Transform Your Organisation
Last week in transformation is about how we respond I introduced the concept of TRANSFORMATION. The essence was disruption is what happens to you, transformation is how we respond. Particular reference was made in light of the impending, undeniable advancement of technology.
As software replaces jobs, all industries all over the world are at risk. The technology is there already; the only issue is timing. Five years? Ten years? Fifteen? How long will it be before technology guts the job market? And are we, in the end, fighting a losing battle? The AI is there to be sure, but it’s primary role is to alert workers’ efforts to deliver excellent customer experiences – not to replace those workers.
And haven’t we seen this before?
Throughout history, it is the ‘hard’ industries (i.e. manual labour, metric driven, unskilled) that get unsurped. If you go back in time to the 1890’s, about 90% of the developed world were employed in agriculture. The average manufacturing company would have less than 4 employees. Over literally one generation that would change.
100 years ago, half the US population were working on farms. Making food to feed the other half. Two pieces of technology: irrigation and the tractor got us where we are today where 1.7% of the population, feeds the other 98%. So if you think about it, half of all jobs disappeared to advancement in technology. But Henry Ford, industrialization and people in the city took those jobs in. By 1920, the Ford Motor Company is making half a million automobiles per year.
Now fast forward to now. Robots have taken 2.3M manufacturing jobs in the US this year. China loses 1M manufacturing jobs per month. So anyone who says that they are bringing manufacturing jobs back, they are in the Oval Office. The truth is that manufacturing jobs are not coming back but manufacturing is on the rise. The industry just doesn’t need any workers. Whether by choice or circumstance every career gets disrupted.
But here is the good news. Obstacles are opportunities in disguise. It will be the companies that can amplify the imagination of its employees that will thrive.
Tim Sanders proclaims: “the most powerful force in business is love.” And that “the most profound transformation in business —is the downfall of the barracudas, sharks, and piranhas and the ascendancy of nice, smart people with a passion for what they do.”
My bottom line is that there is an effective way to master and profit from the madness. And, yes, the answer is transformation. Transformation with Love. Transformation reflected in the staff’s attitude toward the coming day, transformation that translates into an emotional bond with customers and communities in a way that cannot – and I predict will not – be replaceable by algorithms in the foreseeable future.
Transformation with Love, to repeat, is a human-driven affair, a state of mind, not a computer generated exercise.
But what has to change is how we create the workplace environment for this transformation?
The future is for transformers who want to change their organisations so as they can be fit for change. Fit for adaption. Fit for the future. For those who understand that more of the same is no longer going to be enough. As you dig into what matters now, I hope that you find some ideas that are truly radical. From a situation where organisations are managed without managers; where companies still maintain the elements of control and efficiency without the soul-destroying elements of bureaucracy.
The future is for transformative companies that can take ordinary employees and turn them into extraordinary innovators. Where we remove the notion of creative apartheid (i.e. a belief that the majority of us are not imaginative) and replace it with the confidence that employees have the tools and perspectives they need so they can constantly see new opportunities.
Disruption is what happens to you. Transformation is how we respond.