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The 4th Industrial Revolution is putting pressure on private and public sector organisations to adapt and transform in response to forces beyond their control. But many of those organisations are already stressed out, overworked and for many workers a place to endure rather than enjoy.

If the disengagement and stress-levels of our workforce is not enough enough reason for action, there is also a pragmatic and urgent reason to care about this downward trend. The current revolution demands of all our organisations a complete rethink of their business models, services, processes, markets, … . We need courage, vision, creativity, resilience and perseverance to weather this perfect storm. Only people that feel inspired, engaged, recognised and cared for can be expected to be both creative and persistent, to dare to think out of the box, challenge the status quo and experiment their way to innovation and transformation.

Work as an Economic Activity

Nowadays it seems as if the economy is all that matters. We have reached a point where anything that cannot be measured in money is not seen as worth doing, other than as a hobby or a voluntary charity. But while the economic nature of work is real, it ignores what inspires people to do great work.

Work as a Social Activity

Most people are not just working to better themselves, but actually care about others. They care about their families, their colleagues, their communities, their countries, the world. Most people have a need to contribute and a desire to help make the world a better place. Research confirms that the desire to do meaningful work runs deeper than the need to earn a living. People also enjoy their work for the social contacts it gives them. We are a social species, enjoying being with people we care about; people like us that care about the same things we do; people we share dreams, aspirations and goals with.

The Costs of Ignoring the Social Side of Work

The damage done by treating the value, organisation and management of work as a purely economic problem runs much deeper than just making people unhappy with their work. It has eroded the social fabric of society to the point that we have lost sight of the very reason society exists: for the well-being of its people. We have traded well-being for wealth and collaboration for competition.

Where Do We Go From Here?

The convergence of AI, ML, Robotics and IoT provide us with a unique opportunity to finally realise that technology-based utopia that we were once promised. To achieve that, however, we must change the paradigms we have come to live by since the 1st Industrial Revolution began. Technology alone is not going to save us. To really change the underlying causes of many of the problems and challenges facing us all, we have to start by examining and challenging our own beliefs and assumptions about the nature of work, and how we organise and manage it.

A massive thank you to you both for all your assistance from selecting to co-ordinating the speakers for our annual ProLoan conference. Feedback was that this year’s speakers where the best they had EVER heard at ANY event. So this is pretty amazing, because they do go to a lot of sessions like these.

Director of Network Relationships - Proloan (aust) pty ltd

Again this year you and your team have been fantastic and extremely helpful.  In regards to you Sharm, you have been an absolute star and phenomenal help with our speakers and presenters, a great communicator, wealth of knowledge and so prompt with responding and looking at ways to cater to our needs.

Event Manager Fitness Australia

I would recommend, without hesitation, the services of Jane Rowland Smith and Ovations. Jane answered a last minute call to arrange a guest speaker for our principals. Nothing was too much effort, all was arranged within hours, and went very smoothly. The guest speaker was exactly what we required and our brief was followed. Thank you Jane and the team at Ovations.

Executive Director of Schools Catholic Education Diocese of Parramatta

All aspects of the process has always gone seamlessly with Ovations and we will continue to seek your assistance for the awards in the coming years.

Thank you again, your help has meant that our Awards are very professional and extremely well received by our members and guests.

Executive Assistant BSCAA NSW Division

Jane, I personally want to thank you for all of your support, advice, patience and all round kindness that you have given me over the last 3 or so years.  This event would not have been as successful without the valuable MC’s you have recommended and the support you provided me when it all just seemed too hard

Shona Dilley – Smart School Awards, Department of Education
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