The digital transformation is a key business initiative at the forefront of most leading organizations. It is not a trend that is losing ground; rather, it is picking up exponential speed. Those that plan to wait until the ground settles to find their place in the transformation will be left behind. It is undeniable that our workplace will change significantly in the next five years, and this new way of work, more than any other in recent history, will have a profound impact on how we ready our future workforce. Job-seekers, as well as those who are currently employed, will need to upskill to adapt in the workplace.
I just spent two days at the Future Workplace Summit in Boston, Massachusetts. The event focused on how the workplace is changing and presented best practices for leveraging Artificial Intelligence (AI), Virtual and Augmented Realities (VR and AR respectively), and machine learning as tools in the digital transformation. Human Resources (HR), Talent Development (TD), and Academic Leadership from Boston University engaged over 100 attendees to share and discuss that new workplace, what it will mean to talent acquisition and development, and the critical role HR and TD functions have in leading this change.
The adoption of these newer technologies to replace routine tasks and aggregate and analyze data (at speeds a human could not achieve) has been front and center of industry news. Many fear this new age. I welcome it. If we step back and look at the efficiencies to be gained, the opportunities to advance our organizations and stimulate new growth become clear. From the 2019 January Forbes article on the Digital Workforce, “AI Will Change How Employees Acquire Knowledge And What They Need To Know” to The Association for Talent Development’s (ATD) recent TD Magazine cover article, The Mentally Prepared Leader, “Cognitive readiness—a higher-level critical thinking skill—is the new must-have. The world of work is being reimagined. Unless we as HR and TD professionals redirect our strategies to embrace this new arena, we will find ourselves obsolete. Technology advancement along with global shifts in commerce, politics, and security have upped the game, and a new game requires new skills.”