In an era marked by rapid advances in automation and artificial intelligence, the big question facing businesses everywhere is how to stay competitive and grow profitably amid this increasing AI and epidemic.
Workers of the future will spend more time on activities that machines are less capable of, such as managing people, applying expertise, and communicating with others. They will spend less time on predictable physical activities and on collecting and processing data, where machines already exceed human performance. The skills and capabilities required will also shift, requiring more social and emotional skills and more advanced cognitive capabilities, such as logical reasoning and creativity.
Companies used to reconsider their basic strategies only rarely, when they were forced to do so by big shifts in their environments. Today any company that isn’t rethinking its direction at least every few years (as well as constantly adjusting to changing contexts) and then quickly making necessary operational changes is putting itself at risk.
If we successfully implement a new way of running organizations we can take advantage of the strategic challenges in a rapidly changing world by:
Organizations need to hire differently. Business leaders have to work with their respective HR and talent professionals to help identify how to properly build job descriptions, and the corresponding requirements needed to fill the role.
Diversity is a major benefit for the organizations that understand the value it brings to a team. It’s proven that the most financially successful companies are ones that have diverse teams at all levels. This means diversity of thought, race, ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, socio-economic status, age, physical abilities, religious beliefs, political beliefs, and other ideologies.
The vision of the future that these examples suggest is one in which organizational structure no longer focuses on boxes and lines. Instead, it centers on connectivity, on who works on what with whom. Future-ready organizations require models that are designed, nurtured, and grown around people and activities. Furthermore, advances in digital technology mean that bosses in the years ahead can become true coaches and enablers, not micromanagers. When companies have a strong identity informing their priorities and ways of working, responsibilities and clear decision rights can empower frontline staff to make decisions in real time.
The Future Is Already Here
Businesses will be on the front lines of the workplace as it changes. This will require them to both retool their business processes and reevaluate their talent strategies and workforce needs, carefully considering which individuals are needed, which can be redeployed to other jobs, and where new talent may be required. Many companies are finding it is in their self-interest as well as part of their societal responsibility to train and prepare workers for a new world of work.
Individuals, too, will need to be prepared for a rapidly evolving future of work. Acquiring new skills that are in demand and resetting intuition about the world of work will be critical for their own well-being. There will be demand for human labor, but workers everywhere will need to rethink traditional notions of where they work, how they work, and what talents and capabilities they bring to that work.