From Ladder to Lattice

We strive to deliver information and tools to the public and non-profit sectors that build and strengthen these core areas.  Our blog series this month focuses on the people in your organization, and the human capital trends that are changing the HR landscape.  We took a look at workforce analytics and now we will examine workplace collaboration.

Collaboration is the buzzword for 2012 workforce change.  The corporate ladder has morphed into more of a lattice.  Organizations are flatter, diversity ranges across culture and generation, human capital demands customized and non-traditional career options.  A lattice structure provides growth across departments and a variety of career development and talent-building options.

What is driving this lattice trend?  Technology has given rise to a virtual workforce that offers flexibility, distance learning, and telecommuting.  Hierarchies have flattened from the industrial-age by about 25% with fewer rungs available for upward advancement.  Family life has also shifted with far more dual-income households that place a greater burden of work-life conflict on men.  Women, whose careers often take a nontraditional path to advancement, hold more than half of American jobs.  Women also earn nearly 60% of undergraduate and master’s degrees.  Finally, across generations workers are citing career-life fit as their top priority, which is shifting expectations and commitment levels.

Do you see any of these trends at work in your organization?  Do your human capital expectations and programming recognize and allow for these emerging trends?  In our next blog we will look at some of the practical implications and some key principles necessary for the lattice model.



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