Over the last few months, I’ve heard the same questions posed many times: “Why is this Industrial Revolution any different from the previous three, where human kind had gone on to create more wealth and prosperity globally? Will this 4th Industrial Revolution not result in the same outcome?” My definite answer is: “No – this time is very different, and if anything, we must be working on developing our resilience to be able to adapt to the speed of change.” This is the first time in history where it is uncertain if future generations will have an easier life than their parents. I’ve noted a couple of thought provoking ideas below taken from the work of Yuval Harari that touches on why this Industrial Revolution is quite different than what we experienced in the past.
1. The evolution of Big Data is much bigger than just BIG. Big Data will be watching you.
As Yuval Harari notes “Just as divine authority was legitimized by religious mythologies, and human authority was justified by the liberal story, so the coming technological revolution might establish the authority of Big Data algorithms, while undermining the very idea of individual freedom.” Unlike previous revolutions, biologists are in the midst of deciphering the human brain and emotions, while at the same time, computer scientists are beginning to uncover the possibilities of unprecedented data-processing power. When you merge the two together, you have Data Algorithms that can possibly understand you better than you can understand yourself. Today we believe we have the freedom of making our own choices; however, with the merging of these two key areas, can we be certain that we are not being manipulated into decisions that are in the best interest of corporations or governments? What does this mean to you, your leadership and the future of your organization?
2. The future of jobs is questionable.
Working with many leaders and their families, the question is often posed: “What should I be suggesting and directing my children to focus on in school that will allow them to secure a job in the future?” This may not be the right question – if we are having difficulties in predicting the next 5 years today, it is extremely unlikely that we will be able to predict, with any accuracy, the future of jobs 10 plus years from today. The question we should be contemplating looks more like this: “What are the skills my children should be developing today that will allow them to be agile enough to adapt to whatever jobs and industries exist in the next 10 years?”
In 2016, the World Economic Forum in Davos put out a report suggesting the following skills would be required in the year 2020:
- Complex problem solving
- Critical thinking
- People management
- Co-ordinating with others
I’ve only listed the top 5 – you can access the top 10 at: https://www.weforum.org/agenda/2016/01/the-10-skills-you-need-to-thrive-in-the-fourth-industrial-revolution/
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is very different than what we’ve experienced in the past. It is imperative that you understand and adapt to these changes. We know forecasting the future is hard, so consider the following as you develop your own creativity and problem solving techniques:
- Create models to expand your “gut thinking” when it comes to looking at the future.
- Develop the right analytics to stretch your brain and your thinking. Move beyond your customers and surround yourself with a variety of people. Have a vision of looking down the field but be agile enough to move the ball down the field strategically. Be willing to adapt every time you gain new ground. Take a breath, examine your surroundings and develop a potential new perspective that finds that next opening down the field. It’s about the success of each play that allows you to move towards achieving your overall goals and objectives.
- Leverage your passion to succeed. There is absolutely no point in diving into something that you have no interest in and lack the passion to develop points one and two above.
On November 21st, PEO will host our 6th Annual Leadership Conference themed “RESILIENCE”. We will assemble a number of global thought leaders who will share their insights on the importance of resiliency today and what it requires to become a resilient leader. We’ll examine how to create resilient organizations where employees are able to react quickly and efficiently to change and perceive experiences constructively, expand their decision-making boundaries, develop the ability to create on the spot solutions and develop tolerance for uncertainty.
If you are an Entrepreneur, C-Level executive or an upcoming executive, consider joining us for these 3 days of Connecting, Thinking and Growing. You can reach us at 416-637-0299 x305 or firstname.lastname@example.org