What is the Future of Work and Entrepreneurship?

“From a world where sharing is common to a world of producing for one”.

Many are preparing for massive global underemployment as we begin to see the change in demand for labor worldwide post-pandemic. Recently our team of international scholars and practitioners has heralded the virtues of The Unscaled by author, investor, Hemant Taneja.  We believe that the concepts will bring new opportunities for the new entrepreneur, as well as legacy business owners.  We have presented our work in the United Kingdom in November.  We also presented at the International Conference on Globalization, Entrepreneurship & Emerging Economies in Bangladesh in December.  We presented a similar topic at the Global Trends in Business and Management Education in India in January.  

How can one prepare for a post-pandemic world of continuous automation and changing needs of the marketplace? There is hope for an economy of diversity and inclusion of a broad base of talent using technology such as artificial intelligence, AWS, 3D printing, Virtual Reality, and later, Augmented Reality.  Instead of an old world of mass production, the new world reality will be on demand production of units as small as one. One starts by sharpening new fusion skills.

Leadership in the Future

new leadership needs

We use the recent Deloitte study on Leadership for the 21st century to highlight the skills needed for the Future of Work  and entrepreneurship: 

  1. The number one skill cited by managers in the survey was "the ability to lead through more complexity and ambiguity."  The future will require new leaders to think in the abstract; to synthesize relevant data, experiences, and diverse perspectives to develop solutions for problems with no history, track record, or point of reference.  
  2. The second skill cited is, " the ability to lead through influence."  Gone are the days when top-down authority was "good enough".  The future workforce will need to be inspired and motivate to achieve mission goals.
  3. The third skill managers cited is, "the ability to work remotely."  Business is global.  Teams will be formed around skills and business needs rather than locations.  Leaders will be charged to manage multiple talent pools in multiple sites achieving multiple company goals.
  4. Leaders will need to manage a diverse set of human and machine resources.  Population explosions are forecast in Asia, India, and Africa.  New leaders must be culturally astute, and able to leverage human capital globally
  5. Finally, the pace of change in technology and productivity will be  dynamic forcing speed in decision-making

A New Context for Leadership


Human + Machine: Reimagining Work in the Age of AI contributes to thought leadership on the Future of Work and refers to the "missing middle" -- that intersection where both man and machine will collaborate, coordinate, and co-exist as one in the workplace. The challenge is will the labor force, both current, and future, learn the new "fusion" skills necessary to work in the new workplace fast enough to meet industry demands? How will we adapt to the new world -- co-existing with machines as possible peers-- rather than subordinates? 

There is no question that the pandemic has changed the world.  The challenge globally will be to re-configure the vulnerability of our humanity and transform it into a more resilient society.   The combination of uncertainty in the unscaled economy combined with an ever-increasing advancement of machines will allow entrepreneurs to perform at improved rates of productivity to meet head-on the new demands of post-pandemic markets.  Will we be ready?

Co-authored by

Rolle, J.D. 1, Kisato, J. 2, Crump, M.E.C. 1, Reid, A.E. 1, R. Acevedo 4 and Rock, P. 3

Medgar Evers College1

Kenyatta University2

BlueSuite Solutions Inc.3

Universidad San Sebastián4

About the Author
Author: JoAnn Rolle
JoAnn Rolle, Ph.D., Dean of Business at Medgar Evers College, City University of New York (CUNY) has been featured by The Network Journal as one of the top 25 African American women in Business. Dean Rolle is a Honorary Fellow Center for Business & Economic Research . Her most recent articles and keynotes are on The Future of Work & Entrepreneurship for the underserved. She collaborates with an international group of practitioners and academics, Dr. Jacqueline Kisato, Dr. Micah Crump, Dr. Alicia Reid, Dr. Roberto Acevedo, and Ms.Nia Rock.

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