The new digital landscape is leveraging a devastating blow to individuals and firms that have been slow to respond. Whether considering the changes to the human capital requirements of business or the actual technological infrastructure that the best firms are using to pull ahead, the future seems like one that will clearly be guided by an ability to adapt and embrace this evolving frontier.
In the future, there is every reason to believe that “work” as we know it today will cease to exist. The winners of the digital future will be the leaders that are able to rise to the occasion by best positioning themselves and the firm’s they run to secure clear advantages by utilizing advanced technologies such as automation and artificial intelligence to pull away from the pack in their respective industries.
Those who fail to see the benefit of embracing technology and the knowledge bases necessary to utilize it will see their positions decline both locally and internationally.
Are You Asking The Right Questions?
Some of the biggest questions at the center of the tech workforce revolution are:
- How will firm’s attract and develop the human capital they need to stay relevant in the changing landscape of technological innovation?
- How will firm’s scale operations and accelerate their ability to innovate?
- How will firm’s prepare the human capital already at their disposal to be able to adapt to the new changing climate of work and the new imperative around embracing professional development not as an afterthought but as a core directive and essential element of success?
There will never be a better time to make the steps now to prepare for the not too distant technological future. It is a necessity of all entrepreneurs to consider strongly the way they can use new services and technologies to increase their productivity, generate innovation and sustain creativity over the long term. Time is running out. Those who are unable to prioritize acquiring, learning and mastering new technologies run the risk of being outgunned by their more digitized competitors.
The Right People In The Right Places
In the future, human skills will still be essential to the strength of business ventures. Despite the benefits that will derived from automated processes and artificial intelligence, human capabilities such as complex analytic reasoning, social/emotional intelligence. Entrepreneurs will need to be aware that as they build working units and businesses to support their dreams, they will need to think about things like cohesion and organizational culture. It will not be enough to simply employ technologically expert staff. Leaders will need to have the insight now to create dynamic teams with multifaceted skillsets and an emphasis on matching more technologically focused divisions with experts in the skills that humans can still use to differentiate themselves from the rise of the machines.
While technology is no doubt the future of business and work, in many ways, those with advanced technological skills will almost be the first to see their positions diminished as automated processes continue to advance. The artificial intelligence and automation revolution hold the ability to increase productivity and earning potential tremendously. Big data and the ability to manipulate it is already one the most important elements separating the winners and losers of the shifting landscape of work. There will likely always be a need for highly educated, technologically skilled workers, in the future, continuing education and professional development will be essential to maintaining competitive advantage in the workplace.
The winners of the future will be able to build nimble and agile working units that are constantly assessing needs and retraining. This will include all levels of business organizations. Regardless of what role a worker occupies, there will be a constant need to acquire new skills relevant to the evolving needs of the business. Today, as few as 10% of corporate board members are reported to have advanced technological skills. In the future, an inability to understand the complex and nuanced way that technology impacts all elements of business from managing human capital, supply chains, sales and innovation, will result in clear losses to reputation and need within most businesses.
The answer is clear: embrace change or run the risk of going the way of the dinosaur. Hierarchical management structures are likely to fall in the future as horizontal ones have a greater ability to generate intellectual interest and the ability to go beyond “measurement and management” and instead to focus on driving innovation and fueling creativity.
Learning and skills accumulation need to be central elements of the way entrepreneurs seek advantage. Lifelong learning needs to be core value and something that allows individuals and firms to differentiate themselves from their competitors. The technology is there to learn any skill. That ability will only increase in the future. Thus, those who can make learning and constant professional development a natural way of life will find it much easier to be adaptive to the changes technology will create in the future of work.
The good news is that by using technology to learn technology, there are an ever increasing array of individualized options which account for differences in learning styles and needs. Massive open online courses, wearable technologies, mobile telecommunications devices and virtual reality are just some of the areas that are driving this new face of personalized education which is arriving as a direct response to the culture technological innovation at the forefront of the world we live in today.
Standing On The Edge
There has quite possibly never been a better time to be alive. The future is bright. Technology holds the key to unlocking superhuman powers that we could have only imagined even just a few short decades ago. Try to imagine how much the world has changed since you were a child. It doesn’t matter how old you are, the same fact will be clear. The craziest thing though is that the rate of change continues to accelerate at an exponential rate.
To get ahead and prepare your businesses for the future, the bottom line is clear: embrace technology or else!