“Any smart company,” he said, “would not just fire everyone when they can replace them with machines, but move them to more value-adding jobs … If the goal is to spread the power of technology and the benefits across society and create new jobs and new positions and reinvest, then we can do that.”
I don’t think that the end of routine means the end of jobs. I think it just means the end of routine.
- Gerd Leonhard
For the most part, Leonhard fears, we are falling short of that goal. To start, he believes we must move from rote learning to developing the qualities that will separate humans from machines, whether in education or workplace culture.
“We need in the future to focus on the human only-skills,” he stressed. “Mostly emotional intelligence. This is right now a number one desired capability in HR. And we need to teach it to our kids. That includes intelligence to create, to imagine, to tell a story.”
Preparing for these changes, Leonhard believes, is also the smart, competitive thing to do.
“People look at technology,” he explained, “and say wow, instead of having people do this, we can have AI or whatever. And that is a very short-term view because in five or 10 years every single company will have that technology. So, you end up being a commodity. But the thing that makes it a real company that has values and purpose and meaning is the people that work in it.”
The Floating, Fluid, Future Team
As technology change upends the very foundation of how we work, expect teams to be dynamic and fluid, management less hierarchical, and collaboration constant. (Cisco’s Future of Work research supports this conclusion.)
“I believe that the future is about wide-scale collaboration,” Leonhard said, “working on missions rather than for jobs and for necessarily one company.”
For some, that will mean adapting to a gig economy. That won’t be without its pain points, especially if we allow what Leonhard has called “digital Darwinism.””
In the Future of Work, Creativity Still Rules - Connected Futureshttps://connectedfutures.cisco.com/article/future-work-creativity-still-rules/