The nature of how we work and develop talent is forever changed at the hands of the internet, artificial intelligence (AI) and robotics – and it’s only the beginning. What does this mean for the corporation forced to evolve with the times? According to the experts, the vision of the future of work will look very different.
- Horse of a Different Generation: In the very near future, Millennials will make up almost half of the workforce. Not far behind them is Gen Z, the folks who have never used floppy disks or developed film at Walgreens. Tammy Erickson, organizational behavior expert and adjunct professor at the London Business School, warns leaders to prepare their companies for the four – yes, FOUR – generations that they will be managing, all with different capabilities, values, desires and needs.
- Training Day: Onboarding new employees will see an increase in efficiency and productivity due to the expansion of competency-based education (CBE). This technology-fueled learning model currently employed in progressive K-12 and higher education institutions is slowly starting to catch up to corporate America. Michelle Weise, executive director of Southern New Hampshire University’s Sandbox Collaborative, wrote about the differences in training assembly line engineers at the Detroit “Big Three” companies versus Toyota in her book “Hire Education: Mastery, Modularity and the Workforce Revolution” (2014), co-authored with Clayton Christensen. Long story short, Toyota’s use of CBE resulted in more efficiency and fewer mistakes on the production line. Today and beyond, mastery and assessment will be the markers of success.
- New Tech City: The most fascinating territories in the digital revolution are the advances in virtual reality (VR), AI and robotics. Professor Jeremy Bailenson, founding director of the Stanford University Virtual Human Interaction Lab, says his VR technology can help build empathy, a necessary quality required for diversity training in the workplace (just ask the NFL). Professor Guy Hoffman of Cornell University, one of the world’s leading robotics experts, is working toward integrating robots into our everyday lives, at home and at work.
We are not in for a Jetson-esque lifestyle any time soon. But what we must prepare for is a different type of work atmosphere. People, roles and technology are changing – quickly. Is your organization ready?