Technology shaping HR
According to Lynda Gratton, work is no longer being defined by HR, but rather by ‘context’, which is created by the emergence of megatrends and their impact on society: “Work is being shaped by technology, globalisation, democracy and the ageing workforce, and the opportunity you have to make work as you want it,” she tells me.
“We are now faced with a “hollowing out” of work – medium-skilled jobs have disappeared and are being replaced by technology, so there’s either low-paid work or specialised high-paid work, with a huge emphasis on education and lifelong learning.”
And because people lie at the heart of corporate purpose, this means that organisations must build a context to innovate and excite them – which, for Gratton, presents a huge opportunity for HR to be positioned as ‘enabler’ and ‘inspirer’.
HR has always been close to Gratton’s heart. Indeed, she directs London Business School’s ‘Human Resource Strategy in Transforming Organisations’ course – considered the world’s leading programme on HR.
Gratton studied psychology at university, and began her career with British Airways as its chief psychologist. In 1982 she moved to management consultancy PA Consulting before joining London Business School in 1989.
Over the past 20 years she has written extensively about the interface between people and organisations, examining the link between business and HR strategy, new ways of working and the impact of a changing world on employment and work.