Look at any current business trends reports and we are quickly taken to various forms of ‘fourth…revolutions’. They may be industrial, digital, global but very few refer to the fourth human revolution. In fact, many that I’ve read leave the human factor as an effect to be managed – we are on the raggy end of major waves of change.
I feel it’s important to remember that it is the human being that is creating these changes and that within that we have a duty to think, feel and act like a human and not just an intellect or computer capable of seemingly bigger and better things without due consideration for the human factors at play.
Underpinning any of the so-called revolutions there is a call for us as humans to find new ways of being with each other such as greater collaboration, more flexibility and creativity, seeing a bigger picture and so on. However, as we harness the technologies we have created/are creating and leverage them for economic and social benefits there are some key human principles that need to come to the fore more explicitly.
For example, the scale and complexity of many of the changes that are taking place risk leaving people feeling isolated and behind the curve and focused on transactional task rather than human collaboration. Organisations such as the RSA and World Economic Forum are in many ways helpfully describing future work scenarios except that they are almost entirely focused on technological implications and very little on the cultural or deep human factors at play.
It is vital that we ensure that we start talking about the human aspects of our future world of work design – not just in an efficiency-based, transactional, mechanical way to service the global aims of individual capitalist powerhouses, but in a way that enables each of us to really see the other as diverse people and individuals.
The voices of ‘special interest’ or ‘minority groups’ can play a part in this but so can business and organisational leaders. It is so important that we don’t sacrifice basic factors such as care, kindness, consideration for another, communication, relationships, individual needs, and stories, and so on as we hurtle toward the global, homogenised, fast-paced and exciting world that technologies offer us.
As I work with organisations today there is a strong sense of task being king – I know it has long been this way – but surely as our so called sophistication grows, the primary opportunity these advances offer us are to honour, celebrate and protect our humanness?