There is no doubt that business disruption and digitization are changing the way we think and act about ‘Work’. I consider that we are at a stage of redefining the ‘How’ side of Productivity both at the Corporate and Individual levels, marking a milestone for how we are going to manage people and performance in the near future.
Work is changing in content and context as a result of business disruption. It will no more be safe for businesses not to rethink and adapt their Operating and Governance Models including Strategies, Products, Organization Structures, Functional Roles and Responsibilities, Operational Processes, and most important Individual Jobs. It might sound that some Organizational Functions like HR will have so much on its plate in the coming few years, but the issue is of a larger scale. We are witnessing a comprehensive remodeling of the way we conduct business, triggered by phenomenal technologies that are making the previously ‘not-possible’ possible, and in reality much more convenient.
The above dynamics will bring a lot of change into the way companies handle their Jobs’ inventory, and for those who fail to see this change and adapt to it, I tell them: trouble is on the way. Jobs are changing in ways that were unconceivable only in the past couple of years. The Jobs’ Market is in a state of eruption. Just like a volcano ripping off existing land, creating new one, and changing the face of what’s remaining, this is what Business Disruption and Digitization are doing to Jobs around the World.
With this in mind, it is intriguing to think about what will be the most wanted jobs in the coming 5 to 10 years? I believe Jobs of a new age will fall into one of the following categories:
- Creativity and Innovation: this will include all jobs that will define our wants and needs in the future.
- Social Media: in this category fall the jobs that will entice us to interact with everything around us including business, government, and society.
- Business Intelligence: this category represents the jobs that will monitor, analyze, deduce and report on human behavior and how other businesses are responding to it.
- Technology Development: those are the jobs that will change all of the above into reality.
- Learning and Knowledge Sustainability: in here lies the power of educating a whole new World on how to live and let live, and sustain the freshness of knowledge.
- Entrepreneurial Investment: this category will stand for the Idea Hunters who will fuel the new realities.
- Regulatory & Legal: jobs of this category will be in charge of regulating the Web. Yes, the ‘WWW’ will eventually (and inevitably) be regulated.
To be more specific, I consider those are the most wanted Jobs in the Business World for the coming 5 to 10 years:
|40 Most Wanted Jobs 2016 to 2020|
|1. Social Media Specialists||2. Internal Entrepreneurs|
|3. Digital Branding Consultants||4. Programs’ Management (PMO) Experts|
|5. Talent Scouts||6. Digital Ethics Experts|
|7. Data Crunchers||8.Creativity and Disruption Specialists|
|9. Information Sanitizers||10. Innovation Specialists|
|11. Communities’ Business Analysts||12. Parenting Experts|
|13. Software Developers||14. Home Automation Experts|
|15. Digital Media Experts||16. Job Design & Engineering Specialists|
|17. Corporate Resilience Analysts||18. Web Regulation Lawyers|
|19. Digital Risk Analysts||20. Private Education Professionals|
|21. People Governance Experts||22. Special Education Experts|
|23. Compliance Specialists||24. Leadership Developers|
|25. Business Intelligence Specialists||26. Virtual Teams’ Managers|
|27. Planning and Performance Experts||28. Experiential Learning Trainers|
|29. Public Private Partnership Specialists||30. Tech-convergence Analysts|
|31. Socio-corporate Mediation Specialists||32. Idea Hunters|
|33. Digital Actuaries||34. Workplace Diversity-tolerance Specialists|
|35. E-Government Experts||36. Workplace Psychologists|
|37. English Language Teachers||38. Healthy Living Engineers|
|39. Environmental Engineers||40. Green Energy Engineers|
My question here continues to be about ‘Readiness’. How much is our World ready to understand and embrace, or does it have to be the hard way? I specifically have four entities that need to adapt, in mind:
- Governments: how much governments are ready to deal with the high potential of unemployment issues rising from un-adaptive employees – in private and public sectors – who might lose their jobs? Also, how much current laws and regulations are actually capable of governing newly created Jobs (and possibly professions)?
- Educational Institutions (specifically Universities): how much are educational institutions ready in terms of their curriculum and offered fields of specialization to pump into the job market the needed talent with the right set of Academic Competencies?
- Businesses: how aware businesses are about the impact of disruption and digitization on their Strategies and Operating Models (Structures, Products, Jobs’ Design, Workforce Profile, HR Policies, Compensation, Reward, Learning, etc.), and how fast are they adapting to the requirements of this new World?
- Talent and Existing Workforce: is Talent aware of the new frontiers made available by cutting-edge technologies? Are they choosing the right and mostly needed majors? Will the existing Workforce be able to interact with new Generations at work, and continue to be useful and performing?
I believe that the way Jobs’ Markets will change to accommodate the requirements of disruption and digitization will create a global social and economic challenge that I do not see the World ready for. Governments are moving very slowly if any. Educational Institutions continue to anchor mostly on their usual curriculum with the exception of few who are investing in the future. Many businesses are still not aware of Business Disruptions and continue to conduct business as usual, though danger is approaching by the minute. Talent could be more ready in terms of their mindset, but I’m not sure how much the Education and Business Worlds are ready for them.
Bottom line, with all due respect to the evolutionary nature of Life and Business, change is happening at a much faster pace than what ‘Evolution’ is used to! Disruption means change; Change means new ways of work; new ways of Work mean new Jobs; new Jobs means learning. If the World does not see the reason of things and its connection with this value chain, then soon enough Businesses’ Profits and – most important – Sustainability will suffer if not seize to exist.
I am finding myself, lately, reflecting more and more on the subject of Human Communication, and specifically the buzz about how the evolution of technology is pouring into the interest of enhancing communication among people. Many are the examples that we witnessed in the past very few years that reveal the truthfulness of the above; Facebook, LinkedIn, Skype, and more recently, Viber, Tango, WhatsApp are nothing but a simple example of how much telecom engineers are eager to sustain Human Communication. This explosive innovation in the field of telecommunications primarily aimed at enabling People to communicate more, better, faster, and cheaper!
The reason of my reflection is not to contemplate the power of these new communication tools as nobody can deny the ingenious innovation revealed through such sophisticatedly engineered yet so user friendly tools. I rather would like to reflect on whether these tools are actually achieving the goal for which they were developed. Put simply, communication tools are created to render human communication More, Better, Faster, and Cheaper, so is this actually being realized?
Probably it is a settled argument that communication tools have indeed – and thankfully – made communication faster and cheaper; hence no need for considering this aspect in our context. What remains though is the question of whether these tools have made human communication better!
At a macro high level, and judging by what we are witnessing in terms of global conflict, intra and extra-Middle East, one would tend to say that communication among human beings is not getting better, rather it is getting worse! Still at the micro individual level, could it be getting better?
Let us reflect on life at the time when there was no Laptops, no Mobile Phones, no Internet, no Emails, no Skype, no iPhone, not anything of those; just a simple landline and mostly a Post Office. Was Human Communication then better or worse? My belief is that Communication then was more abundant and better. Now the reason for my belief might sound a bit oversimplified, but I guess that before all these communication means came around, people used to miss talking to each other; they looked forward to reaching out and communicate. Now with the abundance of communication tools, and the feel created inside each one of us that we can reach anyone on this globe anytime and at almost no cost, could have reinforced the sense where all of us took communication for granted.
Take this experiment for the sake of social science! Try to call ten people you know and count how many of them would actually pick the call on the spot. If you have above 50% success rate, congratulations, you fall within a highly active communication circle. My estimation is that a 50% success rate is very unlikely. Still, even if you try to send someone a WhatsApp text, or maybe an email, or a LinkedIn message you would also get varying results. What is the theme here?
Advanced communication might have led us to confuse between being able to contact any person any time, and the probability that that person will pick up! It’s true that all hi-tech communication tools enable us to call any time, but the decision to pick up is still the prerogative of the receiver! In other words, what I am trying to highlight here is that all modern communication tools remain mere hi-tech applications if they are not utilized appropriately and wisely by people. More communication tools surely indicate more effective and smooth means for communicating, but do not necessarily mean more quality communication among people.
Have you been in an Airport, a train, or a bus lately? Just try to recall how many people, men, women, kids, had their head held up? How many of those had their faces turned to the person beside them for a chat? How many were just sitting there with no device in their hands? Now, how much Human Communication is there in this scene? True that the person on the other side of the machine is a parent, friend or a colleague, but let’s think of it; how profound and clear can a dialogue be when it happens virtually; when key elements of the effective communication process, like body language, tone, and/ or voice are not secured? The question is: in going full throttle into communication technology tools are we compromising our competence for social interaction? Whatever happened to intellectually stimulating dialogues? Whatever happened to shrewdly smart conversations? Whatever happened to sarcasm, analytical discussions, and beautiful articulation of vocabulary?
Now many would consider my statement as undermining for all the ingenious minds who invested thousands of hours to bring the iPhone to our World, or a call for conventionalism, or even an attack on modernization. Well, it is neither of the above! All what I am trying to say here is that advanced communication technology might have made communication faster and cheaper, but it did not make it better, as Great Communication remains at the discretion of the individual Human Being and his level of intellect.