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The Future of Work isn’t All Bots, it Must Include People

Last week I attended the 2016 Future of Work conference hosted by the Centre for Workplace Leadership in Melbourne. The brilliant line up of guest speakers showcased some of the best minds around and their thinking about the future of work.

It’s something we all need to be planning for, now.  Here are my five key take away messages:

  1. People need to be included in the conversation around the future of work. Genevieve Bell, Intel Corporation shared that there are too many conversations that don’t consider the impact people have on how work is done, who does it, and what happens when it doesn’t work. The future of work isn’t all about automation and robots, so it’s important to look at how employees and consumers will interact with your business.
  2. Robots will not take all of our jobs. Hugh Durrant-Whyte, University of Sydney believed that there will always be a place for employees to provide skill in the future of work. We know that behaviour and emotion is one thing that cannot be replicated through automation or bots. Automation and bots don’t replace the worker; they enhance the work being done
  3. The future of work is controllable. Greg Vines, International Labour Organisation says that we have the power to create the technology to enable the jobs of the future. So it’s fair to say that we’re in control.
  4. Speed of delivery + empowerment of people = tolerance of failure. Sebastian Eckersley-Maslin, Blue Chilli believes in three drivers. Build fast, empower and trust in your people to do the right thing, and be OK to fail. Failure gives us the ability to reflect, refine, and grow.
  5. Don’t be a victim, be a designer. Fred Koffman, Axialent, LinkedIn, and Conscious Business Center says to own your behaviour and situation when it comes to problem solving. Be in the game, don’t play from the sideline. Don’t wait for something to happen.

The future is unpredictable for everyone, but we have a choice about how we interact with it. It’s not something that should be designed by the leaders and pushed out. The future requires design thinking from all levels of the organisation to make it sustainable and a place we’re excited to head to.

You can find out more from the 2016 Future of Work conference page.

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