Do you worry about the future of your career? With new developments in automation and artificial intelligence, the workplace of tomorrow is changing rapidly. It’s not only systems and processes that are changing, it’s people too. Some jobs are becoming obsolete and others are being partially taken over by robots and technology.
As a leader, is it possible to future-proof your career?
First, let’s decide what we mean by ‘future-proofing.’ ‘Future-proofing’ is defined by the MacMillan Dictionary as “to design something in a way that makes it unlikely to need replacing in the future by something newer and more effective.”
When we talk about future-proofing, many people are focused on what technology can take away from them. That’s fair enough. There’s no doubt it will impact some jobs and industries more than others.
But what about the aspects of your leadership role that can’t be taken away or replaced by technology? The single most important part of a leadership role is leading your people. Effective leadership is about relationships and helping your people adapt and cope with the demands of their roles. It’s about influencing them to strive for success and reach their goals to benefit the organisation. It’s about managing and influencing the culture within your organisation and within your teams.
If you look beyond technology and consider all the different changes people face at work, especially culture and value shifts, no machine or system can successfully replace the human touch. They are harder to notice – gradual – yet have a big impact. They are unpredictable, often changing to match the expectations of society, so there’s no algorithm able to predict them with accuracy. (And the prediction is the easy part!)
Leaders can’t be replaced by machines nor can machines build sustainable engagement. The human element will always be essential. Most experts agree that leadership will be of increasing importance in the future as organisations rely on them to lead them into an ever-changing future.
Can you future-proof your leadership career?
Yes, you can. While there may be some change in the way you manage your teams, there will always be human nature to be nurtured and cared for. Without your expert leadership, it’s unlikely your organisation will be sustainable in the long term. Without people to help technology along, organisational success will remain out of reach.
This month we’re going to be focusing on the future and how you can future-proof your career and help your team members to do the same.
I’d love to hear your thoughts on the topic, so please leave a comment and tell us about your experiences.