We all know that workplace and the constituents that make it, are changing. To understand and be ready for this change organizations need thought leaders, thinkers, writers and doers, to help them understand and navigate through it.
To get you started, we have created a list of important voices who understand “future of work” and have been sharing their thoughts about it for a while now. These experts are the ones you should listen to if you really want to understand how “future of work” is going to look like.
Let us take some time to know more about them.
Don is one of the world’s leading authorities on innovation, media, and the economic and social impact of technology and advises business and government leaders around the world. In 2013,Thinkers50 ranked Don fourth among the world’s most influential management thinkers and was awarded the Global Solutions Award for launching and leading the Global Solution Networks program based at the Rotman School of Management, University of Toronto.
He has authored or co-authored 15 widely read books including the 1992 best seller Paradigm Shift. His 1995 hit The Digital Economy changed thinking around the world about the transformational nature of the Internet and two years later he defined the Net Generation and the “digital divide” in Growing Up Digital. His 2000 work, Digital Capital, introduced seminal ideas like “the business web” and was described by BusinessWeek as “pure enlightenment.” Wikinomics: How Mass Collaboration Changes Everything was the best selling management book in 2007 and translated into over 25 languages.
The Economist called his newest work Macrowikinomics: New Solutions for a Connected Planet a “Schumpeter-ian story of creative destruction” and the Huffington Post said the book is “nothing less than a game plan to fix a broken world.” Over 30 years he has introduced many ground-breaking concepts that are part of contemporary understanding. His work continues as CEO of The Tapscott Group, a member of World Economic Forum, Chancellor of Trent University, Adjunct Professor of Management for the Rotman School of Management at the University of Toronto and Martin Prosperity Institute Fellow.
David Houle is a futurist, strategist and speaker. He coined the phrase The Shift Age and identified this new age as the successor to the Information Age in 2007.
He has been called “the CEOs futurist”. He spent 20 years in media, entertainment and technology. He was part of the executive team that launched MTV, Nickelodeon, VH1, and CNN Headline News. He has won two Emmys, a Peabody and was nominated for an Academy Award.
He has written several books including “The Shift Age” and “Entering the Shift Age” that became the #1 best seller on Amazon.
He is Futurist in Residence and faculty member at the Ringling College of Art + Design.
Yvette Montero Salvatico
Yvette Montero Salvatico is the former head of the Future Workforce Insights division at The Walt Disney Company. There, she led the effort to establish an internal area of strategic foresight expertise, dedicated to identifying future workforce trends and assessing their potential impact on human capital strategies.
In 2011, she joined futurist Frank Spencer as a principal at Kedge, a foresight and futures, innovation, creativity, and strategic design consultancy.
Salvatico is an experienced speaker, addressing large audiences on topics such as business policy, diversity, and foresight. “In the 21st Century world of complex ideas and practices, successful leaders, businesses, and entrepreneurs must learn to adapt, be resilient and flexible, and create transformational strategy,” she says.
Frank Spencer is the founder of the foresight, innovation and strategic design firm Kedge. Earlier Frank worked for 15 years as a leadership coach and developer with entrepreneurs, social communities, networking initiatives and SMEs, helping them in areas such as development, innovation, and networking.
With a strong background in both business and academic foresight, Frank was the creator and lead instructor of The Futures Institute: Shaping The Future Now at the Duke University Talent identification Program Institute, teaching students to use futures and foresight to develop transformative solutions to grand challenges.
Frank has worked on strategic foresight projects for companies such as Kraft, Mars, Marriott, and The Walt Disney Company. “It is my belief that businesses and organizations in the 21st Century must become much more aspirational in their outlook and actions. In this age of rapid change and growing complexity that makes standing still obsolete, simply managing risk is no longer an option. Success means acting on the future in a transformative way,” he says.
Jeanne C. Meister
Jeanne C. Meister is a bestselling author of three books, internationally recognized consultant, and keynote speaker on the topic of the future of work.
Jeanne is Founding Partner of Future Workplace LLC, a firm that provides executive education to HR leaders and high-potential managers to build the skills & capabilities needed for success in the workplace of the future.
Jeanne is the author of book titled The 2020 Workplace: How Innovative Companies Attract, Develop, and Keep Tomorrow’s Employees Today. The book focuses on how organizations and individuals can prepare for the future workplace. The 2020 Workplace book, has been on the on bestseller list for 800 CEOREAD for three times.
Recently, Jeanne was honored by the ASTD as one of five Distinguished Leaders of the ASTD New York City Chapter. Jeanne was recently appointed to the Advisory Board of Human Resource Planning Society (HRPS). Jeanne is also currently serving as a Board member for the for Kronos Workforce Institute.
Jeanne is also the Founder of the 2020 Workplace Network, a consortium of 40 companies who convene bi-annually to discuss, debate and share how to prepare for the future of work.
Jeanne is also a Contributor to Forbes Magazine with a column entitled 2020 Workplace: Preparing For The Future.
Jim Carroll is recognized worldwide as a thought leader and authority on: global trends; rapid business model change; business transformation in a period of economic uncertainty; and the necessity for fast paced innovation.
He has a track record of inspiring organizations to reframe the opportunity for innovation in the context of significant, transformative change.
He is also the author of “Ready, Set, Done: How to Innovate When Faster is the New Fast.”
A globally recognized futurist and innovation expert, Jim helps organizations discover new opportunities in an era of high-velocity change and align their focus and efforts towards adapting to the fast-paced trends.
He has a clear ability to link future trends with innovation and creativity. In addition to being a futurist, he is a celebrated media commentator, columnist, and an author.
Peter Thomson is a speaker, author and consultant on the future of work.
He founded the Future Work Forum in 1992 and ran it for 18 years. He has spent the majority of his professional life observing changes in working patterns. As a futurist, Peter helps leaders and managers understand that if work is changing even they should change their ways to connect with the workforce and manage people. He assists them in building and adopting flexible workplace strategies by helping them recognize the benefits that the new “trust and empower” style of management can bring to the organization.
His consultancy, Wisework, works in the area of implementing new working patterns.
He is the co-author of “Future Work: How Businesses Can Adapt and Thrive In The New World Of Work”. The book shows how organisations need to change to keep up with the transformation of work.
Sarah Sladek was leading the charge for organizations and companies to adapt to younger members and workers long before anybody else.
A generations guru and futurist, Sarah helps organizations worldwide realize a sustainable vision for the future of work, thereby preparing for demographic shifts and engaging younger generations as members, employees, and leaders.
Sarah’s expertise has been featured in global media and she has keynoted more than 100 events worldwide. She is founder of the RockStars@Work Conference, the nation’s first business conference focused on bridging talent and leadership gaps in the workforce, drawing in such notable companies as DreamWorks Animation, Fortune, and Best Buy.
She is the author of three books including “The End of Membership as We Know It. Her fourth book, Knowing Y, is scheduled to hit shelves in summer 2014.
Backed by years of experience and supported by solid research, Sarah Sladek remains committed to helping organizations engage every generation to thrive and prosper in the new economy.
Jim Ware is a former Harvard Business School professor who has spent his entire career helping clients invent their own futures by exploring and interpreting the changing nature of work, the workforce, and the workplace. He teaches senior executives about the future of work, facilitates strategic conversations, builds scenarios of alternative futures, and helps transform ideas and insights into bottom-line results.
He is currently the founder and Executive Director of The Future of Work…unlimited, a research and advisory services firm that creates visions of the future and helps clients achieve them.
Previously, Jim held senior management positions at several leading-edge professional services firms, including KPMG (now Bearing Point), Computer Sciences Corporation, Unisys Corporation’s Information Services Group, and The Concours Group, where he led a number of futures investigations and served as Executive Director of the HR Concours, a membership organization limited to Chief HR Officers.
A recognized expert in fostering collaborative inquiry that produces both learning and action, Jim has led more than two dozen sponsored research projects on topics such as managing distributed teams, establishing flexible work programs, defining electronic commerce channel strategies, designing web-enabling business processes, exploring executive leadership and staff development, building HR performance scorecards, and measuring workplace effectiveness.
Jim is also Editor in Chief and a principal writer for the monthly newsletter “Future of Work Agenda” and posts regularly on the Future of Work blog.
Meghan M. Biro
Meghan M. Biro is a globally recognized leader in talent management. As the CEO and founder of TalentCulture Consulting Group, she has worked with hundreds of companies – from early stage startups to global brands like Microsoft, IBM and Google — helping them recruit and empower talent. My message is this: dynamic cultures are hardwired for engagement and good business is human business.
She is a regular contributor for Forbes where she writes about best practices in social community, employee engagement, HR and leadership. Her ideas have been featured on CBS MoneyWatch, Dice, SHRM, Monster, Mashable, and Glassdoor to name a few. She has also co-authored The Character-Based Leader: Instigating a Revolution of Leadership One Person at a Time.
Richard Donkin is an award-winning author and columnist. Based in Woking in the UK, he works as a commentator and writer on management, employment, sailing and fishing. His first book, The History of Work, was warmly received and extensively reviewed in the US and UK (Times Literary Supplement, Washington Post, New York Times, Time, The Economist).
His latest book, The Future of Work, looking at the themes transforming the way we work today, won the inaugural Chartered Management Institute’s Management Book of the Year Award in the digital books category (2011).
Richard is a former Financial Times journalist and still contributes columns as an independent writer. His FT career began in late 1987 after he had been named Provincial Journalist of the Year in the British Press Awards for 1986. In 1994 he switched to employment and management writing and took over the FT’s recruitment column.
Jacob is the principal and co-founder of Chess Media Group, a management consulting and strategic advisory firm on the future of work and collaboration. Chess is also launching a community dedicated to the future of work and collaboration at FOWCommunity.com He has worked with organizations such as Lenovo, Safeway, Franklin Templeton Investments, Lowe’s Home Improvement, and many others.
His latest book, The Future of Work, is due out for Wiley in September of this year and is being endorsed by business leaders such as the CEO of SAP, CEO of Schneider Electric, CEO of Zappos, and Gary Hamel. Jacob is also working on a book for Forbes to be released August of this year called, The 12 Habits of Highly Collaborative Organizations. His previous book for McGraw Hill, The Collaborative Organization, became an Amazon best-seller and was endorsed by the CIO of the USA, CEO of Unisys, founder of Craigslist, CMO of Dell, and many others.
Jacob is a judge for Gary Hamel’s Management Innovation Exchange and has been named by SAP as one of the top influencers on Human Potential. He has been featured in media outlets such as the WSJ, USA Today, Inc Magazine, CNN, Fast Company, and others. He has a popular column for Forbes where he writes about the future of work and also blogs at TheFutureOrganization.com.
China Gorman is Chief Executive Officer of Great Place to Work. She has more than 30 years experience in strategic business leadership roles within HR professional services organizations.
Prior to joining Great Place to Work, China was the Chief Operating Officer and interim CEO of the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM). Most recently she served as CEO for CMG Group and has also held the posts of President of DBM North America, and President of Lee Hecht Harrison, the global consulting division of Adecco, which became the performance leader in its industry under her leadership.
With more than 30 years of experience in HR, China helps HR professionals and their organizations in understanding the future of HR, job search and use of social media. She is also a keynote speaker and frequently addresses business leaders and the emerging next-gen talent. She also works with organizations that are willing to adapt to the latest industry trends, in order to manage workplace diversity and bring a change in their working cultures. Her expertise in diverse HR areas comes from her rich experience in leading organizations through rapid growth cycles and turnarounds and business slowdowns.
China is also a well known blogger and frequently writes on topics like, HR and sustainability, work-life balance, empowering business leaders as talent leaders and workplace volunteering love.
She has also served on the board and is the Past Board Chair for the Chicago-based Council for Adult and Experiential Learning (CAEL) and on the board and executive committee of Jobs for America’s Graduates (JAG). Additionally, she services on the Strategic Advisory Councils of RiseSmart, Pinstripe, and CVCertify.
Matt also does speaking and consulting work to help other organizations with culture, leadership, organizational development, and branding. He has been recognized as one of the Top 100 Leadership Bloggers, one of Credit Union Times’ “Trailblazers 40 Below,” and has spoken at national conferences for CUNA and NAFCU in addition to other events.
He has written articles for Training magazine, the Credit Union Times, the Credit Union Executives Society, is a contributor for CU Insight, and an editor for CU Water Cooler. He is also a Training magazine Top 125 Award winner.
Matt’s work is focused on financial industry. He believes that people find these financial institutions boring and annoying in social channels. He helps these institutions in changing their work culture and aligning everything towards what unlocks innovation and drives excellence.
Douglas R. Conant
Douglas Conant is currently the founder and chair of the new Kellogg Executive Leadership Institute (KELI), a part of Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management.
Conant earlier served as President and CEO of the Campbell Soup Company until July, 2011. In 2011, he founded ConantLeadership, a growing community of people dedicated to improving the quality of leadership in the 21st century.
He is the co-author with Mette Norgaard of the New York Times bestseller Touchpoints: Creating Powerful Leadership Connections in the Smallest of Moments.
Kevin Kruse is a serial entrepreneur and NY Times BESTSELLING AUTHOR, who has used a relentless focus on Wholehearted Leadership and employee engagement to build and sell several, multimillion dollar technology companies, winning both Inc 500 and Best Place to Work awards along the way.
Kevin is also the author of several books including Employee Engagement for Everyone, Employee Engagement 2.0 and the NY Times, Wall Street Journal and USA Today bestseller,We: How to Increase Performance and Profits Through Full Engagement, which was named one of the top leadership books in 2011 by 800-CEO-Read.
Kevin writes regularly as a columnist for Forbes.com and American Express OpenForum, and has published over 100 articles for various publications on topics related to leadership, engagement and entrepreneurship. He delivers keynotes to audiences around the world.
Kevin Kruse offers compelling and detailed advice on unlocking emotional commitment, activating discretionary effort and generating future confidence to combat the effects of change. He is a widely recognized keynote speaker on human capital and entrepreneurship.
Lynda Gratton is Professor of Management Practice at London Business School. She was ranked in 2009 by the Times as one of the top 20 business thinkers in the world, described by the FT as the management gurus most likely to impact on the future and ranked second in the HR world by Human Resources magazine. Her courses at London Business School attract participants from all over the world whilst her programme on the transformation of organisations is considered the best in the world.
Lynda is the author of six book including “The Shift: The Future of Work is Already Here”. She has also written many articles including articles for the FT, The Wall Street Journal, Harvard Business Review and the MIT Sloan Business Review. Lynda has won numerous prizes for her writing and research and her books have been translated into more than 20 languages.
She advises companies in Europe, the USA and the Asia and currently sits on the Human Capital advisory board of Singapore Government. Lynda is the founder of the Hot Spots Movement and is dedicated to bringing energy and innovation to companies. The group has more than 4,000 members and currently works with over 20 companies and governments around the world.
Acknowledged globally because of her contribution to the interface between people and organizations – a burning business and HR topic, Lynda is a leading business thinker, consultant and management guru, proficient in analyzing the future of work.
Dr. Graeme Codrington
Dr Graeme Codrington is an expert on the new world of work and multi-generational workplaces. He is a keynote presenter, author, futurist, facilitator and strategy consultant working across multiple industries and sectors.
His unique style blends cutting-edge research, thought leading insights with humour and multimedia-driven presentations and workshops. He has a particular interest in trends affecting how people live, work, interact and connect with each other.
He speaks on the TIDES of change – the five disruptive forces shaping the new world of work in the next decade: Technology, Institutional change, Demographics, the Environment and shifting Social values. Speaking internationally to over 100,000 people every year, he has shared the platform with the likes of Edward de Bono, Jonas Ridderstrale, Allan Pease, Sir Ken Robinson and Neil Armstrong, and has been voted “Speaker of the Year” by the Academy for Chief Executives.
Graeme is the co-founder of TomorrowToday, a global consulting firm with a successful track record of helping companies connect with their most valuable customers and talented staff, in a manner that drives down costs and increases sales.
Graeme’s breadth of knowledge and expertise makes him highly relevant in today’s rapidly evolving business world.
Thomas Frey is one of the most sought after keynote speakers on diverse futurist topics, including but not limited to, unleashing the future, workerless businesses, driverless cars and teacherless education, future libraries, the evolution of work, the city of the future, rethinking transportation in the age of extreme mobility and the future of agriculture.
Tom is the author of the 2011 book “Communicating with the Future,”. “The greatest value in understanding the future comes from spotting the major cultural, demographic, societal, and economic shifts early and translating them into viable business strategies,” says Tom.
He is the executive director of the Da Vinci Institute. Because of his work inspiring inventors and other revolutionary thinkers, the Boulder Daily Camera has referred to him as the “Father of Invention” while The Denver Post and Seattle Post Intelligencer have referred to him as the “Dean of Futurists”.
Seth Mattison is an Internationally renowned expert on workforce trends and generational dynamics.
As founder and CEO of Futuresight Labs, Seth advises many of the world’s leading brands and corporations on the key shifts happening around talent management, change and innovation, leadership, and the future of work. His ideas have been featured in such publications as The Wall St. Journal, The Huffington Post, and The Globe and Mail.
He was named as the Editors’ Picks for Favorite Speakers for 2013 by MeetingsNet. With his finger on the pulse of today’s changing workforce, Seth blends storytelling from his own personal experience working with category leading brands while leveraging cutting edge research to develop fresh perspectives on the key strategic issues most relevant for today’s leaders.
Dr. Tracey Wilen
Dr. Tracey Wilen is a prominent thought leader on the impact of technology on society, work, and careers. A former visiting scholar at Stanford University, she has held leadership positions at Apple, HP, Cisco, and the Apollo Group.
Dr. Wilen has authored 11 books, including Society 3.0: How Technology Is Reshaping Education, Work, and Society.
Dr. Wilen is a global speaker on the impact of technology on work, careers, and women’s leadership. She was named San Francisco Woman of the Year and honored by the San Francisco Business Times as the most Influential Woman in Bay Area Business in 2012.
Professor Richard Susskind is an author, speaker, and independent adviser to major professional firms and to national governments. His main area of expertise is the future of professional service and, in particular, the way in which the IT and the Internet are changing the work of lawyers. He has worked on legal technology for over 30 years. He lectures internationally, has written many books, and advised on numerous government inquiries.
Richard is one of the very few futurists who have studied, researched and written on the future of lawyers and legal institutions. He says that the future of legal service will be virtual courts and internet based legal businesses, web-based simulated practice, online document production and legal process outsourcing.
His book “Tomorrow’s Lawyers” is for aspiring lawyers and offers practical guidance on law related careers and businesses. He lectures internationally on how the future of law will be affected by the technology and what organizations can act do to be prepared for the future.
Jeremy Gutsche is a trend-spotter and a notable futurist. He has been described as “a new breed of trend-spotter” by The Guardian. Jeremy is the founder of TrendHunter.com, the world’s largest trends website, boasting roughly 2 billion total views and 3 million fans. Today, over 300 brands, billionaires and CEOs rely on his innovation expertise and management consulting, including Victoria Secret, Coca-Cola, Sony, IBM, NBC, Wells Fargo and Hughes Aerospace.
Jeremy is a world-renowned expert in chaos and change. His award-winning management book, Exploiting Chaos, teaches 150 ways to spark innovation during times of change, with a particular focus on chaos and opportunity, culture of innovation, trend spotting and infectious communication.
Laura Goodrich is an internationally recognized expert in the field of workplace dynamics and a sought after futurist who delivers programs aiming to drive communication and spark discussions between audiences belonging to different generations.
Laura’s expertise is in coaching executives, business leaders, teams, and organizations through periods of change and transition. She is known for her full-length programs that motivate multiple generations work together and view differences as opportunities.
Laura’s business stories and experience from all over the globe have earned her the reputation as someone who can assist others in creating positive business relationships in even the most challenging workplace dynamics.
Her expertise comes from her experience with diverse companies operating in consulting, medical, manufacturing, technology, education and retail industries. She tailors the content of her sessions depending upon the company’s requirements and coaches business leaders and senior management.
Laura is also the author of “Seeing Red Cars”, which helps readers understand how they dwell on what they don’t want, consciously or subconsciously. She also shows the ways to rewire your brain and stop fixating on negatives.
This list is by no means exhaustive. We invite you to suggest more names in the comments. We will try and add the relevant ones you suggest.