Talent is the best insurance

No matter whether you are an employee or an independent self-employed, there will always be moments where your services come under question.

You might just have hit a bull’s eye on recent team project, but if circumstances change, loyalty is the first causality (it cuts both ways).

Is it naive to assume blindly that any position is safe? Yup. In an era of Automation and advanced technology, there is every reason to think about the changing concept of loyalty in the workplace.

Recent HBR leadership series article underlines the shift in business strategy from one that aggregated work effort in order to optimize productivity and create value for customers to one that aggregates profitability in order to create value for shareholders. Which indicates the management’s obsession with efficiency rather than productivity.

This is a doable task, with use of algorithms and machine intelligence you break the components of a mundane cognitive or manual work, which have a predictable outcome, into separate, discrete pieces and translate into a digital format to parcel out to any location willing to complete it at desired speed and lower cost.

History depicts that since the industrial revolution organizations have always invested in training and re-skilling their workforce. It may not happen anymore. Because we entering into the age of robotics which requires reprogramming.

Contradictory to the recent political rhetoric – Jobs haven’t been outsourced; they’ve just become outdated. Jobs requiring more manual efforts with added smartness will be more affected by the automation and digitization. In my opinion, there is a lot of optimism and opportunity associated with automation because I believe rising machine intelligence advances will test human potential to solve the most complex and threatening problems.

Working in tandem with technology, we can create, solve, and shape the world for the benefit of all. The process of reaching our collective potential will require a new approach in educating our next generation and rediscovering our talents.

The idea of self-driving cars as a means of reducing accidents may still be ridden with exceptions as fully autonomous cars would still crash sometimes, and so over that timescale there will always be situations where the computer will have to pass the controls to a human. There are talks about a ‘black box’ installed in these vehicles so they will require experts to interpret the backbox’s data. For a driver-less car to work, every inch of road, every junction, road sign and signal everywhere must be mapped in perfect detail. An opportunity for drivers to be a part of this project, who know the areas like the back of their palms.

Cars on autopilot will also radically change the car-insurance business. Claims made against cars which crash while in driver-less mode will be paid out by insurance companies who will then recover costs from the party responsible for the incident, which may be the manufacturer. So, the manufacturers will need experienced drivers to fight court libels.

In February this year the first Amazon Go store has opened in Seattle, in which is a combination of computer vision and deep learning technologies that tracks items and only charges customers when they remove the items from the store. But if a customer contests a wrong charge they will require a human to manually verify.

Recently, Bank of America began testing three “employee-less” branch locations that offer full-service banking automatically, with access to a human, when necessary, via video teleconference. So, they will still need services of BPO employing trained humans in banking functions.

Consider, for example, the rise of the chat bot taking on sales and support tasks, but they also will require humans to take if further.

Automation will create a more flexible and on-demand work platform that enable individuals to work on their own terms. There will be a tremendous potential to provide meaningful work and learning, and to re-imagine work in very positive ways.

We must remember that we all have other talents – they are our insurance policy when that fateful day unexpectedly comes. The key is that we need to nurture them and ensure that we are ideally making changes when it suits us rather than when it suits others.


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