The future is human?


This week sees the return of the quarterly, meaning once again we’ve been down the research rabbit hole, emerging triumphant with a piece of most satisfying breadth and depth.

So, what’s this one about? 

Well, if you’ve read How to Speak Human, you may remember we closed with the promise of a sequel, How to Speak Android.+

And, well, here it is.

Sort of. What was merely intended as a cheeky farewell, turns out to have been unexpectedly prescient. However, there’s no time to wait for printed words — this is a topic needs to be addressed right now.

Not that there’s a shortage of articles. ‘ABANDON ALL HOPE!’ screams one, while ‘everything is fine’ drawls another. But which is true? More importantly, what can shrewd leaders actually do now to prepare themselves for AI and automation?

We approached this topic wary of confirmation bias. When you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail. And given we help leaders connect with their people using human-centred communication and experiences, instinct rebels from the notion that in the workforce of the future, there might not be any people.

But these quarterlies aren’t intended to validate existing beliefs. So rather than hunting rainbows, we set out cold-hearted with grim intentions, fully prepared to discover the worst. We sought, researched and analysed arguments from every perspective. Then we thought long and hard about what the future likely had in store.

Would human-centred communication one day be seen as a cute early twenty-first century fad? Would the employee experience be rendered utterly irrelevant? Would coding become the only skill needed to satisfactorily serve our robot overlords? We wondered. 

Turns out, though, the essential skills for the future are already fundamental to great leadership today. Embracing and enabling transformation, committing to lifelong learning, and developing human skills — improving these capabilities isn’t a wild gamble on the long term, it’s an investment that benefits us today.

Yes, there’s no downside to be found here, mates. So, free your schedule and 01100011 01101111 01101101 01100101 00100000 01100111 01100101 01110100 00100000 01101001 01110100 (that’s machinefor ‘come get it’) —

The future is human?: A lively foray into the future of work to explore how leaders can rally their people and organisations through change,while remaining relevant themselves. Spoiler: in a somewhat ironic, but by no means unwelcome discovery, we find that human skills are even more important than ever in the age of artificial intelligence and automation.

+ Oh, you haven’t? Redeem yourself by acquiring it immediately.