If you have been reading some of the posts I have written on Blogging4Jobs and my personal blog you know I have talked about the changing workplace and how it will be different in the future. Many jobs will be robotized and we will all have to be interacting more and more with AI (Artificial Intelligence.) That is going to result in a much different “feel” for your workplace. There will be a different culture if you want to put it that way. Given what the future holds you need to be preparing for that today.
Create the culture you want for the future, today!
If you want your employees to adapt to new technology and the eventuality that the job they are doing may go away you need to start working on it today. In the book “Blue Ocean Strategy” the authors say there are four challenges that any organization has in changing culture. The first of these is the cognitive challenge – people will have to understand why the change is necessary. A program of information that keeps employees informed of how technology is changing in your organization’s industry. Bring advances up in employee meetings and get people to offer how they may see the company changing as a result of technology.
The second challenge is limited resources. Employees will have to realize that change will require a movement of resources to technology which may ultimately cost them their current job. It is at this time that flexibility needs to be introduced. Helping people understand that the more flexible they are the more valuable they are may help. Getting people away from just doing jobs that are task-based and doing things that can remain in the human arena will preserve positions.
The third challenge is motivation. Employees will have to want to proceed with the inevitable changes otherwise progress will be slow and painful.
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The fourth challenge will be institutional resistance. “We just don’t do things that way” can crush a great deal of effort.
Learning to take the first steps in culture change
- Understand what technology is doing your industry. Perhaps you can get a team of workers to study what might occur.
- Identify employees who would most likely be your early adapters and foster their involvement. If you have others identified as influential resisters then either convert them or get them out.
- Start identifying the “human components” of jobs. As an MIT researcher said “We teach people that everything that matters happens between your ears, when in fact it actually happens between people. So technology doesn’t mitigate the need for human skills, but it will change which skills are most highly valued.”
- Pay attention to companies which are ahead of the technology curve and arrange “field trips” to let people see how things might be.
- Make sure people understand the financial benefit that may derive from the change to both the organization and to them.
Technological change is inevitable. It will affect all of us and we may as well smooth the transition.