Are You Ready For The Next Wave Of Technology?

Technology brings change and traditionally creates more jobs than it destroys. Ever since the Industrial Revolution, however, people have resisted such change even though standards of living have steadily soared. Today’s technology is creating new change but this time there is a growing fear that more jobs will be lost than found.

This time it’s different

Today’s economy is going through extraordinary change, as technology, for the first time, replaces more jobs than it makes.

Factory, manufacturing, office, retail and countless other jobs will be lost as technology provides lower cost and better value in many areas of commercial life.

Economists and other experts fret and workers worry that technology will negate the need for millions of jobs in the next decade.

The usual solution is to identify the jobs technology can’t do and reskill people but there are few areas that technology doesn’t affect in today’s digital environment.

Driving cars, playing chess, hoovering the house, and even filling the dishwasher were once thought to be the preserve of humans.

But given the rate of increase in computing power it is likely that machines will carry out more jobs in more areas in future years.

What’s the solution?

One solution is to identify the jobs we want to keep within our control, regardless of whether or not technology can do them effectively.

It seems reasonable we will want to stay in charge of making high-level decisions; so politicians, entrepreneurs, community leaders, senior judges and law-makers are safe.

Governments, communities, organisations and groups where large numbers of people work with common cause will always need leaders to provide vision and direction.

Interacting socially and working closely with others in a trusting and caring way will remain the domain of humans rather than technology.

What does it mean?

Employers already want employees who excel at leading teams of talented people that perform well in changing and uncertain environments.

Jobs based on interacting with colleagues and clients are growing at a time when production jobs are disappearing with scant hope of a return.

In yesterday’s workplace employees had to cost less and outperform machines to add value; in today’s workplace employees have to do what machines can’t.

Developing new skills is not a new phenomenon, as people have always learned new ways of doing things to survive and succeed.

But this time the skills required are decidedly different, as they exist in a state of flux and constant change.

They also differ because the ability to build relationships, collaborate with others and provide leadership are about who you are rather than what you know. And this provides us with a distinct advantage.

So, for the first time, technology will destroy more jobs than it creates but the solution is simple: we must focus on what technology can’t do.