Automation and artificial intelligence may be changing the nature of work but innovation and people are inseparable in this world. Even if organizations were stripped-down, the most successful systems will always be supplemented by talent.
As we prepare for a future driven by rapid change, leaders are constantly figuring out how to evolve their business, maximize productivity and support their people.
In my work with senior leaders, several trends keep emerging. I believe 3 elements will future-proof your people and continue to be key in the evolving workplace:
1. Solve complex problems.
In our world, digital dexterity and the ability to deliver results will outweigh tenure and experience. The most high-value work will continue to be cognitive in nature. Employees who apply creativity, critical thinking, and actionable insights to solve complex, ever-evolving problems will thrive.
Here’s how to use your good ‘ol nogging to problem-solve proactively:
- Adapt a test-and-learn mindset.
- Accept that the only constant thing is change.
- Access gaps constantly and think about how you can elevate your approach.
Love this outline from Adam Grant on what proactive problem-solving looks like:
Cynicism: We have a problem, but they don’t want to solve it
Pessimism: We have a problem, but we can’t solve it
Optimism: We have a problem, and we can solve it
Responsibility: We have a problem. Can I help solve it?
Initiative: We have a problem. Here’s how I’m solving it
In our rapidly evolving environment, the key to fulfillment will be in finding your purpose and passion, not just working for money. Businesses will also need to have clearly defined values because employees will actively seek opportunities that tie to their values.
2. Be Agile, flexible, and fast.
Agility will eliminate bureaucracy. Companies that thrive will invest in capabilities that increase collaboration, not middle management. Leaders that nurture speed, agility, and adaptability will continue to thrive. Organizations with layered team structures will become dinosaurs. The new work philosophy will involve designing small, flexible teams in response to fluctuating workloads, intense flurries in response to market shifts, and shrinking time frames.
3. Say bye-bye to business boundaries and buddies.
Remote work has blurred boundaries between work and personal life.
Leaders are scrambling to figure out how to leverage the regular use of artificial intelligence, smart software, and robots. This has sparked the conversation on how to maximize productivity with people and technology 👱+🤖.
Smart machines will soon be our co-workers.
Employees will use avatars, language software, conversational interfaces, and real-time dialect translation to speak with team members across languages and cultures with almost no loss of context or meaning.
Work-life balance will continue to be a challenge. Eventually, technology will assess when people have worked too much and when they need to recharge by monitoring their biorhythms, nutritional requirements, and exercise needs.
Creepy or cool? Curious what you think.