Mastery is an endless pathway that you can use to stay motivated regardless of the work you do. A barista could build further expertise by learning about different recipes of coffee. Or about the rituals around coffee in different parts of the world. And become a storyteller who tells a new story involving coffee to a customer. Maybe you could have storytelling sessions about all the interesting people who love coffee. The day you can discover that the opportunities for mastery in your field, whatever that might be, is really endless, you will stop dreading the beginning of the work week.
It may be time to heed the advice of Sun Tzu, “If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle.” That advice certainly holds true in the digital age.
Technology is becoming like electricity — it is invisible. Its presence does not draw attention any more, but it periodically strikes like lightning, leaving behind a trail of devastation. Unable to keep pace with fast fashion and the consumers’ preference to shop online, The Limited shut down 250 stores in 2017. 460 outlets of Sports Authority went out of business in 2016. PacSun, Aeropostale, and American Apparel filed for bankruptcy in 2016. Macy’s has just slashed 10,000 jobs and shut 68 stores. All sectors are tech sectors. All jobs are tech jobs.
HR needs to go beyond its role as a “touchy-feely” only function. The HR team must be able to design an amazing employment experience based on research, evidence and science. The real role of HR lies in shaping the culture of the organization, finding ways to attract and develop top talent and to be a futurist for the organization. Being able to design the right experience is the real value of the function. That needs expertise.
Here are three parameters to gauge whether a job can be done by robots:
The job is driven by a clear set of rules and scenarios. That’s how robots are programmed.
Efficiency and productivity are the main measures of the job.
The role of soft skills — collaboration, influencing, negotiation etc — is limited.
Do the same rules apply to an industry? How does your industry measure up?
The first day of the week or the month or the year is new start. The world has not agreed on any one common calendar. Therein lies the opportunity. Every religion offers a different day of the week as a fresh beginning. Think of 2017 as the year of the “&”. The ampersand (&) is a symbol of possibilities. You can start on a Monday & on any other day. You can start on the first of January & then again on any other day.
Ray believes that if only human emotions would be left out of the workplace, it would make it possible to run the place most efficiently. He is investing the brute power of his financial empire to make this dream a reality. People would be rated based on a million data points. The decision would be a foregone conclusion. But because people have difficulty (at least for now) to take orders from a machine, the role of the manager would be to simply convey the decision the machine has taken. How meaningful would that be for employees?
The father is obsessed with vicariously representing India at an international event (not Olympics) and will not let anything come in the way. He gives them a crew cut and makes them wear shorts and wrestle their male cousin. When his neighbors in the village mock him, he just digs his heel in. This is the bit that Aamir Khan does well. He depicts grit and determination that can inspire anyone. In a state which has battled with female feticide and low levels of women’s literacy, Dangal breaks the stereotypes and does it well.
Anyone, anywhere, anytime is the new approach to work. Work can be sliced, diced and distributed across the globe based on skill and cost. Work can be done by people any time, across time zones. The workspace is anywhere. That also means that jobs are no longer what they used to be. They don’t come with a lifetime warranty any more.
While I don’t see AI replacing teachers anytime soon, it can certainly be used to enable students and teachers to get more out of the educational experience.
To begin with, automating rule-based and routine tasks — including grading of tests and assignments — can help improve productivity in the classroom. Such tasks tend to be tedious and time-consuming. Automating them would leave teachers free to focus on assisting students who are struggling, providing human interaction and hands-on experiences for them. AI can be used effectively to respond to queries from students — a bot will be infinitely more patient than any teacher in repeating answers and examples
Alphabet is home to a dozen innovative companies. Look at the company that is simply called X, which runs “moonshot” projects. Google X chooses to focus on the future as it chooses what problems to solve. In keeping their innovation projects in-house, they use their massive cash reserves to focus on problems that would not get venture capital funds or those that have very long time horizons.