“A version of this post originally ran on the Lead Change Group site on 16th May 2018 and can be read at www.leadchangegroup.com.
With the onslaught of AI and other disrupting technologies, the workplace will undergo rapid changes. In the VUCA world, employees are struggling and constantly challenged to move out of their comfort zones.
Every industry is in the process of transformation. Traditional jobs are disappearing and new roles are coming up. To keep up with this rapid change, individuals need to adapt to the changes. It’s believed automation alone will displace many jobs over the next 10 years and many more new jobs will also be created. A McKinsey Global Institute report on future of the workforce shows that between 75 million and 375 million people globally will have to change their occupation and acquire new skills by the year 2030.
The Tsunami of Change
These changes are not just causing disruption to businesses, but are also becoming a big problem for the managers to face. Managers and their teams are feeling insecure, causing major health hazards.
This tsunami is here to stay. And its resulting impact will be more dangerous to the organizations and the people that work in these organizations. It is therefore crucial that organizations require having cultural orientation around the change to remove all barriers to such transformation programs.
While AI and other technologies would bring in changes for the good of the mankind and improve our lives, like any other changes these also would leave its impact on people if not managed. People are key to such changes. It is not just technology that needs to be focused on, but people need to be made comfortable with such changes. Cultural changes and organization level changes are required to be given priority when transformation programs are launched. The human aspect is crucial to success.
What is needed to survive during such transformation?
• Agility: remain flexible to changes and adapt with speed. Agility has become a popular concept today. But more than a method, agility also has to do with your mindset. Remove all the filters and stop being attached to your thoughts and beliefs. Agile is all about learning and adapting. Keeping abreast of all developments and technology during this period is very crucial for success.
• Give up working in silos — a meaningful creative collaboration between all employees is a must during such times. Since the transformation is a common goal for the entire organization, working in silos reduces productivity and efficiency. Working in silos prevents sharing of best practices across different business/functions. It also dampens employee motivation levels.
• Up-skill and cross-skill as required. New skills need to be learned to be alive and kicking in transformation programs. Always be curious and on the lookout for new skills that you can add to your skill box. It is never too late to learn. There are many ways available today where you can learn. If you don’t have the luxury of attending classroom training, you can always look at online training courses that offer you the courses from the comfort of your home.
• Change your mindset. Many of us carry baggage from the past, which we find difficult to let go. Something that has worked in the past, may not always work in your current circumstances. In fact, if you insist on doing things the way you have done it before, you will miss the bus.
“No matter what, people grow. If you chose not to grow, you’re staying in a small box with a small mindset. People who win go outside of that box. It’s very simple when you look at it.”
- Kevin Hart