You may have attended endless presentations on how Uber disrupted the taxi industry without owning a single taxi, but have you ever asked yourself: Could Uber have done what it did without GPS? Which is more disruptive, an Uber, or the GPS its platform relies upon to deliver the real value? What if we had a GPS for future jobs? At a time when the fear of job automation is at its peak, knowing how to get from point A: existing jobs, to point B: future jobs, is all the more important. That’s why every job today needs to be programmed into GPS to navigate us safely to the future. Unfortunately, there is no future of work bible that exists to help individuals, businesses, and our overall society navigate the choppy waters of technological disruption; but this doesn’t mean you have to sink. Don’t worry. We’ve come up with something better. Here’s your call to action to create a GPS for future jobs, and successfully manage the transformative and disruptive impact of the new machine age:
- What’s your current location? Where are you today in the process of identifying which existing jobs are best suited for machines, and which are best suited for humans? Have you already mapped them out? Have you factored in emerging roles? Luckily, we have made it easier for businesses to identify the future jobs that will become the cornerstone of the future of work. It’s important to define your current state of preparedness, and identify your ideal future state location. Getting from that ‘current’ to ‘future’ state won’t happen automatically. It requires leadership, commitment, effort, and investment.
- What’s your desired travel time? How much time will it take your employees to either switch to new jobs or enhance their existing jobs? 12 months? Two years? Five years? Just as companies set targets to become $$ billion business by a certain year, or educational institutions set a curriculum target for each semester, we need to set a timeline for future jobs. While some jobs will be automated or enhanced quickly, defining and establishing new jobs may take time. It’s always best to get ahead of the traffic and set out early.
- What’s your average speed? Just as GPS adjusts your arrival time based on your driving speed, you will have to continually make adjustments to your own speed as you travel towards the future. Ask yourself: Is you current learning model sufficiently equipped to train people for the future of work? The problem is that most corporate learning strategies have roots in traditional learning approaches, slowing down companies to effectively prepare their workforce to work in tandem with machines. Skills have become like mobile apps that need frequent upgrades for a fast-changing market, creating a sense of urgency to reskill workers faster than ever. I believe learning methods and approaches will change more in the next five years than they did in the previous 20.
Our GPS for future jobs serves as a starting point for understanding what every individual and company needs to succeed in the journey that lies ahead. You’ve seen the warning on your car’s side mirror: “Objects in (the) mirror are closer than they appear.” The future is approaching more rapidly than ever before. Skilling and reskilling the workforce is rocking our entire education system, business landscape, and society as a whole. Now is the time for business leaders to rethink their workforce learning models, and program their GPS for the smoothest possible ride ahead. After all, no one likes having to, ‘Make a U-turn’.
What does your own GPS route to the future look like? Share your thoughts with us.