Given these predictions about the changing nature of work, what should companies do? How should firms prepare for a brave new world where we can expect major economic dislocations along with the creation of new jobs, new business models and whole new industries, and where many people will be working alongside smart machines in whole new ways?
Companies create value based on the work of their employees. For many companies, the traditional path to value-creation is primarily based on cutting costs and improving efficiencies across all their operations. But it’s hard to continuously create value by just chasing operational efficiencies and cost reductions. Such companies often struggle to create real value quarter after quarter because their employees spend most of their time on routine tasks.
“Fundamentally redefining work is more than a nice-to-have – it is an imperative for businesses that wish to remain competitive in the 21st century,” write the authors in conclusion. “The current trend toward more and more sophisticated automation creates the opportunity to free up capacity… Moreover, it is an opportunity to shift the future of work conversation from one based in fear and adversity (the institution versus the individual) to one centered around hope and opportunity (in which both the institution and the individual wins).”