Changes are happening at a rapid now! In a world where economy, health and environment can feel like unstable subjects, we will, in all probability, have to get used to rapid changes in the future as well.
There is much talk about Augmented Reality, AI, automation, 5G and other technical solutions, benefiting companies. But just as important, if not more so, are things such as empathy, creativity and cooperation. Heather McGowan is one of many future strategists who highlights the importance of investing in your employees to be able to lead a successful business.
Fast changes requires fast adaptation
Technology is driving change at an astronomical pace. At the time when the steam engine was invented, people had two generations to adapt to the changes it brought to society. At the present day, we need to absorb 4-5 different paradigm shifts, in a single generation, according to Heather McGowan.
And it is the same when it comes to learning. Only a generation ago, a person could learn a profession in school and then work whit that profession all life. Today, we are in constant need of learning new things and absorbing new technology, to keep up with the demands of labor market.
How well a company is performing is much affected by how adaptable their employees are.
A new way of thinking in the hybrid workplace
At the height of industrialism, it was all about scalable production. How can we produce more? Today, is is about learning and adaptation. A lot of jobs are believed to be automated, and handled by a robot or a computer, in the near future. This means that companies have to focus more on things that is harder for a robot or a computer to do. These are thing such as empathy and creativity. When thinking in those terms, it is not as important to hire a person that is really good at a specific task, but instead focusing on encouraging and allowing the development of their employees.
Technology is only a tool
A tool requires a person to handle it, and technology is just a tool. We still need actual people to perform tasks, despite increased automation. McKinsey did a report on automation, and according to them there will still be a chance for full-time jobs for people, however about 75-375 million people may have to change their work tasks by 2030. This means that it is a huge adjustment that will be needed by the work force in the coming years.
Businesses today must stop focusing solely on what they produce and sell and instead spend more time on what purpose the company has. And an important part of that work has to do with internal culture. McGowan believes that the managers that make their companies thrive are leading with confidence in their employees and creates safety for them. By letting employees develop within their job, managers create a higher value, both for the company, in terms of production and return, but also for the employee.
Lay the foundation for creativity and collaboration
Today the work situation can be working full-time from the office, full-time from home or something in between. A situation like that requires the right tools to create the right conditions for creativity, collaboration and empathy. With the right tools for collaboration and seamless communication, entrepreneurs lay the foundation for being able to connect with their employees. And at the same time they let the employees connect with each other, no matter where on this globe they work. Focus on letting employees learn. Let them learn from each other, from competitors and from customers. This way, you ensure that your company can keep up with the rapid changes to stay relevant, now and in the future.