How will Technology Disrupt Your Work?

It has been said that a recession is when your friend loses their job, a depression is when you lose yours. Last week I outlined 5 trends that will disrupt every business in the next five years. The first trend we will examine is the one that has the potential to create a depression in your world.

Those who follow me know that I work with individuals and organizations to think bigger and reach higher to do what others don’t think is possible. That involves anticipating the pain by tracking the trends and forecasting the opportunities. Toward that goal my wife and I have written two books that clients use to create a cutting-edge culture of disruptive innovation. (The ROI of Compassion, 2018, and LEADING with the POWER of COMPASSION, to be released at SHRM19 in Las Vegas in June).

The Projections

Kai-Fu Lee, author of AI Superpowers and former employee at Apple, Microsoft and Google, projects that the technology will displace 40% of all jobs by 2030.

PwC projects a 38% loss of jobs and 44% of all workers without an education will be affected by mid 2030s.

You have read in previous posts how I was a warehouse and factory worker some years ago. Today Amazon uses robots to do what I did as an order-filler in my early adult years. Chatbots are already welcomed instead of calling customer service. Many of us already use Alexa, Google Maps and facial recognition. Not only are they helping us do what we couldn’t otherwise think possible, they are likely displacing some lower level jobs. Expand your perspective and we see that driverless technology is quickly progressing to the point that it will be noticeable in 202 and completely take over by 2040.

When we look at the projections, we see a world where our old way of work is disappearing rather quickly. The world of work where we did repetitive work over and over is quickly disappearing.

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The Resistence

Those who believe these dire projections are labeled “future pessimists” because they see the negative. Meanwhile, those who disagree are labeled “future optimists.”

There are those who claim these projections are hype and hoax, that jobs won’t be destroyed and that jobs will be created as fast as they are lost.

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My Take

In all my research I have found that most of the experts foresee a significant disruption coming. Not only do leaders like Kai-Fu Lee see a significant loss of jobs, their projections make sense. We all want great technology that takes away the pain of repetitive jobs. Business owners want new technology that is better, faster and cheaper than human labor. Meanwhile, we lack the workers for some jobs like truck drivers and brick layers so new technology is welcomed. I don’t see that dissipating any time soon.

Mix that with the leap in progression for AI and we suddenly are at a point where jobs in both blue and white collar will be lost. Look around and we see kiosks to order in fast food restaurants and self-check out in big box retailers. Extend that experience to office jobs and we see the repetitive work of transactional law and mortgage underwriting both being disrupted in the near future. Our current experience affirms what the experts are predicting.

That’s where I foresee additional pain. Not only will they lose their jobs, they will not be of the mindset to progress into jobs created by new technology.

To successfully navigate this paradigm shift, we must help others to think bigger and reach higher. This is no easy task and many will excuse themselves from the creative discussion claim they don’t have one of three things.

  • PROCESS – They don’t know how to be creative.
  • CONFIDENCE/IDENTITY – They don’t think they are a creative person or even that they could be.
  • INCENTIVE – They don’t think the disruption will happen or that they will be affected by it.

Leaving people to their own devices will create tremendous pain for themselves and others. Sadly, those people make up the majority of the workforce.

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Compassionate Leadership – – Anticipating the New Pain

Those of us who are willing to track this trend and forecast the opportunities (as well as the threats) must be bold. This is no task for the weak. To solve the serious problems we must do what we have never done before. We must become disruptive leaders and build cutting-edge teams to do what we used to think was impossible. That means all of us must step up our game. Here are three suggestions.

  1. Observe and listen to each team member. What do they need to become a creative thinker and then a disruptive leader?
  2. What incentive can you give them to do what they have never done before?
  3. How can you build their confidence?

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Follow this blog to be the first to read about the second trend (coming soon), increasing consumer demand for control in your business.

(c) 2019 Murfield International, Inc.




Loren Murfield, Ph.D.

I work with leaders and organizations think bigger and reach higher to find breakthrough success. This is a process that I can help you learn. Begin the process today by contacting me. 

Start learning how you can engage employees during their most traumatic moments in our newly revised and just released book, “The ROI of COMPASSION.” Watch for the formal release of our new book, “Leading with the Power of Compassion” in July, 2019. (Soft release at the SHRM19 conference in June.)

ROI of Compassion 2018

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