The enormous proliferation of technology and the increasing rate of adoption by companies have presented new opportunities to revolutionizing the workforce and the interaction between an individual and the organization.
The new technological advances have given rise to the gig economy. The general shift towards agile workforce and project management have enabled employees to change their work habits entirely. People are no longer staying at one job for 10-20 years. They take a short-term project with a specific organization, complete the project and move on to their next gig. In addition, traditional bundles of skills required for a specific job are replaced by a new one. This new work nomad needs to have an abundance of digital, social and communication skills. On the other hand, this new type of attitude towards work allows companies to tap into a huge talent pool – basically the entire world of skilled workers eager to take up a project, relocate and then move again or even work from a different place.
Crowdsourcing is yet another revolution of today’s work life. Businesses can now take advantage of the collective wisdom of crowds and ask employees to identify pitfalls within the company – in terms of processes, for example, or even identify areas that can achieve competitive advantage. Hence, companies can take advantage of the knowledge of front-line workers and utilize their tacit knowledge to be able to better respond to needs. In addition, the customers can also be asked to contribute with ideas on how to improve product and service (take for instance the Starbucks case).
Naturally, these changes also present some obstacles and downsides. For instance, the gig economy and the nomad culture result in inability to create a strong and long-lasting relationship with one single company. This in turn could affect work engagement, company loyalty and even at times the quality of the work. On the other hand, crowdsourcing regardless of whether it is done inside or outside of the company could result in many unfeasible and unrealistic suggestions and ideas. It is really costly to sift through all the noise to find only one really good idea.
I think the focus in the coming years will be to try and overcome these challenges to be able to take full advantage of the perks that technology offers.
From the advent of the Apple Watch, smart cars like the Tesla model S (not self-driving cars), the IoT, 3D printing, VR, Wearables and all the amazing tech trends we see it can be difficult to differentiate hype from reality. Here are some examples
What is certain is that everything in our lives is going to become smart the same way everyone in 1996 said the internet is going to change the world in 2000 but it really changed the world something like 2010. The deployment of accurate, easy to consume information from all things and objects around us to make our lives easier is going to hugely disrupt some industries forcing them to change the way they do things.
Let’s take the current education system for example as it is relevant to all of us and hypothesis how the combination of such trends might affect it. The descriptions that follow post might make you think I am not a fan of the current education system although these are just some observations and predictions meant not to offend but only to generate discussion.
The university system is slowly losing its value proposition in face of the speed and intensity in the current business marketplace. Unfair debt structure of college loans can severely set a young person back. This brings to question whether college degrees are appropriate for everyone? It’s a hard conversation to have because the college dream has been so well branded. Yet it is fascinating how little parallel can be made between one’s level of education and success (financial) in the modern business world.
We can’t be so naive or misguided to suggest that time spent in a top university can’t help one get closer to financial success and diplomas are entry level requirements for thousands of jobs. If one wants to be a lawyer or doctor or many of the other professions that take a college degree to become that thing, then going to the best possible college that will help one get the job of their dreams is wise. If you want to run a business, be a photographer, an artist of any kind or a designer a degree is not necessary, though it will help. Many of us are lucky enough to go to university to soak up the experience, network and most importantly learn about ourselves (self-awareness).
The free education that will be available on the internet will be incredible and the current 10 year old’s may be the last generation that holds university to such high esteem. Online courses such as Khan Academy, Creative Live, Udemy, Udacity, Skillshare and tons of other startups are putting out incredible platforms that acquire incredible talent teaching courses on these platforms. Is this a better ROI than the college professors that have been out of the game for 5-10 years? There is definitely lots of money to be made within this industry as shown by new suppliers such as Masterclass entering the market where experts regardless of whether they went to university or not their work speaks for itself. Signs of a steady decrease in the quality university education are showing themselves as illustrated in a recent article published by the Guardian. It says “an Oxford graduate is suing the university for £1m claiming the “appallingly bad” and “boring” teaching cost him a first-class degree and prevented him from having a successful career”.
This brings to question is studying at home on the internet any different from going to a class with 400 students where you barely remember the lecturer’s name and education is standardized to make it efficient and very profitable.?
In addition, with coworking spaces and incubators slowly becoming a common denominator in many cities where one can network in combination with traveling to expand one’s horizons, why incur debt that you can’t even declare bankruptcy against.
One thing is for certain, university alone will not properly train you to be a prime time player in today’s business environment and many of the theories you might learn there about marketing or economics will already be too obsolete. The ENTIRE market moves at such a speed that even great entrepreneurs or experts have a hard time keeping up with it. Within a month of one’s graduation there will always be a new app, new platform or new channel or way for doing business that didn’t exist before.
How people judge anything is what brings value to the equation. Because decision makers in business today highly value a diploma from Harvard or MIT or Yale young students opt to go there and find it valuable. As soon as big companies or key players/individuals in the market such as Google come along and start valuing actual data and work to prove if you’re good at something the diploma will lose its value because whoever is judging dictates the rules of the game. Being a practitioner and student or teacher is very very different. We are slowly moving to a Post-GPA world.
Lazlo Bock the Senior Vice President of People Operations at Google says “The academic setting is an artificial place where people are highly trained to succeed only in a specific environment. One of my own frustrations when I was in college and grad school is that you knew the professor was looking for a specific answer. You could figure that out, but it’s much more interesting to solve problems where there isn’t an obvious answer. You want people who like figuring out stuff where there is no obvious answer.
However, the thought that we can switch the entire system; government, history, infrastructure etc is just not going to happen because the machine is too broken in the modern information world, it’s too big.. What could happen is what happens in business. Something comes along and disrupts it. A car was invented which disrupted the horse. Uber disrupted taxi services. All of a sudden taxi services are doing all these great things because they are forced to. They didn’t want to innovate.
Students are being taught information to regurgitate it from their heads using mostly short term memory, yet it is literally at their fingertips on their phones. If you really care about education you should not care how it’s being deployed, but instead about the accuracy and impact and how they execute that information. One can be informed in any way and that’s what we should focus on. Universities should pivot on putting young people in the best position to succeed in 2020, 2030 and not 2010.
“What you know doesn’t mean shit. What do you do consistently” Tony Robbins
Inspired by the book #AskGaryVee: One Entrepreneur’s Take on Leadership, Social Media, and Self-Awareness.
As future business architects or consultants, a disappearance of the search bar would have a major influence on your job and the company you will work for. Questions you would have to ask yourself as soon as you get such jobs would be: How does the role of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) change? How to restructure a company for that future? What will be important instead?
In 2017 deep learning in information retrieval will already be matured, according to one of their scientists. Over the last years there have been breakthroughs in speech and image recognition and natural language recognition, which already fuels the capabilities of search. But in 2027 it will make for real change. Search will become more “ubiquitous, embedded, and contextually sensitive.” Next to that it will be even more relevant to “current location, content, entities, and activities”, replacing the limited output design of a search bar and website. It is argued that we are seeing the beginnings of that now happening in homes, with devices that answer to spoken queries such as Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa. The capabilities and smartness of those devices will increase along the way adding for example video capabilities and becoming better in their own context at home.
All in all the way we will consume and create information will completely change. What do you think will be the most important technology changes to fuel this transformation? How fast do you think this transformation will happen? How do you think it will impact Search Engine Optimization?
We already knew that machines are becoming more and more intelligent. A week ago, Google’s A.I. could read lips better than professionals.At this moment, artificial intelligence is owned and controlled by the huge companies like Amazon and Google. Amazon is going to change this. In a developer event in Las Vega, they announced they will launch their Amazon Al Platform. This mean, they will open up their artificial intelligence to developers to create apps with them. You can imagine the possibilities seeing the three different tools they open up.
According to Andy Jassy, Amazon’s Web services CEO, ‘Rekognition’ could recognize the breed of a dog by looking at the picture. How this may seem the same as the systems of Google and other competitors, their system is more cost effective and open to developers now. It is only a matter of time before you can click on the beautiful dog on your Facebook feed to gain some information, and maybe buy one yourself! In my opinion, this will happen to all kind of object who are displayed on images.
You already had the option to talk to your phone, and WhatsApp would transfer your voice to text. What Amazon Polly performs is the other way around. They can transfer text from 24 languages in 47 male and female voices. Now it is open to developers, a whole new storm of voice enabled apps will be on their way.
This is the most promising service. Lex can be integrated into any device to create engaging lifelike interactions. As an example, Amazon allowed a developer to easily book a flight with just your own voice. Another example, which is more my style, is that a pizza-delivery service can ask your preferences on a pizza via their app and remember the answers.
Some people are afraid that machines will take over all tasks of humans, like Google’s A.I. can take over jobs from professional lip readers. However, in my opinion these kind of inventions are aimed to increase the customer experience and make everyday life easier and more efficient. What do you think about artificial intelligence? Let me know in the comments.
Coca cola is a global leader in the beverage industry. They offer hundreds of brands, including soft drinks, sport drinks, fruit juices, and other beverages. With 123,200 employees in 2016, it is tough to engage the crowd of the company. However, they seem to be quite good in it.
Each employee brings his or her unique talents and ideas to work every day to help Coca-Cola achieve the vision of 2020:
Employees also represent Coca-Cola in their communities and are ambassadors of their brands to the world. The core of their business philosophy is to ensure that their employees are happy, healthy and treated fairly. They strive to create open work environments, where people are inspired to create good results.
Encouraging Open Communication
To encourage a work environment of open communication and to effectively solicit and leverage innovative ideas, they frequently engage in dialogue with their employees. These dialogues provide Coca cola as well as the employees with valuable information. It is also used to increase awareness, promote the business strategy, share successes and opportunities, and solicit employee opinions. An example is the 2008 Beijing Summer Olympic Games activation. Employees and bottling partners contributed initiatives. Coco cola here used their crowd.
Rewarding and Developing Employees
Their compensations and benefits packages belong to the best of the world, benchmarked against other global, high-performing employers. They offer a learning program for high performers: Coca-Cola University. Using their Peak Performance System, their performance management and development system, in tandem with more than 100 global people development forums, associates and their managers regularly discuss development, movement and succession plans around the world.
Channels Coca Cola uses various intranet activities to keep employees well engaged. My workbench is the manager’s dashboard while My profile caters to employee details and updates. By which they connect the organization. One of the tactical things they did is that they gave a brochure to everyone telling them what engagement at Coca cola means along with what their feedback has been thus far. They developed an online news channel called CGW News (Connect, Grow, Win) that shows examples of employee engagement. They have engagement champions and have developed a section on their intranet dedicated to videos & articles about engagement. They now have a vehicle to keep the interaction ongoing. It’s not just a simple project, it is the backbone of everything they do and why the reason they do it.”
According to Westerman et all (2014) companies actively engage the company at scale by connecting the organization (connecting the many), by encouraging open conversations (engaging the wider conversation), and by crowdsourcing their employees (taking advantage of the crowd).
In my opinion, Coca cola does is all. I’m curious about your opinion on the level of engagement within Coca cola.