SPRING 2018 13
HESSELBEIN & COMPANY
THE NEW OPTICS
UP IS NOT THE
areers have changed. We know that. People at all levels want to have careers that
are meaningful to them, match their needs, address their wants, and enable them
to pursue and meet their goals. While that statement seems consistent with what
careers have meant to people for years, the environments in which these careers happen has
changed. Organization structures have shifted. Reporting relationships have been redesigned.
In practically every industry we work with, we have seen even the work itself and the way it
gets done transform. These shifts in the world of work have created the need for a new view of
careers and the mobility available and necessary to maximize the employee experience.
Careers today are mobile. To some degree that has been true in the past. However, the mobility
we are referring to now is an expanded version of how leaders may have defined it previously.
Career mobility encompasses more than simply being open to moving into another role or
accepting a job in another function or location. Career mobility today is also about versatility
and variety. It’s about including a rich mix of experiences in the plan. It’s about building and
experiencing career patterns versus following predictable paths.
The Why and the What of New Optics
First, not everyone gets to move up. Flattened organization structures drastically reduced the
number and availability of promotional routes. Traditional, formal career paths were suddenly
blocked. Managers, who had expected to move up, stalled and stayed in their current positions,
and those waiting behind them watched opportunities for their own “step up” to fade. If backup
by Beverly Kaye, Lindy Williams, & Lynn Cowart