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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.

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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.”

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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:
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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.

The evolution of the CIO – the transformation of the role of the Chief Information Officer

I was recently interviewed by Mark Pesce for Lenovo’s ThinkFWD CIO Podcast Series on ‘The Evolution of the CIO’.

The audio of the podcast can be found on the ThinkFWD website.

In the podcast Mark asked me to delve into the details of my Future of the CIO framework, shown below.

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Six characteristics supporting excellence in service delivery innovation

Last Friday, after delivering the breakfast keynote at CPA Congress in Brisbane (more on that in another post), I ran a half-day workshop at the partner offsite of a national accounting firm network on the theme of Disruption and Innovation in Professional Services.

I spent some time giving the partners current perspectives on both disruption and innovation in professional services, with the rest of the time spent facilitating the group in generating and prioritizing initiatives to drive the members firms’ future.

I ran through the domains in which they can enhance their business models and performance. However in professional services probably the most important domain is service delivery, in which extraordinary possibilities for innovation have opened up in the network economy.

I have just recalled that eight years ago I co-authored a white paper for SAP titled Service Delivery Innovation: Creating Client Value and Enhancing Profitability. While it is not recent, the issues I covered are still completely relevant today, so I thought I’d share a section from the white paper here:
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Understanding organizational change: Exceptional visualizations of evolving org charts

Org charts have long been used to show people the formal reporting lines in organizations, usually as a hierarchy with different levels.

However organizations are regularly re-organized, requiring a new org chart to be created. In fact, organizations are completely dynamic, changing in ways small and large every single day.

A fantastic video (below) depicts the continuous and frequently dramatic changes in the org chart of Autodesk over a 4 year period, in what the creators describe as an OrgOrgChart (Organic Organizational Chart). It’s well worth watching.


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Jobs of the future: sports referees out, emotional designers in

This morning I was interviewed on the national breakfast program Sunrise on the future of jobs, discussing a report that suggested 40% of jobs could be replaced by automation in the next 10-15 years.

Click on the image to see a video of the segment:
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In the segment I pointed to some of the broader trends shaping the future of work, as well as particular jobs that would be disappearing or growing.
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40-50% of jobs are at risk of being lost to automation, but where will they disappear fastest?

The Committee for Economic Development for Australia (CEDA) today launched a landmark publication Australia’s Future Workforce?

It’s an excellent report, bringing together contributions from leading researchers from Australia and globally, looking at the exceptional challenges of the changing landscape of work, and some of the policy prescriptions that will help nations and their citizens to prosper.

One of the highlights of the report was an analysis of the likelihood of automation replacing jobs in Australia, adapting the methodology used by the Oxford Martin Institute in examining the risk of job losses in the US.

The Australian study looked at the likelihood of different job sectors being replaced by automation.

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Source: CEDA
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In a world of peer learning the opportunities flow to talent and those who share

I recently gave the closing keynote at the Lectora User Conference 2015 in Nashville, Tennessee, which brought together users from around the world of the Lectora e-learning authoring platform.

My keynote on Embracing the Future looked at the broad trends shaping our world, and how they were shaping the world of education in particular. Peer learning is a fundamentally important trend today, describing how people learn increasingly from their peers rather than formal teachers. Indeed, the leading edge of any domain of study is driven by peers who share what they discover on the edges of their discipline.

One of the stories I told in my keynote was how a young Mexican man has been amply rewarded for his talent and his propensity to share, rather than formal education.

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Image: Jordi Muñoz, Chris Anderson and Jon Callaghan of 3D Robotics Credit: Christopher Michel
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