12/02/2014 10:13 pm ET Updated Feb 01, 2015

How Focused Are You on the Big Rocks

Understanding how the world of work is changing and what trends are shaping the future of work is only a part of what organizations need to focus on. Of course, to take this to the next level some kind of action needs to take place. However, what I'm finding time and time again is that many organizations today are not focusing on the "big rocks." Now to fully understand this analogy you will have to watch the video below. The gist of the idea I'm trying to get across is to move beyond focusing on the superficial elements that might impact your organization and to instead focus on the core first. For example, many companies are experimenting with flexible work programs, collaborative technologies, getting rid of annual employee reviews, and the like. Now while these are all great they are the top layer of the future of work. These are the tactics, strategies, and perks that many organizations are focusing on (in the video below this is the gravel, water, and sand).

Instead we need to take a step back and ask ourselves some very basic questions:
• What does the future of work at our company look like?
• What does it mean to be an employee at our company and will we even have employees in the next decade?
• How do we want our managers to lead our organization and who should become a manager?
• What kind of corporate culture should we be striving to create and how does it relate to the future of work?
• Does our organization even need to have four walls?

These are the "big rocks" we need to focus on first, then we can worry about all the other nice things that go on top of them.

------ Jacob is an author, speaker, and futurist. You can learn more by visiting You can also subscribe to Jacob's newsletter to get weekly content on the future of work and the first 30 pages of his new book, The Future of Work.