It does not take too much imagination to visualize the world in the near future where Robots and Artificial Intelligence replace most positions within our society. The Swiss just voted down a “Basic Salary” for all its citizens. The thought was that if Robots and Artificial Intelligent Entities are going to replace human beings, Governments have the obligation to redistribute some of the Corporation’s wealth that benefit from this Mega Trend back to it’s Citizens. Due to its wealth, if Switzerland was an island, the experiment could have worked. Swiss borders are not closed but are open within the European Economic Union. Until all of the European Union Countries adopt a similar strategy making unwanted migration a non-issue, the time will not be right for the “Basic Salary” concept.
Although we always need to prepare for the future, we very much have to live in the present. The jobs shift cannot be stopped but what we can do is make ourselves more valuable within our corporations while the transition is happening. We need to ensure that we are one of the last people out the door.
Let’s look at how corporations assign value to individuals. Boards Of Directors provide goals to their CEOs. Depending on the industry, those goals could be revenue growth, profitability, market share, brand strength to name a few. Most corporations are built like a pyramid organizationally. These goals parse down to individuals that report directly to the CEO. Marketing may be charged with future revenue growth and brand strength. Sales with current revenue, Engineering with new product development and so on. The Executive Team that reports directly to the CEOs parses their goals to their direct reports and so on until it rolls down to where you are in the organization. Once you understand what’s required and what’s needed by your superiors, you can now align yourself towards those goals.
I’ve had the opportunity to lead organizations and to report to CEOs. The most frustrating thing that I had to deal with was the disconnect between the people who reported to me and their alignment to our goals. I have written them down. I have spoken to them verbally. I have tried to be creative in getting the people to understand and align. Most of the time I am successful, but sometimes I am not. The people that can’t or won’t align are the ones that get replaced.
Should we resist change or should we embrace it as an opportunity? In most cases resistance means job loss.
As the adoption of robots and artificial intelligence begin to replace our jobs. It is more important than ever to understand how we can perform our jobs in a way that aligns with our Corporate goals.