Future of Work: 8 Megatrends Shaping Change | Future Careers | GetSmarter Blog
"The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence itself, but to act with yesterday's logic."
– Peter Drucker, Management Consultant, Educator, and Author
The phrase "yesterday's logic" presumes logic of the recent past. That is an understatement. Many among us, strongly influenced by our religious believes, actually act with millennium old logic.
We live in uncertain times. While the acronym VUCA (for our 'Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, and Ambiguous' world) may have originated from military minds in the post-Cold War period, the eagerness and ease with which the business world has adopted it to describe today's global economy is striking. It's estimated that as many as half of the world's CEOs now view uncertainty as the single biggest external threat to their business.
The other half of the CEOs, probably are still wondering what happened.
The only way to find answers to the uncertainty we anticipate and the change that we fear is to ask the right questions. This was the impetus behind 'The Future of Work Is Here' report from GetSmarter. Based on findings from over 106 countries and 8,000 respondents, this research offers significant insight into the current and future impact of disruptive and convergent forces, helping business leaders and organizations globally uncover meaningful tools for navigating change.
Certainly these tools are not going to be any help to the other half of the CEO's we referred to above.
To use these tools requires certain skills. If you don't know how to use a computer what use is a computer? Do these CEOs have the necessary skills to use these tools? Even if they know how to use them, the skill levels may vary and for most it may not be sufficient to bring about the desired results.
In the current zeitgeist, it can sometimes feel as if the march of progress is a speeding train, erratically driven by technology, in which we – the passengers – have no control over the outcome or destination. However, in truth, humans remain the real drivers of this change, and the digital acceleration we currently experience hasn't removed the human element from the equation – it's arguably made it more central. Essentially, humans are the change, and as the change is shifting, so are we.
Yes we got onto the train with a destination in mind. But the train has made so many detours that we don't know its direction now. Meanwhile, it seemed be on a constant acceleration. What do we do now? Perhaps, we should just enjoy the ride as best as we can.
Professor Klaus Schwab, founder and executive chairman of the World Economic Forum, has repeatedly stressed that we stand on the cusp of a Fourth Industrial Revolution that is to be distinctly "human-led and human-centered."
We are wondering now, "who led the former Industrial Revolutions? Non-humans?"
The 4IR is bigger, faster, and more all-encompassing than anything humanity has experienced before. The emergence of dynamic new technologies, coupled with megatrends like greater mobility and connectedness, globalization, resource scarcity, and fundamental changes to the makeup of the human population means change is to be found everywhere, occurring simultaneously to create a whole new order (thus, this is a 'revolution' and no mere 'transformation').
As an observer, we can't help but notice that this trend is going to benefit the early adopters of these technologies and the accompanying changes much more than the others. In the process, wealth distribution is going to be extremely unequal resulting in the rich and poor divide becoming worse.
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Future of Work: 8 Megatrends Shaping Change