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The 2020 Workplace:What the Best Companies Can Do to Attract, Dev Paperback – Jan 22 2011

5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews

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Product Details

  • Paperback
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Canada / Management (Jan. 22 2011)
  • ISBN-10: 0061763284
  • ISBN-13: 978-0061763281
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 2 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #3,994,527 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product Description


“Provocative” (Inc.)

“Anyone interested in building a workplace comfortable to the upcoming connected and techie generation should find ideas worth exploring here. Highly recommended.” (Library Journal (starred review))

“This book includes key information that all learning professionals need to create a successful talent management strategy and leverage the benefits of social media in the workplace...[C]omprehensive and forward-thinking.” (Training and Development)

“Meister and Willyerd offer thoughtful tips, the latest in corporate training, and advice for negotiating this new workforce.” (Publishers Weekly)

“Provocative and entertaining.” (Miami Herald)

“In their visionary and pragmatic book, Jeanne C. Meister and Karie Willyerd equip you with the tools you need to attract the best people and help them do their best work. The battle for talent is more intense than ever; Meister and Willyerd show you how to win.” (—William C. Taylor; Founding Editor, Fast Company; Coauthor, Mavericks at Work)

“How you behave will matter more than what you sell in the future, and your reputation will drive your success. If you expect to maximize employee productivity and have a strong enterprise in 2020, Jeanne C. Meister and Karie Willyerd’s book is a must read.” (—Rob Quish, CEO JWT INSIDE and COO JWT North America)

Jeanne C. Meister and Karie Willyerd are on their game in The 2020 Workplace. With their workforce and talent insights, as well as their pragmatic approach to getting started, they’ve created a North Star for organizations to use on their journey to winning better talent today. (—David Smith, managing director. Accenture; coauthor, Workforce of One)

“Finally the imperatives for change are laid out in one spot, and a pragmatic roadmap for success is outlined. If you are dedicated to building healthy, productive next-generation organizations, you must read this amazing book.” (—Susan Burnett, Senior Vice President, Talent and Organization Development, Yahoo!)

In The 2020 Workplace, Jeanne C. Meister and Karie Willyerd share impressive research findings, tell compelling stories, and offer thought-provoking ideas that will become the basis for preparing to live in a global, technological, changing, and connected future. (—Dave Ulrich; Professor, Ross School of Business, University of Michigan; Partner, The RBL Group)

“Meister and Willyerd have blazed a trail with The 2020 Workplace. With key insights on how to manage tomorrow’s workforce—one that is beginning to show up to work today—this book is a must read for all in our profession!” (—Matthew Peters, Chief Learning Officer, Defense Intelligence Agency)

“The workplace is evolving faster than ever before, reinventing everything from how employees connect with an organization to how they learn, leverage information, and lead. Managers, don’t miss this opportunity to get a jumpstart the 2020 workforce before it’s too late. ” (—Lynne C. Lancaster, co-author of The M-Factor: How the Millennial Generation is Rocking the Workplace)

The 2020 Workplace is a thought-provoking guide to the emerging workplace trends and how they will shape business in the future.” (—Peter Cappelli, George W. Taylor Professor of Management and Professor of Education, The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania)

The 2020 Workplace provides tremendous insights, not only into the emerging workforce, but also into the changes that enterprises will have to make to effectively recruit, develop, and retain what will become increasingly scarce human resources.” (—Dr. Stanton D. Sloane, President and CEO, SRA International)

What a fresh and forward-looking read. Jeanne C. Meister and Karie Willyerd have tackled recruitment, motivation, learning, and leadership in the new and evolving ‘connected world,’ and they have offered best practices and their own thoughtful approaches for companies and leaders to consider. (—John W. Gill, Vice President, Human Resources, Rolls-Royce Energy Systems) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

From the Back Cover

What companies need to know—and do—to win and hold on to tomorrow's best employees

The workplace of the future is being shaped today by Web 2.0—a collection of breakthrough social media technologies—and by the Millennial Generation, people born between 1977 and 1997. The convergence of these emerging workplace trends has created a generation of hyperconnected workers who are placing increased pressure on employers to overhaul their approach to talent management. In The 2020 Workplace, human resources experts Jeanne C. Meister and Karie Willyerd offer a practical game plan companies can use to attract and keep these employees, and, in doing so, transform their organizations; achieve compelling business results, such as increased innovation and improved customer connectedness; and compete more effectively in the global marketplace.

Based on key findings from two surveys of global professionals, as well as case studies from organizations such as Deloitte, Cisco, Bell Canada, JetBlue, Nokia, and NASA, this book shows how the social technologies that are used outside the company in marketing to connect with customers can be adapted for use inside the company to connect with employees. Meister and Willyerd bolster their thought-provoking research with real-world examples of these practices in action, including a YouTube new-hire orientation contest, the use of Twitter for sourcing job candidates, and a video game for new hires. With twenty predictions for the 2020 workplace and a glossary for those who have never texted, posted to Facebook, or Tweeted, this book is a must-read guide to what companies should do—and are already doing—to create tomorrow's workplace of choice.

--This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

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Format: Hardcover
The reference to "HR function" refers to anyone and anything involved in the process of developing people as a valuable asset. Apparently many (if not most) C-level executives in many (if not most) organizations still don't "get it" because, as recent and vast research by firms such as Gallup and TowersWatson clearly indicates, fewer than 30% (on average) of employees in a U.S. workplace are positively and productively engaged. As for the other more than 70%, they are either mailing it in or doing whatever they can to undermine their organization's best interests. Is it any wonder, then, that many (if not most) of these companies also have serious problems attracting and then retaining the people they need.

Fortunately, several excellent books have been recently published that can offer specific information, insights, and advice that can help C-level executives to respond effectively to these and other HR disfunctions. Jeanne Meister and Karie Willyerd co-authored The 2020 Workplace and it is one of the best. More about that book in a moment. First, however, I want to discuss, briefly a key insight that Fred Reichheld offers in his last two books. The "ultimate question" to which their title refers is "On a zero-to-ten scale, how likely is it that you would recommend us (or this product/service/brand) to a family member, friend or colleague?" As Reichheld explains, the phrasing of that question is "a shorthand wording of a more basic question, which is, [begin italics] Have we treated you right, in a manner that is worthy of your loyalty? [end italics]"

Rephrase that ultimate question and you have another of great importance: "On a zero-to-ten scale, how likely is it that you would recommend working for our company to a family member, friend or colleague?
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
We are already there in 2020 should change title to 2050 and write a new book looking even further into the future. Great read.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) HASH(0x9d782768) out of 5 stars 26 reviews
21 of 21 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa09267a4) out of 5 stars It's always been about talent- now its about getting talent in a changing world May 19 2010
By Lawrence Peters - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Every graduate course I teach begins with an outward look at the changes in the business environment over the past 2-3 decades. It helps students understand the need for change, for responsiveness and adaptiveness, and for leadership. It also frames everything I want to say about creating sustainable effective organizations. Meister and Willyerd's book, The 2020 Workplace, reminds us that part of the changes in the world around us includes the workforce itself, and that we need to consider those changes as we attempt to adapt and adjust our businesses to the dynamics of the business environment.

The 2020 Workplace begins by setting the stage for why the future workplace is going to be different. Advances in social technologies, shifts in demographics, and a global business environment will all affect the workplace of the future. The Millennial generation is a particular focus, since it is expected to be nearly 50% of the workforce in just four years.

In Part II, Meister and Willyerd showcase HR and Learning practices companies are using now to address those shifts. Examples include Deloitte's use of a video contest to help recruiting, internal social networks for collaborative communication at Cerner, several examples of mentoring and microfeedback, and leadership development at Cisco. Part III includes 20 predictions for 2020, such as electing your own leader, and concludes with advice on how to prepare for 2020.

In addition to substantial references to existing material, the authors conducted their own study of over 2200 employees around the world, and their research is presented in an accessible and engaging manner. Their extensive interviews with the featured companies make the book highly practical, and you are sure to get some ideas for use in your own company. The "52 Stories" example from Qualcomm is one that any company could use to help new employees understand and adapt to their culture.

Finally, the glossary is particularly helpful for readers who may not know terms or web resources like crowdsourcing, tagging, and Delicious. Overall, this is a practical and helpful book for HR practitioners who want to prepare their organizations to be ready for tomorrow.
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e6db5e4) out of 5 stars What does the future really look like? Feb. 13 2011
By K. A. Allbright - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Written by Jeanne C. Meister and Karie Willyerd (2010), "The 2020 Workplace" is a message about generational diversity and gaining competitive advantage through talent management and leadership. Outlining ten forces shaping the future workplace now, Meister and Willyerd (2010) suggest the future of work can be defined as an "office everywhere" where "team members live halfway around the world "(p. 15).

Rich with statistical data and analyses, the information provided bolsters Meister's and Willyerd's (2010) position. Suggesting the work climate has and will continue to change; they mention the specifics of where and how one works will no longer matter provided results are delivered. Central to their argument is that of shifting demographics resulting in a "significant number of workers over 40 comprising the work force", "more women entering and staying in the work force" and "Latinos composition is expected to double to 30% of the US population by 2050" (Meister & Willyerd, 2010, p. 16).

Meister and Willyerd (2010), initially discuss a new type of worker necessary to compete in the future suggesting a "rise in a new segment of workers requiring "tacit skills such as problem solving, judgment, listening, data analysis, relationship building, and collaborating and communication with co-workers" will be needed (p. 20); however, much of their discussion is centered on the Millennial generation. Although an outcry of the "Knowledge Economy", what begins as a conversation about a new breed of employee quickly becomes focused on the generations and the Millennials. While aspects of the ten forces speak to the youngest generation in the workplace - the Millennials - it is as if to say this is the only generation that really matters.

The strength of the book is the research conducted. Sampling working professionals from a range of industries from "admin services to education, financial services, the government, health care, high tech and telecommunications, manufacturing, professional services, and retail", the "Generations@Work - Global Survey - polled more than 2200 members of four generations currently in workforce" (Meister & Willyerd, 2010, p. 60). Key findings suggest there are very defined differences such as those of Boomers and Generation X who seek to balance work with home life; whereas, Millennials integrate work into their personal life (coined "weisure" time) (Meister & Willyerd, 2010, p. 60). While Generational surveys and studies delineate differences, many also point out similarities that exist as a part of the human condition. Meister and Willyerd (2010), suggest that at the core of all member's wishes are those to be "valued, empowered, and engaged at work" (p. 63).

Highly prescriptive the book offers advice and examples of other organizations efforts to help their employees understand generational differences (e.g. L'Oreal's "Valorize Generational Differences" which "showcases the values, myths, and paradoxes of each generation" (Meister & Willyerd, 2010, p. 65). Although Meister & Willyerd (2010), suggest "Thriving in the 2020 workplace will require organizations to understand the various need, expectations, and values of the generations" (p. 67); the lack of individualism somewhat diminishes the message. Highly impersonal the authors discuss strategies for recruiting in the context of beginning recruiting efforts in middle school and high school. Is this cause for parental concern?

Written under the auspice of the workplace in the future as a whole, more disappointing was the discussion around Generational diversity in the first few chapters but seemed to lack the inclusivity of the other generations. Although lacking in some areas, overall the book was highly informative and the sources seemed to be well documented.

The book is a great read and causes one to reflect on not only the challenges but huge technological gains that have been realized in the last thirty years. While a growing area of interest, the reader is of the opinion that social networking has validated the concept of freedom of speech. Meister's and Willyerd's (2010) research serves as a reminder that while it would seem that one can say what they want, organizations would be wise to develop Human Resource strategies and policies reflective of the knowledge economy.
12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d8cd3b4) out of 5 stars More wishful thinking than predictions you can count on Dec 19 2012
By Jeop1986 - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Like many predictions of the future, this one takes current trends the authors don't really understand and projects them into a future where new technologies we haven't even dreamed of will have changed things again. A great deal of this hype is based on a false notion that "the kids will love this". For example, the CEO of the future will have to blog. Really? Will blogs even be relevant ten years from when this book was written? Another one: "Corporate social networks will flourish and grow inside companies." No, no they won't. They will die a quick death (just like chat rooms, remember them?) as the novelty wears off and the legal implications arise. The large multinational I work for has already put the kibosh on IBM Connections, because they did not like the frewheeling wild west world where (mostly 30-plus) employees were forming groups to discuss very little related to their actual work or just create bitch sessions. Like many of the predictions in this book, this "social learning" meme fails to really understand the younger generation it bases its predictions on. I recently attended a meeting in New York about social learning where everyone over 40 was enthusiastically talking about how social media and work communities will revolutionize the workplace because the young people will demand it. A young man in his early twenties stood up and said "No, don't make me do this. This is my escape, this is how I relax. Don't integrate it into my work." Like most people, he said he'd rather pick up the phone and get a quick answer to any question he has. And all the other young people in the room agreed with him.

Also, in order to allow employees to use social networks through workstations, many companies are demanding the right to monitor what those employees are saying, including demanding the employees hand over their passwords. Individual states are passing laws to ban that practice, so companies will simply shut off access.

The writers seem to ignore the possible pitfalls of technologies they tout. For example, they mention Sony's Backstage 101 as an example of how "the lines will blur among [sic] marketing, communications and learning." As I write this in 2012, Sony has already shut the site down, due to unanticipated negativity in the forums and is replacing it with an external site strictly for learning.

The predictions I most seriously doubt revolve around this utopian workplace of the future where workers will demand ultra-flexibility and elect their own leaders.

1) Many middle and upper managers will come out of the military, some with actual combat experience. Their experience and reliance on a rigid chain of command will reinforce the corporate model. I doubt we'll see a Civil War era situation where you get to elect the most popular guy the leader of your unit.

2)Instability. The Middle East is in for at least two decades of turmoil, and the effect on the global economy of a major conflict that disrupts oil supplies means continued high rates of unemployment and job stagnation for those employed. If the current low rate of economic growth is indeed, as some say, the "new normal", you'll be happy just to have a job. Global competition from China and India - the area of the world that will come to overshadow Europe and possibly the U.S. economically in the coming decades - means you'll be working longer and harder, with probably not much in pay raises from year to year.

3)You'll be under constant surveillance, because companies will realize they can save millions in overhead through remote work, but they will demand the ability to monitor whether you are really working or just watching Kelly and Michael.

I could go on, but I'm depressing myself...
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9d8cd774) out of 5 stars A good general overview. Recommended if you are going to read only one book about the subject. April 9 2012
By Mark P. McDonald - Published on
Format: Hardcover
Meeting the ever-changing demands of the workplace is the focus of Jeanne Meister and Karie Willyerd's new book, the 2020 Workplace. The book provides a good overview, fact base and framework for understanding the challenges we will all face in the very near future. If you were going to read only one book about future workforce dynamics, demographics and differences, then this would be a book I recommend you read.

Workplace 2020 seeks to describe the changing nature of work and the unique environment we will all face as five generations cohabitate in the workplace. The authors support their positions and findings with a range of survey data, other studies and case examples that demonstrate that they know the subject well.

The authors define the 2020 workplace as "an organizational environment that provides an intensely personalize, social experience to attract, develop and engage employees across all generations and geographies." (Page 72) That definition is based on 10 trends that the authors believe have already reshaped the workforce.

1. Shifting workplace demographics - as more young people enter the workforce and those already there stay longer.
2. The knowledge economy - highlighting the changing nature of work toward scarce highly skilled jobs rather than lower skilled transactional work.
3. Globalization - workforces are not longer local, regional or national, they are transnational and transformative
4. The digital workplace - redefining the nature of work and the means of collaboration
5. The ubiquity of mobile technology - impacts the workforce from two perspectives. First, the office is where you are and second the availability of mobile learning.
6. A culture of connectivity - we work together and with each other much more than we labor alone
7. The participation society - people want to be involved in their work, how it is done and the meaning behind their contribution.
8. Social learning - recognizing that formal instruction not particularly well suited for building the expert skills required for trend #2.
9. Corporate social responsibility - companies that are good corporate citizens attract the best and most talented people to be their citizens.
10. Millennials in the workplace - have more experience and their experience is different which shapes unique expectations that are easy to misunderstand.

Reviewing these ten trends, my descriptions, gives you a good feel for the material and tone covered in the book. In many ways, the book offers new tools to address old tasks associated with Human Resources and workforce management. That is ok, because we need new ways of thinking, leading and managing an increasingly multi-dimensional and multi-diversity workforce.

Overall the book is helpful and valuable, primarily for professionals in the human resources, knowledge management and human capital disciplines. This book is written more for them than the general business manager or line executive. The author's do a great job setting the stage for the challenges of the 2020 workplace ranging from the various preferences of the different generations to dealing with the use of new technologies like social media. In this regard the book is very helpful.

The book has a few weaknesses. Primarily is its relative lack of specific ideas and practices that go outside of those traditionally offered in other books on similar subjects. Creating meaning, recognition, skill building and personalization are all answers others have covered before. Its not that they are wrong, but more that it is the same medicine for what is a demonstrably different environment. The two major frameworks provided: The Social Learning Ecosystem (page 159) and The 2020 Leader Model (p. 189) are helpful consulting tools but less valuable for those looking to take direct action.

Every book has a few challenges. Being aware of them helps you to focus on the strengths of this book that have already been discussed in this review. There are other books in the subject. If you are looking for a greater business/strategic treatment of the topic, then I found the Power of Pull by Seely-Brown and Hagel to be very good. If you are looking for more descriptions around Millennials and how they are different from the rest of us, then any recent book by Don Tapscott will fit that bill.

If you are looking for a comprehensive, fact based, supportive book on the future of the workforce culture, then this one fits the bill. Overall, recommended and for more than just HR as we all face a 2020 workforce now.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0x9e5e00b4) out of 5 stars Forecasting Tomorrow's Workforce: Interesting Perspective May 17 2010
By Brandon Carson - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
"The 2020 Workplace," written by Jeanne Meister and Karie Willyerd, explores the lightning-fast changes occurring in the workplace now and over the next ten years. The book forecasts what managers, leaders, and executives need to know to ensure their business is ready for these changes. Meister and Willyerd skillfully present fascinating stories that provide examples of how people across generations and geographies are using technology, such as the social web, to get their work done. New ideas about management, collaboration, communication, and fostering creativity are presented with practical tips and tricks on how to evolve your organization to be prepared for tomorrow's talent today.

I particularly like how the book offers compelling research and data, but is not seeped in theory alone -- the authors offer suggestions and nice end-of-chapter summaries that are pragmatic and applicable to anyone in HR or management.

Recommendation: Buy it and read it. You may or may not agree with all of their forecasts, but at least you will know what you are facing when recruiting and retaining a diverse workforce.

Especially a good read for HR managers, leadership and development people, and executives.

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