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The Human is Back

This week we have taken time out to watch and review Josh Bersin’s discussion held in November last year at Singularity University.  His topic was: “The People Imperative:  Keynote 2016 presentation.”  I am somewhat interested in the ‘human’ part of the future of work discussion that seems to be gaining more and more momentum over time. Thank goodness, the ‘human’ is back when speaking of the future.  We can now all sit back and relax, or can we?

I enjoyed this 37-minute presentation as he summarises a lot of the research we have been seeing and provides sterling examples of organisations that are doing things differently when it comes to ‘humans, technology and the future of work’.  The presentation covers some interesting themes, with some key points being emphasised:

  • Organisations are struggling to work out the ‘people issue’ in the future of work debate;
  • It’s NOT just about the technology in this every changing, violently fast paced world; and
  • 92% of organisations are not organised for the new digitised world of work.

Furthermore, as he builds on the context of technology, he makes the point that technology is not ‘always’ better.  In fact we are seeing some of the lowest levels of productivity ever being recorded in this digital industrial age.  He goes on to provide some fascinating facts on what is going on with Artificial Intelligence, Cognitive Computing and Robotics.  Interestingly enough, the company Fit Bit is growing by 300% each year, and guess who’s buying the data – HR departments. And with the growing demands of automation and the misconception of the replacement of jobs, the research is pointing to the fact that people will move into doing different things and will not necessarily be asked to leave.  That’s a huge relief.

What I especially love is the attributes and human characteristics that machines may not ever be able to do. How on earth do you automate empathy, compassion and listening? Another fine example is the structure of teams and with the move away from hierarchy, a plethora of opportunity for employee engagement and more specifically culture has emerged.  Additionally, the change in the nature of careers is massive.  Do you know that research now points to the fact that people will change jobs 17.2 times in their lifetime and a person’s working career will stretch over a period of 70 years.

He ends the presentation with some helpful hints and some very much needed guidance in how we ‘bring the human back’.  So spend some time watching this YouTube clip, you’ll love it.

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