The power of artificial intelligence (AI), the internet of things (IoT) and big data will bring unprecedented new efficiencies to the workplace and organisations collectively. Imagine an office space before computers compared to today’s working environment and the comparison gives an indication of the quantum shift that is about to take place. Any work that can be processed will sit under AI’s remit.
With millions of bits of data flowing through an enterprise, whether from operations monitored by IoT devices or data from customer interactions, AI programs will continue to learn and improve over time. Humans therefore need to learn and build on those skills that AI can’t replicate.
What is the most important lesson managers need to know to evolve with the times?
The traditional organisational structure where information is withheld, tasks become isolated and decisions are passed up the management chain is no longer sustainable in the age of instant satisfaction. Those managers that treat employees as if they can’t make decisions for themselves will quickly find that their workforce chooses to move elsewhere.
Handing power to each individual in the company and allowing them to decide on everything that affects their time at work – holidays, salary, investment, recruitment – creates an environment where people feel trusted to do their work and a sense of personal ownership and responsibility can develop naturally. This sense of individual leadership will be crucial in the future, especially as humans monitor the processes handled by AI to ensure that their results fit within the wider context.
What’s the biggest risk if they don’t?
Those that fail to change or think that AI is overhyped will soon find themselves not only redundant but also worthless, which will lead to mental health issues. Company executives need to realise that AI technology will disrupt every single sector and industry, making our daily and working lives far more efficient as long as we can adapt our own behaviour.
Many younger employees entering the workforce are already demanding a new way of working that is tailored to each individual. Businesses that do not adapt to this changing work dynamic will lose quality staff and thus fall into bankruptcy. The majority of the workforce will become attracted to more agile company structures, and begin to thrive as forward-thinking managers of AI coworkers in the process.