I often wonder if Vilfredo Pareto ever imagined, in 1896, that his 80/20 concept that 80% of problems are likely to be produced by 20% of the critical causes would have such an impact on the world of work and my thinking of tomorrow.

During my opening keynote at our CWS Summit in London last week, I spoke of the importance of keeping ahead of trends and I used a quote from one of my all-time favorite golf coaches, Martin Hall, whose catchphrase is, If you keep doing what you’ve always been doing, then you will keep getting what you’ve always been getting!

While this might be true in golf, I used the Kano model to illustrate that the future will always change — and contingent workforce program leaders must embrace this reality wholeheartedly and accept that the delighters of today will become the must haves of tomorrow.

In other words, if contingent workforce program managers keep on doing what they’ve always been doing, then they will not keep getting what they’ve always been getting!

I created this diagram to illustrate my point in a simplistic way.

In this illustration, I call the utopia of ultimate (and likely unachievable) program performance the Program Performance Ceiling.

If program managers keep on doing what they have always been doing (the 80%), then the value that this creates for the business reduces over time. Remember the Kano model — the delighters of today become the must haves of tomorrow.

We must make time to focus on new ideas and new concepts (the 20%), as it is these ideas and innovations that will, over time, increase the program’s value to the overall organization by contributing increasingly to its profitability, shareholder value and market competitiveness. Of course, not all of these new initiatives will succeed, but the point I’m making is that we must at all times keep in mind that A+B = The Program Performance Ceiling.

Once we set our course (A+B), we must revisit our strategy at regular intervals to avoid falling into the trap of continuing to do what we’ve always been doing. Line A will never reach 100% and hopefully Line B will never reach 0%; however we must continually refresh our strategy and regularly (I suggest every six months) decide on a new 80% and 20%, which together contribute to our revised forecast lines for A and B = 100% — and our program performance is maximized on an ongoing basis … always!