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Reimagining Work by Peter Maglathlin, Pat Petitti, Rob Biederman

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CHAPTER 13The Future of a Flexible Workforce2017 and Beyond

In the fall of 2016, human resource leaders from companies around the United States traveled to Boston for a gathering in the Catalant offices. “The Thought Leadership Summit,” we called it. From our vantage point, we hoped to hear about strategic initiatives being developed inside organizations that wanted to remain relevant in the 21st century and beyond. The idea was to bring together executives from a dozen or so of the country's most forward‐looking companies to talk about trends in the marketplace. We weren't the ones pushing through these macro changes, but we definitely played a key role in enabling them. And for a day‐and‐a‐half we also figured we could serve as catalyst and provocateur. The future of work was happening—and the sheer blind luck of our timing in founding Catalant meant we could play a proactive and positive role among those seeing a better way for both the corporation and the employee.

We conducted an exercise that had people think about what they would do if they could rebuild their company from scratch. (Consensus: far fewer full‐time employees.) There were brainstorming sessions on what work needed to remain in the hands of full‐time employees and what could be reimagined as project‐based. There was a lot of discussion about what people see 5 and 10 years down the road (short answer: a lot more change), and strategies for being prepared for that change (experimentation, an openness to new ...

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