There is no escape from the reality that the world is an ever-changing phenomenon. Since the 1700’s the debate rages on about the impact of technology on life, and especially business. With the framed alignment of jobs during the late 1700’s and early 1800’s, representing the First Industrial Revolution, the fear of significant job losses has prevailed. With the invention of the steam engine, productivity increased and boosted the economy significantly. Society miraculously managed to survive this industrial onslaught. It was overcome by the integration of teams and the efficiency resulting from orchestrated group activities.
The Second Industrial Revolution during the late 1800’s to the early 1900’s saw the invention of machine tools, the telegraph, as well as railroads. It miraculously did not have the negative impact on employment as was predicted. This revolution was about systemization. Productivity continued to improve as a result of this structured and ordered approach to manufacturing and logistical distribution. Specialization of skills to operate and control these systems resulted in increased standards of living and continued employment and economic progress.
The Third Industrial Revolution saw the rise of computers and information systems. And still we managed to survive and thrive during this transition. Specialization of knowledge and compliance with set standards became the norm. This became the saving grace during the disruptive period of knowledge acquisition and application. Qualification became the financial differentiator in the job market.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution is happening and is impacting on everyone, consciously or unconsciously.
Big data is the theme of the day and the collection, analysis and extrapolation of data through algorithms is at the order of the day. This is driven by the innovation in cutting-edge technologies which include increased storage capacity linked to enormous capabilities in processing speed and power in devices. Internet of Things (IoT) and the connectivity amongst these represent a new environment of automation, artificial intelligence, mobile connectivity and functionality, as well as device and machine learning.
So what will be the impact of all of this? There will be less focus on operational interventions and more focus on creative and strategic interventions. Five million jobs will be automated by 2020 as predicted by the World Economic Forum. It is said that within the next 20 years, 47 percent of the total jobs in the US is at high risk of being automated or computerized.
What is scary to some, and exciting to others, is that these phenomena are not only present in science-fiction movies anymore, but have also entered our reality. Adapt or die is the new mantra and history has proven this to be a crucial factor in our struggle for survival.
The fact that the change that we will undergo during the Fourth Industrial Revolution is inevitable and not optional, force us to contemplate the requirements of the transformation in mindset in order to not only survive, but thrive during this period and under these circumstances.
The advantages that will be brought about during the Fourth Industrial Revolution will be immensely beneficial to us and society will enjoy enhanced human capacity. The additional benefits include increased levels of security and higher standards of living, especially in the area of health and wellness.
People will need to progress to a higher level of awareness regarding their own genius, capabilities, aptitude and their environment. Without this shift, they will not be able to effectively leverage these assets toward creating their ultimate life experience.
This will allow them to harness their knowledge, power and capacity in a new way in order to become economically active, but more specifically from a growth perspective and not from a task focused perspective as in the past.
Persistence and relentless pursuit, coupled with creativity and a high value on conversion or exchange will be the recipe for success.
As much as the Fourth Industrial Revolution is being punted as the “Rise of the Machines”, it is much more about the “Empowerment of People”. Those who still hang on to the past, and the way it used to be, will sadly be left behind to face the death of irrelevance.
It is said that Big Business of the future will not be the business with the highest number of clients, but the business which has empowered the largest number of people.
Talentism and Deep Service
The new buzz word will be “TALENTISM”. In business we will be moving back to discovering the intrinsic genius in every person. It will not so much be about your qualifications but rather your natural talent, your ability and agility, to adapt and to thrive within constantly shifting environments. The focus of education will be about the discovery of the self and the honing of what is natural to you. Large corporations globally have already started to move away from the entrenched practice of primarily looking at qualifications, with a shift towards looking at attitude and trainability or skill-ability.
A new practice in emerging industries is not to inform a job applicant in which department of the company they would be employed, forcing them not to try and give the “right” answers to interview questions. This allows for authentic evaluation of the prospects.
Because most manufacturing and services will become automated, humans will engage with what I like to call “DEEP SERVICE”. This will be the next economically exciting value proposition for humans. The concept is based on accelerating and exponential value transfer. The new measurable or metric will not be time spent on delivery of a task, but about the appropriate and effective value delivered to the client. As mentioned above, how effectively you deliver this deep service will be based on “talentism”, described as the new capitalism where you sell your talent or intrinsic genius and not so much a traditional product or service where time- and cost-based manufacturing or service determines the price. Emotional intelligence, which will not be able to be effectively replicated by Artificial Intelligence (AI), will become the differentiator for human beings.
The POWER of People
For this reason we are entering the arena of the “POWER of People”.
The word POWER means: “…your ability or capacity to influence, in order to change the course of events”. In this new business environment, you will be required to use your intrinsic genius to influence in order to change the course of events for your clients and employees (society), as well as for the environment. Sustainability will not be optional but requisite.
The impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution will run much broader, and deeper than previous industrial revolutions. The world’s biggest problems: hunger, climate change and disease will potentially be eradicated or at least significantly addressed during the Fourth Industrial Revolution because we’ll have the knowledge, the talent and the tools to remove these challenges. These amazing new machines will supply us with the insight and the perspective we so desperately need. But because of our reliance on the intrinsic genius of people, machines won’t supply the judgement or the ingenuity. People will.
By: Sheraz Rayban
Creator and Founder of POWAlife