LinkedIn article by Ruud Rikhof
The world of work of tomorrow is going to be very, very different. It is a world where current HR concepts (which are very often not even effective today) will be misaligned and where human beings no longer want and expect to be measured and assessed predominantly on the basis of cost and productivity. In other words; we need to stop refining concepts for HR that were designed for the world of today and yesterday.
We do not need an evolution; but we will need a disruptive revolution or re-imagination of our profession in order to stay relevant for the years to come. Every organization will inevitably be impacted, and the current coronavirus crisis only accelerates some of these developments. The speed and magnitude of this impact will largely be driven by “an appetite for change”: do you want to be “ahead of the curve”, do you want to “go with the flow” or would you rather be “late in the game” and learn from others or, possibly the least attractive option, do you want change to be done to you.
Below a brief overview of the “why” and if you want to learn more, you can download a long-read at the end of this article
Technology, technology, technology
The dominant technologies that are driving convergence are all connected and intertwined and we see them expressed in developments that range from robotics, to sensors, to networks, to VR and AR, to 3D printing, AI, biotechnology, quantum computing, blockchain and virtual currencies, like bitcoin, as well as material science , synthetic biology and nanotechnology.
All these exponential growth curves are expressions of dramatic increases in productivity, accompanied by dramatic drops in price. These new technologies, like drones, robots, sensors, nanotechnology were already with us many years ago, but they were in an early stage of development.
Only now do we start seeing the impact, AND……..we are only at the beginning of this technology revolution. Everybody speaks these days about Artificial Intelligence and Machine Learning, what we see today is only at the very, very early beginning of this journey. And there is much more to come.
These technology trends favor digital companies who hold an increasingly commanding handle on the markets. Who had heard of Bytedance (the company behind TikTok) 2 years ago. We are already getting used to the dominance of Google, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Microsoft, Tencent, Alibaba and Baidu. Does anyone remember that Google is only 20 years young? Their revenue will be about 150 BUSD in 2020, they may be close to 200 BUSD in 2021. Does anybody dare to predict how big Google will be in 2030? Established industries struggle to keep pace with these accelerating valuations, leaving them behind to allocate funds for transformative investments.
The average half-life of a business competency has dropped from 30 years in 1985 to 5 years today and in the last 15 years, 50+% of the S&P companies have disappeared. In the next 10 years, 40% of the S&P companies will disappear. 10 years ago, who could ever imagine that e-sports was going to become so big? With more than 2 billion (yes, billion) young people involved, this kind of computer gaming with Dota 2, League of Legends and Fortnite has completely taken off. The e-sport world has already applied to become Olympic, big sports brands are setting up e-leagues, the best players are multimillion-dollar earners.
Whether we like it or not, technology is going to be with us and impacting us on a scale and magnitude that most of us never thought possible. And yes, we will have to answer some very big questions, sometimes challenging our principles of ethics and morality. How can we ensure that technology empowers and not hampers democracy, or can we preserve civil rights in times of data privacy and cybercrime, who has ownership over data etc.
How technology impacts the world of work
The accelerating pace of change in technology has a huge impact on work. We now see the progressive signs of a disintegration of the classic workforce models with the emergence of the extended workforce (or gig workers). It will be less and less necessary to go and work onsite and no longer will we need to be in an office at certain times to get work done (the coronavirus crisis has significantly accelerated this awareness). What’s more, individuals can now offer various parts of their capabilities to different companies in different geographies; you can call this “packetization”. And we can now gradually start to unbundle jobs into pieces of work and human beings into skills or capabilities. What we will witness over the years to come is a shift from “managing people” to the “distribution of work”.