Prime Minister Narendra Modi has said, “People who change after change, will survive. People who change with the change, will succeed. People who cause the change, will lead.”
Change keeps happening and at a rate faster than ever before. We know, automation powered by artificial intelligence is disrupting our way of life in many ways. Occupations are vanishing from the face of earth. As we go forward, we will see more of them. If we can imagine what is coming, we will be better prepared to deal with them.
Either Short Term or Long Term
All of us are looking for more flexibility than ever before. Rather than having a full-time driver, we can hire a driver for a trip pretty much like we go to a doctor, lawyer, music teacher and so on. We do not need to own cars; we can rent a car for a trip. Aficionados of music, photography, adventure, fashion, travel do not need to own tools and equipment, they can rent. Similarly, companies are renting resources than owning them. This move towards flexibility in resource deployment is for the whole range of resources right from finances, plant, machinery and tools to systems, software and human resources.
Over the next decade, companies would have two kind of jobs, one for fixed term which will give them high degree of flexibility to link their cost of operation directly with revenues and the other one who would direct and leverage the bubble assets of the company. The latter is for the long term and the former is for short term. Currently, many permanent job roles are for the medium term. Going forward, there will be no such job. It will either be for the short term or for a very long term.
We deal with a variety of doctors through the stages of our life. Except our family doctor, our engagement with all the others is transient and at the same time, very important and involved. Our relationship with all of them is anchored on mutual respect, professionalism and trust.
Over the next decade, most of us would work the way most doctors work now. We will see many of us turning into gig workers. It doesn’t matter if I am an engineer, a doctor, lawyer, plumber, electrician, factory worker, chef, musician, artist, sportsperson, admin staff, accountant or a salesperson. Our success will be largely be determined by our own capability rather than the organization we work for and the boss we report to.
We need to sharpen our ability to spot opportunities, align our own capabilities with those, communicate them meaningfully, leverage technology to the fullest and empathise with our customers. It is a tall order, but has to be done.
All of us will accept temporariness or uncertainty as a part of life pretty much like a businessperson knows that the revenue streams will have variation within a range and plans for it. To stay within the range, the business keeps a constant vigil around the environment. It is continuously looking around for changes in demand patterns, competitive offerings and supplier behaviours; also the approach of the government and the bankers.
Based on these signals, travel agents have changed their business, law firms have adopted AI tools to study contracts, small businesses keep changing the stock they keep, sportspersons keep changing their training regime, teachers learn new tools to teach differently, bands change the songs they perform, and companies change their customer engagement platforms. This is their continuous education to adapt, stay relevant and succeed.
All of us, right from being a homemaker, a dog-walker, carpenter to delivery person, car mechanic, a management graduate have to be learners all through our lives. Some of us are obsessed with the triangular framework of work hours, family time and personal time. That is going to change fundamentally to a quadrilateral framework of work, study, family and me!