The Longevity Challenge
There is a rapidly growing realization that technology will fundamentally transform jobs, the nature
of the tasks performed, and the structure of companies. Less attention has been paid to longevity,
which may produce equally profound changes. At
the heart of the challenge of the transformations
associated with longevity is the traditional three-stage life. Not only has this been the dominant
career narrative for nearly a century, but it has also
led corporations to focus on linear career models
that emphasize the accumulation of financial assets. In the next few decades, we believe there will
be a fundamental rethinking of these traditional
models. This will begin with individual employees
experimenting and pushing the boundaries, eventually leading to new and more flexible policies of
recruitment, retention, learning, training, compensation, and retirement. The transitional phase
will be a time of anxiety and frustration. Corporations that are able to move rapidly in transforming
their policies will gain from employees who are
more engaged and productive.
Lynda Gratton is a professor of management at London Business School. Andrew Scott is a professor of
economics at London Business School and a fellow
of the Centre for Economic Policy Research. They are
the authors of The 100-Year Life: Living and Working
in an Age of Longevity (Bloomsbury, 2016). Comment
on this article at http://sloanreview.mit.edu/x/58304,
or contact the authors at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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