In today’s changing workforce, employers need to stay on top of trends and technologies, as well as the wants and needs of their employees, to remain competitive.

At Benefits Canada’s 2018 Benefits and Pension Summit, Lisa Taylor, president and founder of Challenge Factory Inc., a consultancy that helps employers and employees embrace emerging workplace trends, will share the five key drivers that are changing the future of work.   

Taylor recently spoke with Benefits Canada to discuss her interest in the workplace of tomorrow and to offer a glimpse into her upcoming session at the annual summit on April 16 at the Ritz-Carlton Hotel in Toronto.

1. What led you to a career focused on the future of work?

I started my career as a strategy consultant in the technology sector in the late ’90s, just as the internet was dawning. I was often working on teams [that were] starting to implement new technologies that were going to transform the way business was done. I [then worked] at a Fortune 500 technology firm, with a large team, in the mid-2000s, and I started to feel like disruption was starting again. Only this time, it wasn’t being led by technology [but] by people. . . . I spent quite a lot of time doing global research and analysis and I became convinced enough that the next wave of disruption was going to be workforce-related that in 2009, I stepped away from my corporate career to launch a business.

Read: Get to know Australia’s superannuation plans at the 2018 Benefits and Pension Summit

Challenge Factory is focused on the future of work and how the world of work will be changing between now and 2030. We understand the shifts and changes that are taking place in the way that work is moving forward, according to five drivers that are shaping the future. So our work is always organized into examining how those drivers are progressing and impacting at the policy level, at the organizational level and at the individual level. . . . The way that we are able to do that is by conducting research, doing consulting inside organizations and then offering coaching and training programs.

2. You mentioned the five drivers that are shaping the future. Can you expand on them?

The five drivers is a model that allows us to organize the way that we think about how the future [of work] may come to path.

The drivers themselves are:

  • Demographics and shifts in demographics: The composition of the workforce.
  • Career ownership: The changing nature of the relationship between employer and employee.
  • Freelance economy: Not necessarily the same as precarious employment.
  • Rise of platforms: Industry disruptors such as Uber or Airbnb
  • [Artificial intelligence] and robotics: Future and current technology-related transformations.

3. What are some of the key learnings or trends that you can share about the future workplace?

The first is the fact that there’s an awful lot of discussion that takes place that looks to separate generations, when really, the intergenerational ties between the generations is really what’s revolutionary about what’s taking place at work today. The fact that there are different generations operating inside of organizations is not new, but the intergenerational opportunities are something that’s entirely new and there are ways for people to take advantage of it.

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There is also a strong demographics component, [and that is] a deeper understanding of longevity, which hasn’t really come to path yet. Understanding what it means to be working and living longer and the cascading effect [of] that for Canadians of all ages is eye-opening and exciting, if we’re really able to harness the power of extra decades of productivity.

[The other is] the shift in career ownership, and what it means to be building long-term talent equity within organizations. [That] is something I don’t think organizations necessarily have been able to capitalize on . . .. Having a lot of discussions around the role of career and the discipline of career development inside of organizations, and not just within HR departments, has been something that has been increasingly in demand over the last 18 months. [That is] really good to see, but I think also symptomatic of just the world of work and how work is changing.

Find out more about what’s driving the future of work at the 2018 Benefits and Pension Summit.

Register for the event here.

Copyright © 2021 Transcontinental Media G.P. Originally published on

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