Are you ready for the Fourth Industrial Revolution ?

The Future of Work. Image Source: Google

“We stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another. In its scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before. We do not yet know just how it will unfold, but one thing is clear: the response to it must be integrated and comprehensive, involving all stakeholders of the global polity, from the public and private sectors to academia and civil society”

Klaus Schwab (Founder and Executive Chairman, World Economic Forum — WEF), 2016.

The world is changing fast and its very important that we move with the trend so that we do not become victims of change.

I believe that with every change comes both opportunities and threats. This is perhaps one of the most important reasons why change champions advocate for appropriate change management systems when their organizations are going through some sort of transformation process. People become victims of the threats that a new change pose only when they are not prepared and adequately informed about the coming change. People who are ready for change are able to ride on the opportunities that such change presents.

The World Economic Forum (WEF) has listed top 10 growing and declining skills for the fourth Industrial revolution. This list of must-have skills applies to you whether you are an entrepreneur or an employee. They are what we will need to solve the kind of problems that we will be facing. (You can find the list here)

Further, the following job roles have been identified as jobs that are likely to be replaced by AI and robotics :

Accountant, Telemarketer, Book-keeping clerk, Benefits managers, Receptionist, Courier service person, Proofreader, Computer support specialist, Market research analyst, Advertising salesperson, Retail salespeople and Security guards. Lawyers, journalists, drivers, chefs, financial analysts, and even medics are also not left out. I think actually no one is really left out! We are already beginning to see organizations deploy robots and technology generally to tasks for better efficiency and productivity.

I think that the general idea is that Robots are coming to do a lot of what we do now. So whatever we are currently doing that can be automated will eventually get automated.

So, should we be thinking about how we can better compete with robots in this future that is now already here? Absolutely not! Like Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne wrote in their best seller book Blue Ocean Strategy i think our best bet is to ‘make the competition irrelevant’ such that it doesn’t matter if robots come or not — you still retain your own relevance. In truth, the only way to beat robots and machines is to NOT be one!

Therefore, in this Fourth Industrial Revolution, the way to staying ahead of the curve is to be as human as you possibly can!

I think that while robots are coming to do some of the work we humans currently do, people will be employed to dictate what the robots/machines do and how they do it. For example, so in a cloth making factory, robots will do all the factory work (they will do it faster and with lesser errors), but humans will decide what design the robots will make and how they will make them. So, what we will have is some sort of human-robot collaboration to get things done. This will however require some new type of skills that most people do not currently have today. Some of these skills have already been identified in the WEF link earlier referenced.

In conclusion, Change is inevitable. A lot has changed in the past few years and a lot more will change in the coming ones, perhaps even faster. What’s important is for you to also be ready to change as well.

In the concluding part of this article, i will discuss two very important skills from the top 10 skills listed by the WEF and also suggest ways you can develop and gain mastery of these skills.

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Learning & Teaching. I see the other perspective and talk about it.