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Preparing our Workforce for an Uncertain Future

Source | HRN Blog : By Surya P Mohaptra

The Elephant and the Mosquito

Disruptive changes are happening in the industry today. Large organizations are struggling to survive. The newer and smaller entrants into the market are making the lives of the larger organizations miserable. Big organizations are like elephants. They are mammoth in size but often slow in action and movement. Small organizations are like mosquitoes. A mosquito is tiny in size but fast and agile in action. If it wants, it can make the life of an elephant miserable and an elephant can do nothing about it. The major driver of these rapid and disruptive changes is technology. Agile and lean organizations which have been able to adopt new technology and new business models at a fast pace to create more value for their customers have flourished. Organizations which have shown laxity in adapting have perished.


What is in store for our Children?

So what is happening as a result of this rapid technology adoption? Well, technology adoption is creating never-seen-before experiences for customers. It is not only improving product and service quality but also creating revolutionary products and services which are transforming lives. While technology is transforming lives, it is not all hunky-dory at the same time. Technology is slowly replacing human beings at the workplace, in factories, in farm-lands and so many other places. Many of the transactional, low skilled jobs like office secretary, accountants, teller clerks, call center agents, translators, interpreters etc. have already been taken away by machines. Now many of the white collar and blue collars jobs are under threat. In China, the first robot-only factory is being built in Dongguan city. The factory, owned by Sehnzhen Evenwin Precision Technology, aims at reducing the current workforce of 1,800 by 90%. Huh, isn’t that scary?

Let’s look at a few more examples. At the Dusseldorf Airport in Germany, robots are being used for valet parking service. Once you reach the airport, just step out of your car and press a button on a touch screen at the entrance. And then a machine lifts your car off the ground and parks it at a secure place. Robots at the Aloft hotel in San Francisco deliver towels, toothpaste and other stuff to guests in their rooms. That is not all. Driverless cars now have become a reality. We may be just a few decades away from pilotless commercial aircrafts. It appears that technology would virtually take away almost every possible job. According to a study, “Automation will displace 22.7 million US jobs by 2025.” So will there be any jobs be left for our children? What is in store for them in future?




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