The Future of Work

The future of work is being debated by enterprise leaders and economics gurus worldwide.  With digital advancements, AI, automation and the gig economy, the pace of change is accelerating, creating uncertainty for job roles and job security.  The new working landscape is evolving at an unprecedented rate, forcing business leaders to explore new business models that better integrate man and machine. With a greater flow of knowledge, creativity, collaboration and connectivity, the transformation from workplace to ‘exchange space’ will continue and organisations that embrace the digital age will be best placed to outpace their peers and capture new markets.

Sindhudurg Consulting thrive in helping their client’s future-proof their organisations to meet the challenges of the next generation working life.  Please browse this website to discover some factors governing change with strategies that Sindhudurg Consulting can enable your organisation to adopt and adapt to be ready for the future.


Automation

Automation could displace 10% of the world’s workforce in less than 15 years.  The falling cost of automation and the increase in the use of artificial intelligence have created a new reality for the economic value of work, with increased productivity achieved through human-machine collaboration.

The impact of automation is spreading across industries, with healthcare, transportation and financial services the most likely to be affected. Whilst jobs that are routine and repetitive, or those impacted by the rising cost of labour, are more likely to be automated, the need for human labour to perform highly complex, customised and unpredictable tasks persists.

EY Global Chief Innovation Officer Jeff Wong states that technology is driving much of the change, but process and people are a critical component to innovation.  Organisations need to interrogate the interface between technology and the individual and to look at re-skilling and aligning a new workforce which can work alongside machines in a way that complements, not competes, to achieve greater value.


Workforce Transformation

Artificial intelligence and automation will play a significant part in reshaping the workforce but the fear of machines leading to job losses, termed ‘automation anxiety’, is misplaced.  Machines will not displace human beings but complement them, either directly or indirectly, with the objective of increased output and productivity.  Technology creates demands for new skills to support automation, such as IT security and data analysis.  This technology shift will prompt organisations to consider what skills are higher value?  Non-routine jobs that require cognitive knowledge, social intelligence and creativity are less easily replicated by computers or off-shore resources. These non-routine jobs will remain the areas for potential future growth.


Leadership Advantage

Leadership development programmes, involving top executives in learning initiatives can lead to dramatically transformative models, demonstrating that different skill sets are required to cope with technological changes. The rapid implementation of intelligent technologies and humans working together in new ways, coined ‘applied intelligence’, offers huge opportunity to drive new growth. Leaders in the digital age need to experiment around the interface of machine and human and use innovation to create the right culture for humans and intelligent machines that allows them to collaborate, rather than co-exist.  Business leaders must align their workforces to new business models and invest in innovative re-skilling programs if they are to capture increasing returns.


HR Transformation

Market research indicates that the workforce is not ready to work with AI and that re-educating the workforce for tomorrows employment landscape, as well as re-skilling, is a major challenge preventing its adoption. If organisations are to capitalise on the significant growth opportunities intelligent technologies offer, immediate steps are necessary to reorganise and reskill workforces to collaborate with them.

HR must play their part in the re-education of the workforce and supporting staff through the uncomfortable process, reassuring them that automation and AI will create digital fluency where the sum of man and machine is greater. Finding the right people to sit alongside changes to technology infrastructure to bridge the gap between machine and customer and building a data-centric team to support digital investment to turn insights in to actionable data, are amongst the challenges they must rise to.


Multi-channel Workforce Models

The growth of freelancing, mobility, the gig economy, crowd-sourcing and gamification have unleashed the workforce, freeing it from its traditional boundaries of 9 to 5 and formal employment.  As well as the impact of a contingent workforce, we are seeing remote working, potentially driving 24/7 online capacity.  Automation and robots alongside workers will augment and accelerate working practices.  With AI and workers sitting side by side, amplified by virtual and remote workers, organisations must recognise the increased productivity and re-evaluate the workforce model.

To equip employees at all levels to work with intelligent machines and scaling up, companies should invest in innovative forms of re-skilling. This broadening of the talent continuum gives employees an opportunity to engage in a multi-channel workforce strategy that leverages a mix of traditional full-time employees, joint ventures, contractors, freelancers, crowds and robots.  


Agility and Knowledge Flow

Deloitte’s ‘Big Shift’ makes no secret of the accelerated pace or change and resulting uncertainty for job security. Digital demands speed.  John Hagel, Co-Chairman, talks of the transition from knowledge push to knowledge pull, where knowledge platforms will need to move towards knowledge flow, rather than protection of knowledge assets, allowing organisations to learn faster, become more diverse, accumulate participants and harness increasing returns.  Digital infrastructure together with greater mobility of people, money and ideas across boundaries on a global scale, has resulted in a systematic reduction in barriers to entry and barriers to movement, resulting in intensified competition.

In response to this era of unpredictability and disruption, companies are adapting by becoming more agile.  In designing scalable ‘pull platforms’ people and resources can be called upon as and when required.  Operating as a network built on shared knowledge and collaboration is an effective strategy, with connectivity being the starting point for new ways of innovating, collaborating and socialising.

Agile organisations need to assess and reassess the mix of human and machine talent as an essential element of their business and strategic planning, knowing that getting it right could significantly affect their productivity, competitiveness and positioning.


Team Networks

The future workforce is gravitating towards enhanced knowledge and skill sharing through team working.  The Deloitte Human Capital Trends report speaks of ‘networks of teams’ as the organisation of the future.

The flexibility to create and disband project teams through a contingent workforce lends agility and competitive advantage through reduced overhead. Leveraging team-based models and decision-making protocols rather than building traditional hierarchical business models is allowing successful organisations to reap the benefit of this new working model. Sourcing multi-disciplinary teams with the ability to augment, reduce or adapt disciplines with no downtime, leads to greater capability to facilitate changes in project requirements and supports the team working model. Agile companies can rapidly shape new business models, improve output quality and manage costs.  These new alternative talent models lend themselves to new management styles that allow organisational leaders to take better advantage of team-based decision-making. 


Talent Resourcing

The lack of transparency available to recruiters through traditional CVs and a laborious job application process highlights the limitations of current recruitment techniques.  Lengthy online applications, together with increasing competition for roles are frustrating job applicants, driving new innovations for recruitment and job matching.

Innovative platforms are emerging allowing candidates to constantly keep their profile available for new job opportunities, with real-time data and actionable insights for job-matching. Hiring will become faster with companies having greater accessibility to talent and the ability to measure job compatibility as well as intelligence, desirable personality traits, problem solving ability and other assessment.  New tools are evolving to help recruiters find the best talent for their organisations with recruitment led by data driven insights and multi-level candidate profiling with greater transparency into job applicants through a combination of social media tools, video and psychometric data. 


Learning

We have long accepted that there is no longer a job for life.  Now the concept of a career is being challenged, with a culture of ‘continuous learning’ being adopted.  With the internet, opportunities for remote and flexible learning, workers can study any time and from anywhere.  Online courses and workshops, designed to help upskill employees with no downtime, are fast being adopted by leading enterprises.

Organisations must invest in learning as a culture and look to their recruiters to better understand future job requirements, pre-skilling applicants for progressive roles, if they are to encourage digital fluency. Workers should make education a part of their career, ensuring versatility in their chosen discipline through knowledge assimilation and social skills to offer them the best advantage for continuous work.     


Employer Experience

With such open, collaborative working environments, how will companies of the future maintain good talent?  To better understand employees’ motivation and expectations some companies are evaluating user experience design to rethink their employee experience.

Following an employees’ journey, LVMH implemented four new initiatives, including a job shadowing programme that allows employees to better understand other roles across the company. This ability for employees to interchange roles, to cover absenteeism or staff shortages, has led to greater agility in the organisation.

In considering transferable skills and job mobility, organisations can create a better employee experience, reward and recognition for an employee, driving brand loyalty and better talent retention and advantage. 


Mastering Augmentation

The successful implementation of the right mix of exponential technologies, business models and human talent has led to the emergence of a new breed of ‘Exponential Organisation’, one where organisations see an exponential return on talent, capital or intellectual property. Leveraging the power of technology while further developing human skill sets, ExO’s have mastered augmentation and captured a greater share of the market.

Organisations that can capture the potential value unlocked by technology and unprecedented data availability are anticipated to outpace their peers.  In harnessing a mix of data, technology and people, untapped markets can be explored through creating new opportunities. Data-driven business models that focus on customer value creation by relying on new data streams, technologies and human talent can redefine the competitive market.  Fully integrating human skills to leverage soft skills, such as social interaction, creative thinking and complex problem solving, can help to scale impact and accelerate growth. Technology should be viewed not only as a way to create efficiencies and cut costs but as a way to unleash exponential growth in abundant markets. 


Leveraging Big Company Thinking

Just as the internet and data accessibility has given rise to exponential organisations, technology has also spawned the ‘nimble’ enterprise.  These smaller enterprises are leveraging larger organisations solutions, such as cloud computing and online payment systems, to add speed, robustness, increased security and competitive advantage. Typical of these enterprises is a clearer more defined brand identity, vision, expertise, international networks and intangible assets.  With a leaner and more flexible cost structure these companies can better survive through economic cycles, while continuing to generate cash to support their business.

David and Goliath have co-existed in the business world for centuries and the emergence of nimble enterprises demonstrate that Exponential Organisations will not monopolise the digital landscape.  Start-up initiatives that embrace digital transformation and focus on changes consumer needs will skilfully navigate the technological minefield to emerge successful.

  


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Digital Age?

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