Yes, we are tired of Digital Technology and its onslaught on everything “normal”. Like the old battle cry leading to the revolutionary war – “the British are coming” – there is now a chorus saying “AI and Robotics are coming”. This change in the nature of work began in the the late 1970s. In the year 2000, our first book was published titled “The System Approach – A Strategy to Survive and Succeed in the Global Economy” https://stimsinstitute.com/20151207books/ where we stated “if you merely repeat what you have done before and there are others who can do the same, then the lowest cost person will remain employed. To Survive and succeed in this Global Economy, you need to be a System Thinker – figuring out what needs to be done and why and make that happen – and not merely a task oriented person (doing what you are asked to do without questioning)!”
Since then we have explored this need and the means for survival in professional life, with modest success. More than that, we have been able to mentor and train a large body of fellow professionals across the globe. This resulted in the summary – Transformational Skills – published in 2013 with co-author Prof. Rangan. https://stimsinstitute.com/20151207books/ The Transformational skills all are interconnected and not sequential or hierarchical. They are:
- Always develop a common language
- Our biggest challenge today in our Digital world is that we are rich in words (information), poor in their meaning and common understanding.
- 3D view of core capabilities:
- Personal: Knowledge, Experience, Interpersonal skills
- Professional: Science, Engineering and Management
- Integrating the above is Technology
- Digital or IT is NOT the only “Technology”. It is just one form of Technology
- A very vivid example of lack in common language.
- This singular failure across the globe (of the word technology and its meaning) has made all education other than IT / Computer Science appear less relevant or valuable in public perception!
- Enterprise: DT (Digital World), Physical Technology and Finance / Market Drivers.
- DT enables anyone to siphon off Knowledge and its use exclusively rendering all else (Skills to process information, Physical labor, Experience and interpersonal skills) as redundant or less valuable.
- This trend will only increase with AI, Robotics (DT enabled automation).
- DT also bifurcates the economic space into four impermeable layers:
- Always frame the situation / problem / opportunity as an “Input/Transformation / Output” system.
- The whole is always larger than and different from the mere sum of its parts!
- Emphasis on analysis, reasoning, data and inference
- We are in a Knowledge Economy. Knowledge requires using our intellectual skills extensively.
- End to End Innovation:
- Solution and its impact matters.
- But you can not get there without diligence
- Nor can you get there without a shared vision and emotional intelligence (6 and 7 below).
- Develop and maintain a network for shared vision, goals and efforts..
- Opportunities for collaboration and shared vision are limitless. All constraints in any form (nation, gender, family, self, rich/poor, have/have not, race, religion, intelligent/dumb, etc.) are all self imposed constraints.
- Emotional Intelligence.
- Think and do good for others; it might be the only right thing for you to get better!
- May everyone and indeed everything exist in peace and harmony!
Today I was watching a PBS episode titled: Future of work https://www.pbs.org/show/future-work/
Using many visual examples the show arrives at a model for “Barbell Economy”, where the middle is depleted while strengthening of the two ends (high income jobs and low wage jobs). Actually this is a poor model of reality. The depletion in the middle is not equally pushed to either side like the barbell. See: https://stimsinstitute.com/2016/05/23/do-americans-really-miss-the-unions/
We have captured the changing nature of work more accurately as “Binary Economy” in our book titled “Thriving in the 21st Century Economy – Transformational Skills for Technical Professionals” published by ASME Press in 2013 – nearly 9 years ago:https://stimsinstitute.com/20151207books/
At the end of the PBS show, after an hour long lament on what is happening, the show leaves with a vague plea for change, with no formal or structured solution at the end! :-( Honestly, I felt depressed that at the end of the show there is nothing concrete to advance the society. But, this is nothing new. Most essays and movies on this topic rehash the past rather than leading the charge for change to the future. https://stimsinstitute.com/2020/11/22/commentary-on-american-factory/
Contrast that with our book where we lay out the Binary Economy model (the why?) in the first half, and we end with a clear set of Transformational Skills (the what to do about it) and the necessity for sustained education towards that in the second half of the book.
The gravity of this issue and the solution have been further condensed into five simple illustrations: https://stimsinstitute.com/2021/07/22/5-significant-lessons-for-any-professional-in-the-21st-century/
Will some one interested in workforce development (Educators, policy makers, parents, students) take a look at the Transformational Skills needed and adapt them as part of a sustained education and communication effort?
The forces of Digital Technology are the same in terms of challenges for companies to survive and succeed. The same Transformational Skills are also equally applicable to enterprises as they apply to individual workers.