Humans-in-the-future-of-work_650w

Framework: The role of Humans in the Future of Work

Yesterday I gave the keynote on Creating the Future of Work at The End of Nine to Five.

For the last years in addressing the future of work I have often focused on the human capabilities that will drive value as machines become more capable and the work landscape is transformed.

To help define and clarify these capabilities I created a landscape on the role of Humans in the Future of Work, which I first shared publicly in my keynote yesterday.

Humans-in-the-future-of-work_500w
Click on the image to see full size
Read more

ChessGlass_CC_chrisgj6

How to prepare for the future of work – human-machine collaboration, humanisation, education

Today’s Australian Financial Review features an article Ross Dawson on the future of work (and how to prepare for it), drawing on an interview with me.

Direct quotes from me in the article include:

“Human history is all about the automation of work,” he says.

“Right from the plough through to the spinning Jenny through to the automobile, through to any number of other inventions. They all destroy jobs. And at the same time we have always created more jobs than we have destroyed. The automation has been of jobs which have not been that desirable.

“There is a case you can make that we will continue to be a prosperous society and have meaningful work because we are continuing to unfold work which plays to our uniquely human capabilities.”

Read more

Berlin_wall_1989_CC_Joergsam

Vivid Sydney: Flexibility, diversity, and productivity at the heart of the future of work

Next week I am doing the keynote at a Vivid Sydney event titled The End of Nine to Five, organized by Gemini3, a job share matching technology company, in collaboration with EY Australia and Hermann International Asia.

I will be speaking on Creating the Future of Work, looking at the dramatically shifting landscape for work, the distinctive human capabilities that will drive value, and the resulting structure of work required to draw out the greatest growth and contribution for our teams. In the keynote I will share for the first time globally a new framework I have created on Humans in the Future of Work. I’ll share more on that here after the keynote.

Here are quotes from some of the other speakers to give a sense of what they will be covering:
Read more

The rise of global remote work will impact health, education, and far more

Today’s Australian Financial Review featured a section Transformation Agenda, including an article based on an interview with me, Health and education sectors the next to feel online disruption.

After opening with a discussion of connected work and marketplaces such as Freelancer.com and Upwork, the article goes on:

According to business consultant and futurist, Ross Dawson it’s a trend gathering pace within professional services like business consultancy, marketing strategy, IT services, even engineering and law. “Knowledge work can now be done anywhere.” he says.

It appears that this is another emerging sector where Australia is leading the way.

Sydney-based firms Expert360 and Skillsapien support two of the leading digital marketplaces for professional services, both of which Dawson sees as signalling a transition to “virtual” organisations.

“What is the role of the organisation today?” he asks. “Do they need to have offices with people sitting together? Is that the best way to source the best ideas?”

With the emergence of massive online platforms connecting millions of people it would seem not.

The article goes on to draw on my comments to look at many of the examples of how connected work is disrupting health, including CrowdMed, Doctus.com.au, and Dr Sicknote, and then closes with my comments on the impact on education, from an Australian perspective.

In the case of education, the online learning genie is out of the bottle, Dawson notes, with Australian institutions well placed to capitalise on it.

MOOCs (massive open online courses) have been around for some time with a fair degree of competition. But new opportunities are appearing in areas like professional certification, for which Australian institutions are well regarded.

“Education is and will continue to be one of Australia’s greatest exports,” Dawson says, noting that Australia’s fondness for and skills in developing digital channels will breed further opportunities in this and other knowledge-driven sectors.

Work can be done anywhere. We have reached the point where professions of all kinds will be increasingly practised remotely. While we need to ensure that potential problems are minimized, we also need to acknowledge the massive social upsides. This shift is inevitable.

Big game changers: Immersive reality and customer robot service

An article in yesterday’s Sydney Morning Herald, Five business trends set to shape 2016, asked three business “clairvoyants” what innovations small business will see in 2016: Craig Rispin, Jon Tanner, and myself.

Here are a couple of the quotes from me:

On Immersive Reality:

Futurist Ross Dawson, who heads Advanced Human Technologies Group, says the debut of Facebook’s Oculus Rift (and a host of other virtual reality head-sets arriving next year) is his “big game changer”. It will be arriving in the first quarter of 2016. Dawson believes it could transform the retail, travel, education and property industries. It is not augmented reality (as in Google Glass) but immersive​ reality: the images move in sync with a user’s head movements.

It could be used to offer virtual snapshots of off-plan apartments to prospective property buyers, give travellers the opportunity to peruse a virtual city or visit a mock art gallery in cyberspace, Dawson says. “You could immerse yourself in a battlefield or spend a virtual day in Rome, Paris or Berlin.”

On Automation:

Dawson expects to see greater automation in the retail and hospitality sectors, but believes fast food outlets will be the first to deploy robots. He mentions US-based Orchard Supply Hardware whose “OSHbot” answers questions and directs customers to products. There is also California’s Aloft Hotel, run by three-foot-high (91cm) “botlrs” which have 7-inch touchscreens to interact with patrons.

Here are videos of these robots:

Companies large and small need to be actively thinking about and exploring how these kinds of new technologies will change their business, and how they can seize the emerging opportunities.

A framework for industry leadership based on collaboration

Last week I ran a half-day workshop at the annual offsite for executives of a major airline alliance, taking the group from a broad view of macro trends shaping the future, through to the generation of specific actionable ideas to create greater value across the alliance.

As part of the workshop we used a framework that I originally developed over a decade ago in the context of collaboration in the financial services industry, but I have used in the last year in industries as diverse as healthcare, airlines, and professional services.

The future of every industry lies in value creation across organizations. To achieve that we need explicit discussions and engagements among all industry participants on what it is that they’d like to collectively achieve, and how they can get there. This framework lays out the key components:

Framework_industry_leadership_500w
Click on the image for a larger version
Read more

SWITCH festival shows the power and potential of cross-industry collaboration

I first met Mark Zawacki when I did the opening keynote at the ANZA Technology Conference in Silicon Valley in 2004, and Mark was also a speaker at the event. Mark has since founded the highly-regarded corporate accelerator 650Labs, which helps leading global corporates to drive innovation.

More recently I have met Catherine Stace, CEO of Cure Brain Cancer Foundation, who has brought inspiring and truly disruptive approaches to medical research philanthropy, by focusing on making research far more collaborative and effective rather than simply funding antiquated research models.

It is no surprise that collaboration between Mark and Catherine has created something exceptional: SWITCH Festival, to be held in Sydney 27-29 August.
Read more

The virtual agent of the future: Real-time photo-realistic human faces that bridge the human/ machine divide

I recently gave a series of opening keynotes on The Future of Customer Experience as part of a roadshow for omnichannel customer experience platform provider Genesys, which is running a global series of events for their lead customers, which includes organizations such as News Limited, Vodafone, Western Union, and the Australian Taxation Office.

The central theme of my keynotes was the boundaries and relationship between humans and machines in customer experience.

Today, extraordinary insights from data and analytics enable us to address individual’s unique preferences to an unprecedented degree.

Yet the emotion, empathy and engagement of humans cannot be replaced – we all seek personal connection and a real sense of caring.
Read more

Harnessing the power of innovation: networks are at the heart

Every organization understands they need to innovate, not just in bringing new offerings to market, but in continually becoming a new and better organization.

Networks are always at the heart of innovation. The new comes from combining the old in original ways.

Chemist Kary Mullis aptly described how he arrived at his innovations that won him the Nobel Prize in 1993:

“I put together elements that were already there, but that’s what inventors always do. You can’t make up new elements, usually. The new element, if any, it was the combination, the way they were used.”

Whether it is bringing together existing ideas to create new ideas, or connecting people in ways that generate new insights, organizations must design how they work to facilitate value-generating connections.
Read more

Consumer expectations continue to rise: advocacy reduces, antagonism rises, but trust enables value creation

The latest results from IBM’s annual Smarter Consumer Study provide interesting insights.

If consumers are smarter, they are expressing it with not just increased expectations, but an increasingly active expression of their displeasure if expectations are not met.

The following chart, provided to me by IBM in response to a request for more detailed information, shows that in all major countries advocates – those who actively advocate for their primary retailer – have decreased, while antagonists – those who would actively discredit their retailer – have increased.

IBM_advocates_antagonists
Source: IBM
Read more