Can you imagine the mail carrier never walking through your street anymore? Or taxi’s disappearing from your city’s street scene? We got used to the way our society has been functioning for decades. A lot of people might not realise that we are transitioning to another phase when it comes to labour. But we definitely are. Will you still be a part of the labour market within 20 years? Than you should start thinking about another career for the future. Or when you are about to start, it’s probably best you don’t pick these jobs and you choose your education wisely. During an insightful TED Talk McAfee suggested that the increased productivity from sophisticated machine and computing power will lower prices and reduce “drudge”. Technology is developing at fast pace and innovative solutions are rapidly integrating in our society’s lifestyle. What are the consequences for some jobs within of 20 years from now?
The latest buzz is the ‘new industrial revolution’. The advances in data science and artificial intelligence are creating new ways to approach businesses that can lead to a major increase of productivity. The insights that are generated by these technologies will give businesses the opportunity to rethink their operational model and the needed human skills. Will it affect the workforce? Will it change the labour market? Yes, we need to accept that and look at the benefits of finally being able to empower the human-to-human approach.
Humans are afraid of change, always have been. Change means stepping outside the comfort zone. Why do we feel threatened by that, instead of feeling challenged by the opportunities it provides us?
In today’s dynamic business environment, every organisation must continuously change to stay competitive. How do you maintain the advantage on your competitors? If you can’t make it as a market leader, make sure you at least stay on par with competitors. How? It starts by thinking tactically and strategically from an innovative angle. You are never alone in an ecosystem. Competitors, customers, suppliers, employees and other stakeholders, they are all influenced by the way you act and the other way around. The dynamics of the environment that surrounds your business should be defining how you set up your processes. This ecosystem requires you to clearly position yourself. As an innovative business you should outline who you want to be and define how leading you want your role to be in the market. Looking at the innovation culture you want to build, what place in the ecosystem will suit your business best?
Brazilian entrepreneur Ricardo Semler has built a global empire by engaging to two things: trust and constantly asking himself how he – as an employer – could contribute to his employees’ happiness. He even developed innovative schools to institute this mindset. The idea was to start teaching people this way of thinking as early as possible – in kindergarten.
Nowadays his employees choose their own hours, salary and boss. What? Yes, they really do. Besides that, they have the opportunity to learn how to make choices and how to take responsibility. Bureaucracy has been diminished to a minimum. Less company rules and supervision appeared to be a great recipe for productive and happy employees. What can we learn from this innovative success story?
In my opinion there is a subtle, but significant difference between innovative companies and agile companies. I consider agile to be a more robust survival strategy than innovation. If you want to be able to adapt to both strategies, either separately or at the same time, you really need to understand that there is a clear distinction. Because of the decision support on these matters, I think the scout is on the rise again. Let me explain. First, what does scouting actually mean? Second, how can it benefit your ecosystem? And third, how are agility and innovation related in this context?