Imagine a world where your car drives itself, your fridge does the grocery shopping, your coffee machine senses you nearby and automatically pours you your favorite brew and robots work alongside you. The times that we are living in are probably one of the most exciting and equally challenging to be alive in.
We are in the midst of a scientific and technological revolution. Space travel and robots working alongside humans are no longer termed as science fiction. Technology is driving most of the changes and is making the world smaller as we speak. Disruption has become a new normal. In the fast changing technology landscape, it is interesting to analyse what the future will holds when it comes to us, our jobs, the workplaces, industries at large, and finally, our planet.
The biggest development in recent times have been in the area of artificial intelligence. Everything is going to be able to move around the world autonomously as AI will help people make decisions and enhance lives. AI is a specialized technology that can help in making statistical guesses based on enormous data sets, but they have no real understanding or comprehension of the tasks they are performing. There are reams of paper being written about the impact of this technology on jobs across industries. So does that mean we still have a chance?
Yes, we do but will have to orient ourselves differently. The future will belong to a new breed of talent, the ones that are multi-dimensional and are able to navigate a constantly changing world with ease. Here are some attributes that will help you stay ahead of the game.
- Love for learning
Learning is dynamic and on-going. Today, the most important skill organizations look for in their talent is learnability. According to the World Economic Forum, up to 65% of the jobs Generation Z will perform don't even exist yet and up to 45% of the activities people are paid to perform today could be automated using current technology. The need of the hour is people with completely different skillsets. With technology becoming obsolete at such a rapid pace, people are expected to learn, unlearn and relearn on a constant basis.
- Comfort with complexity
Here's something to mull over- the first Marketing Technology Landscape that famous marketer Scott Brinker put together showed 100 logos of companies offering Martech software. This was in 2011. Fast forward by 6 years and that number today has become 5381.
And this is only in the space of Martech. That shows you, the complexity of today's time caused by the proliferation of technology and tools. As more and more concepts come into play, the environment becomes cumbersome and complex to deal with. In a cluttered market, the only way to navigate is by decluttering. Concepts such as decoupled architecture and two-speed IT will show you how problems are being broken down into smaller pieces and being dealt with in the world of IT. Similarly, your ability to take a complex problem and break them down into more manageable pieces will help you succeed in today's environment.
- People sense
Today is the age of connectedness and collaboration. Most clients themselves are struggling to navigate change. They don't always know what they want, and seek partners that will collaborate and co-create with them. This requires breaking silos in organizations, working with people from completely different backgrounds and skillsets and breaking boundaries of our own minds.
While technology will play an important role in the transformation of the workforce, it is very important for people to be grounded and have a people sense. Remember, at the end of the day, all technology is ultimately driven by humans.
The complexity of challenges faced by companies today are much bigger than those in the past. Specializations are no longer enough to solve these problems. People today will need to instead develop skills that allow them to navigate and find comfort in ambiguity. Your capability to apply concepts, ideas and problem-solving techniques across different sectors will determine whether or not you'll thrive in the future workplace.
Successful people today have disruptive ways of working. They believe in 'failing fast' and building on success. They subscribe to new ways of working and bring agility, knowledge and discipline to the table with a shorter learning cycle. All this is possible if you are able to embrace change rather than running away from it.
As you think of your career today, spend time to learn on the job and keep up-skilling yourself. The only way you will continue to be relevant today is if you become multi-skilled and yet continue develop the softer aspects I mentioned above.