focus on skills
for the job – metrics driven.

Holistic approach to learning
– much provided in-house.
But secondments and paid
sabbaticals for worthy causes
are common

Minimal provision in house. Skills
training via new crafts guilds.

Table 1

Are you ready for tomorrow’s world?

The Orange World in some ways represents the
most radical departure. Will big business find
itself outflanked by a vibrant, innovative and
entrepreneurial middle market? Will the work
expectations of the millenials be such that portfolio
lives will become far more pervasive? Will some
larger organisations introduce internal markets and
formal networks in place of old style hierarchies to
create structures where agility, speed and flexibility
are key to success?

The world of work is going to become even more
complex. Our message is: take a long hard look
at your organisation models and current people
management strategies; how are you addressing
reward, international mobility, employee
engagement, development and learning? Think
about how these might change in the future and
whether or not the strategy you currently have in
place is future proof, is sustainable, sufficient and
relevant for the plausible worlds of tomorrow.
The survey we conducted is clearly representative
of only a part of the millennial generation. But what
truly surprised us is the desire in this group for
stability and regularity in a changing world. Many
people said they expect to work regular hours, from
the office or on location, and would have only

“HR will continue
to increase its
alignment to
the business,
with greater
accountability for
delivering specific
objectives. This
will result in a
greater need for
HR to quantify
itself in respect of
how we deliver
against the
bottom line. ...

Managing tomorrow’s people Are you ready for tomorrow’s world

What will the world look like in 2020 – Blue, Green,
Orange or something else entirely? We believe it is
highly plausible that all three organisational models
described in this report will feature in tomorrow’s
world, sometime or somewhere and to some
extent. We already see some multinationals heading
in the direction of the Blue World business model.
The energy industry has been demonstrating
elements of the Green World for some time. We
firmly believe that, as the CSR and sustainability
agenda grows many other industries (and
geographies) will take on characteristics of the
green business model, for example the retail and
manufacturing sectors. Consumer preference will
have a huge impact when it comes to the green



...We will also need
to prepare ourselves
for a new generation
entering the market
place. A significantly
more mobile
generation with
differing expectations
from an employer,
and we will need to
adapt to reflect this.”
Michael Poulten
Personnel Manager
Reward and Benefits
Tesco Stores

between two and five employers in a lifetime. But
equally let’s not ignore the Chinese women in our
sample who expected far more flexibility and to
have at least ten employers in a lifetime – perhaps
these might be workers for the Orange World of the

How can organisations plan for the
future of people management?

Our final message is to the HR function itself. We
believe there is a significant opportunity for the HR
function to really own the people management
agenda within organisations, to truly drive strategy
and have the tools and information to become one
of the most powerful and influential parts of the
business operation. But – and yes there is a but –
we can also see that complacency and a failure by
HR to take the lead could result in the function
being outsourced almost entirely, or absorbed by
line managers or into other functions such as
finance or marketing. The fate of HR as a function
hangs in the balance. The challenge for HR is to
figure out how to make itself relevant for
tomorrow’s world.

Figure 5


A1 Definition

We worked with the James Martin Institute for
Science and Civilisation at the Said Business
School in Oxford to think about the factors that
currently affect business and those which we
believe will grow in importance in the future. We
mapped these around a matrix and developed a
number of scenarios: plausible futures around each.
The result was the three worlds which we describe
in this report. Shell famously used scenarios to help
them to predict the Middle East oil crisis in 1973.
The process can help organisations think differently
about the future and plan for the inevitable

Wikipedia says ‘The Millenials’ are also known as:
‘Generation Y – a term used to describe someone
born immediately after Generation X…one of
several terms (also including The Internet
Generation) used to identify the same group. There
is much dispute as to the exact range of birth years
that constitutes Generation Y and the Millennials
and whether these terms are specific to North
America, the Anglophone world, or people
For the purposes of this document, we refer to
‘Millennials’ as those who entered the workforce
after 1 July 2000.

Managing tomorrow’s people Appendix



A2 2020: our methodology


We started our research by examining the forces
that currently affect global business and are likely
to have significant impact on the future. Clearly
there are many social, environmental, religious and
demographic factors that will have significant
influence but we felt that some of these issues have
been tackled extensively in other studies. We chose
to focus on a number of potentially conflicting
factors which we feel have the greatest impact on
our subject matter – people management. Initially
we explored the following eight forces: (see
diagram opposite).

Our scenario planning exercise revealed that
individualism, collectivism, corporate integration
and business fragmentation would be the most
significant factors affecting global business for the
purposes of our study. We aligned these along two
axes, around which we developed our scenarios
further. We call these ‘worlds’. We began with four
worlds: yellow, red, blue and green, with the yellow
and red worlds straddling the top half of the
quadrant. In these fragmented worlds we
discovered through our analysis that the differences
across individualism and collectivism were hard to
define in the fragmented world. Both of these
worlds relied upon networks to survive, were, small,
nimble and adaptable. The motivations were the
only variant factor where the red world was more
self-serving than the collective altruism of the
yellow world. We decided therefore to combine
these themes to create a single orange world which
represented the fragmented business model.

Managing tomorrow’s people Appendix

Global forces

Figure 6


A3 PwC graduate survey findings


In July 2007, 2,739
graduates from
China, the UK and
the US were polled
about their
expectations of
work. They had all
been offered jobs
at PwC but had yet
to start.





Do you believe you will work across
geographic borders more than your
parents did?











Do you envisage using a language other
than your first language at work?





















A mix of





Mainly from





Mainly in an









Will you deliberately seek to work for
employers whose corporate responsibility
behaviour reflects your own values?

Do you think you’ll work...?

Not answered


Mainly flexible









Regular office





Not answered
How many employers do you think
you will have in your career?


Mainly regular
office hours

Do you think your office hours will

























Not answered







Managing tomorrow’s people Appendix





There were numerous people involved in this
project both within and outside
PricewaterhouseCoopers. Our particular thanks to
Angela Wilkinson and team at the James Martin
Institute and to all the companies who shared their
views and insights.

Michael Rendell

Our thanks to the core project team: Sandy Pepper,
Cecilia Nordqvist, Matthew Blakstad, Leyla Yildirim,
Rachael Davison, Andrew Smith, Jackie Gittins,
Sonja Jones and the rest of the team who took part
in the scenarios workshop. We would also like to
thank Sivaramakrishnan Balasubramanian, Indrani
Rana (India), Svetlana Kruglova (Russia), Shinya
Yamamoto (Japan), Steve Rimmer (US) and many
other contributors from across our global network
of PricewaterhouseCoopers firms. Our final
acknowledgement goes to our internal human
capital teams around the world who helped us to
conduct the graduate survey.

Partner/Project leader
Human Resource Services
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (UK)
+44 (0) 20 721 34948

Partner and leader of Human Resource Services
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (UK)
+44 (0) 20 721 24945

Sandy Pepper

Karen Vander Linde
Leader, People and Change
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (US)
+1 (703) 918 3271

Leyla Yildirim
Human Resource Services
PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP (CI)
+44 (0) 1481 75 2039

© 2007 PricewaterhouseCoopers LLP.
All rights reserved.
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Managing tomorrow’s people

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