The future of work will be distributive, collaborative and entrepreneurial

“Those long divided shall be united; those long united shall be divided: such is the way of the universe. ”

from <Romance of the Three Kingdoms>, one of The Four Classic Novels of Chinese Literature

#f2d558.png

Distributive: Change of Human Capital

The workforce will not only be limited to corporations. Individuals and teams will supplement the productivity force and make substantial contributions to innovation and social wealth.

One word to summarize my takeaway from blockchain is not Bitcoin or crypto. It’s distribution. I am amazed to witness how well individuals and teams around the world with complementary domains and diverse language and cultural backgrounds collaborate and deliver results.

The mechanism that allows decentralized units and even individuals to operate a node in a blockchain network promotes the spirit of entrepreneurship: growing a sense of sovereignty in stakeholders and developing their willingness and capability to take business ventures.

What I mentioned about blockchain is a perfect example of this. A bigger movement involves creators, makers, and builders from a variety of spaces who make tangible goods or intangible services and content. The value of work will not only be delivered out of a day job or a big resourceful team. Individuals are making extra income on platforms that can easily monetize their specialty and expertise with her/him as the sole contributor. Just to name a few: Patreon for creators, Youtube for vloggers, Udemy for teachers, Medium for writers.

Collaborative: Change of Productivity Tools

Workforces, including individuals, teams, and corporations, need to collaborate with each other to achieve common goals. The collaboration will be technology-empowered, remote, borderless, and inclusive.

The distributive means of human capital demands frequent and global-scale collaboration. Employment is no longer the only way to fuel productivity value, and partnerships will be much more common. A default culture at the workplace will be changed from “working for someone” to “working with someone”.

Let’s take a look at Squarespace, which provides an all-in-one solution for anyone looking to create a beautiful website. I used it to create my personal website (www.clorisguo.com) within 2 days. It is intuitive and compatible. The reason why users can enjoy the simplicity is that Squarespace has collaborated with dozens of partners with different capacities, such as a photostock with Unsplash, marketing and data analytics with Google, and payment processing with Stripe.

Interaction and collaboration are evolving beyond the limits of geography and time. When we think about assembling a team, our assumption is not restricted to our physical location anymore. We leverage the convenience of communication and team management tools to engage the most suitable talents in different places. Many have tested out this new way of working. Johnathan Zhuang, an entrepreneur, once shared on ExtendNode’s Blogs for Entrepreneurs about his successful experience and recommendations on how to build a remote team.

Entrepreneurial: Change of Society Spirit

Distributive collaboration nurtures entrepreneurship. Launching and growing a business part-time or full-time is no longer a privilege to those who have an advantage in social resources. Becoming an entrepreneur will be one’s career choice.

The most important characteristics in entrepreneurship are the willingness to make a value proposition and the ability to mobilize the resources to fulfill it. Value propositions lay the foundation of the business, but the lack of resources prevents aspiring entrepreneurs from marching forward.

Now, aspiring entrepreneurs can find more and more like-minded peers thanks to distributive communities. Talents are not exclusively attracted to wealthy corporations. Finding and partnering with talents to work on the same missions will be more and more feasible. The enrichment of collaboration both in tools and means has eased aspiring entrepreneurs to leverage resources on the market around the globe.

Entrepreneurs in startups, SMBs, organizations, small teams, or even as a solo contributor are an emerging force in the workspace. We are in an era of flourishing entrepreneurs.