Emma Peardon

Which of the four worlds of work do you belong to?


Change happens quickly. The rise of automation and artificial intelligence has paved the road for new business models, new C-suite priorities and new styles of leadership.

Business leaders can see this writ large in PricewaterhouseCoopers’ latest ‘Workforce of the Future’ report, which outlines four primary worlds of business it expects to see dominate the global landscape by the year 2030. We’ve taken this on board in our latest infographic, illustrating each world’s core tenets and how Australian organisations are already on the way to these.

Which world do you want yours to be?

1) Yellow World: Humanity to the fore

The Yellow World is one where social responsibility is at the heart of all businesses. Organisations can rapidly rise due to private investment or crowdfunding bids, as the money flows to companies that value their people and showcase that social responsibility in their strategy.

Who thrives in the Yellow World?

Statistics from the National Australia Bank show that socially responsible investing grew 247 per cent between 2014 and 2016 (in terms of asset value). Organisations that have benefited from this will be the first to succeed in the Yellow World, paving the way for widespread social change spearheaded by businesses.

Which world of work does your leadership belong to?Which world of work does your leadership belong to?

2) Green World: Environment first

In PwC’s Green World, the Yellow World’s humane focus shifts to the world natural around us. Key hypothetical events outlined in the report (like global regulations on reducing water waste) see the fall of larger multinational companies, while at an internal level businesses embrace environmental responsibility and fairness in the workplace.

Who thrives in the Green World?

Environmentally conscious business are already the preference of one-third of consumers, according to Unilever research. Business leaders who can uphold internal ethical standards that match their organisations green-friendly outlook will be destined for success.

3) Red World: Innovate to win

The Red World is one where ideas are king and innovation is an arms race. Smaller start-ups scythe through regulations as they disrupt existing markets, and prized individuals are the asset that every business attempts to secure.

Who thrives in the Red World?

Those innovative individuals with a proven track record of successful innovation will be in constant demand. Larger businesses that can’t keep pace with disruption will be first to fall, as will those who don’t invest in innovative activity. By the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ count, that’s more than 55 per cent of us.

4) Blue World: Corporate control

The Blue World is controlled by a select few mega-corporations, those deemed too big to fail. The power of those businesses lets them break down trade barriers, working out deals with governments to increase productivity and profit.

Who thrives in the Blue World?

The C-Suite leads the way here. A business’ productivity and performance dictates its longevity to a massive degree in the Blue World, and those who can source high-value staff and treat them well will succeed.

Which world is yours?

Each of these worlds requires a distinct style of leadership and a clear vision for the future. Do you know what yours is?