The Robots Are Coming! So What Do We Do?
Its no surprise that we are moving faster than ever towards a world where technology, Artificial Intelligence (AI) and robots will play a substantial role in how we and our businesses operate. Technology brings with it super efficiencies both in time and cost, however superfast does not always mean best.
A Price Waterhouse Cooper report published in March 2017 states that 30 percent of jobs in the UK are at risk of being replaced by machines by the early 2030’s. So how do we prepare for this? Do we rush out and upskill into those professions that won’t be impacted by machines? (professional sportsman it is then!) or do we need another approach?
Technology holds a key place in the present and the future. We already rely on technology every day, but the way a computer processes information compared to the way a human does is fundamentally different. A computer’s decision making process is based on logic and a set of programmed criteria. Humans draw from their experience, values, intuition and much more to help them make decisions – which has many benefits.
Imagine the impact if instead we focused on strengthening and maximising the capabilities that only us humans have and then learned how to work in partnership with technology.
Focus on being human
There are key human abilities which just cannot be replicated by computers or machines.
Creativity – Computers are great for simple and repetitive tasks that need doing at speed but can they think up new products? Can they think ‘outside’ the box? If they can then this would only be based on the creativity of the programmer, its not the computer itself.
Empathy – Where customers are concerned, empathy is key. Its what’s shapes your relationship and care with your customers. Will machines ever be able to learn to ‘fake’ empathy?
Passion – Whether its running your own business or working within one, having passion for what you do and “why”, is one of the key drivers for success. Your passion and your “why” is unique to you and is shaped through your experience, values and personal drivers. There will be contradictions and illogical thoughts that will make up this feeling of passion. Computers are based on logic and just cannot recreate or understand this.
Relationships – All businesses have (and need!) customers and likewise all businesses have (and need!) teams, whether they be large or small. Customers and teams are human and your business needs to be able to relate to these people through building rapport and trust. Human conversations remain the primary way people make important purchases or emotional decisions.
Underlying all human traits is a foundation of context and it is this context which humans can understand, adapt and use. These skills have been refined over thousands of years of evolution and just cannot be replicated by computers.
Robots as co-workers
As robots and AI become increasingly incorporated into our working lives, businesses will need to start thinking about how their organisations and teams will need to evolve and adapt to do this successfully.
A huge shift will need to take place within companies, cultures and teams. Ways of working will need to be re-imagined and reconstructed and teams will need to be coached and refocused. It will feel uncomfortable.
So, imagine if you had a workforce who was opportunity hungry, a workforce who was open to trying new ways of working, not afraid to fail and try again and a workforce that was open to challenge. Imagine if you had a workforce with an entrepreneurial mindset leading you and your company to the future.
Through the thousands of entrepreneurs and intrapreneurs we have worked with, we know that to have an entrepreneurial mindset is crucial for the future of work.
There is no doubt that the businesses and entrepreneurs who focus on ‘being human’ while at the same time preparing for how they will work alongside technology and machines, will reap the rewards. Those who see this not as a barrier but as an opportunity, those who re-imagine their business on a daily basis and those who take action everyday, will define their own roles in the future of work. It will be those who approach this new reality in this way, with the right mindset, that will see success.