Perhaps the most pressing challenge we have to face in today’s workplace is instilling the ability to change ourselves. The rate of change has increased to such a degree that many workers have become overwhelmed in their capacity to keep up. It seems that when we look towards the past all that we see is what we have lost.
Right now, our two political candidates talk about bringing back jobs, growing jobs, promising jobs and it is the wrong conversation. Right now, we stand at a turning point in our culture, one that we will look back on and realize how much easier and exciting this time would be if we had simply known where we were headed.
Of course we are losing jobs. But the same thing happened at the dawn of the Industrial Revolution. More than half the world’s workers lost their jobs. But, the quality of life on this planet transformed and work didn’t go away, it changed.
In the very near future, 3D printing will empower business owners to manufacture products in their own homes. Robots will give us co-workers that handle the grunt work as we create and innovate new solutions. Artificial Intelligence is in the midst of bringing us a cure for cancer. The innovations taking place right now will eliminate most of the jobs we know.
Our country’s number one job is trucking. As 5.2 million truckers lose their positions to robotics, what are we going to do with them?
Over the next decade Artificial Intelligence will invade white-collar work in epic ways. Robots will perform intricate surgery. Oh wait! They are already doing that. In fact, every aspect of tasks is now up for grabs in existing time as well as our near future.
Yes, we can always look to the history for the fact that technological change can give everyone pink slips. But, the truth is that we also have a strong history of moving on to “what’s next.” Technological change frees us up it doesn’t replace us. If someone believes that, they are dead – on the sidelines; because beliefs quickly become our prisons.
The Industrial Revolution turned the world of work upside down. So will this technology transformation. There is one fundamental difference. The changes are happening in ever accelerating waves. This means that building the skills that inspire effective change are the single most important skills to learn today. Not only do all of us need them, a case can be made that those of us who have them also have a responsibility to inspire everyone around them to do the same.
Here are a few example of “modern life skills:”
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Self-Inquiry As change accelerates the need to redefine our mission, vision and purpose also speeds up. Setting aside the time to ask and define “what’s next?” “what have I grown into?” and, “what do I want to do next” are critical in effectively catching the next wave. Those of us who don’t define a compelling new mission, vision and purpose will find we also don’t have the fuel to put forth the effort of reinvention.
Attention As the cycle between “gigs” shortens (today’s average college graduate will change careers four to six times) the skills for drawing healthy attention to our selves also become more necessary. This is why even truckers would do well to take sales, presentation and social networking skill training sooner rather than later.
Constant Education The days of segmented education are over. In fact technological advances both require and provide what we need to know. Most of us who ignore this fact will find them selves at the sidelines, missing all the fun. The good news is that most of us don’t have to move too far to get reeducated.[/message][su_spacer]
If you buy these ideas, tell a friend who doesn’t! Tell your children. Tell your family members.