Emerging markets professionals are at the vanguard of the future of professional work


A very interesting global survey title The Professional Revolution has just been released by Thomson Reuters (Disclosure: I long ago worked for its predecessor Thomson Financial as Global Director – Capital Markets).

The report uncovers a number of very interesting insights into professionals and professional work. One of the most interesting is the differences between emerging market and developed market professionals.

The most interesting statistics from the report, shown below, show emerging market professionals demonstrating clear leadership in creating the future of professional work.

Source of all charts is the report The Professional Revolution.

Emerging market professionals are substantially more entrepreneurial than their developed market counterparts, wanting to drive change and initiatives, and preferring a competitive environment. They also recognize there is no conflict between competition and collaboration, and that collaborative work is the essence of professional growth and work satisfaction.

Professionals in emerging markets not only have a far stronger preference for working for ethical companies that make a positive contribution to the world, but also interestingly observe that businesses are acting ethically. This is in sharp contrast to the traditional view in developed countries that their business environments are ethical and those of emerging countries are often not, which may be false, particularly for professional work.

The contrast is even more strongly stated here, with a substantial majority of emerging markets professionals wanting to have a positive impact on the world, while a minority of the jaded professionals appear to care much beyond themselves.

Perhaps the most telling finding is that far more emerging market professionals see a future in which gender disparities are gone, virtual work is the norm, flat organizational structures dominate, and computers do elements of today’s professional work.

The future of professional work will be very different from today, with the first clues to the emerging shape visible over the last decade. The results of this study suggest that emerging market professionals will be at the vanguard of creating the future of professional work, while a majority of developed country professionals will be laggards. Everything I have seen in my travels supports that view.

I look forward to seeing the innovation and leadership that will come from professionals and professional firms around the world.