In the world of work, the exchange of time and productive human effort for the affordability of a certain lifestyle, there is a plethora of history where technology and global change has created a totality of change in how work is carried out.
Many pundits refer to this shift as a transition or a transformation, a completely new way of accomplishing something that has previously been completed in a certain fashion. Others refer to significant change as a revolutionary period, where what lies ahead is uncertain.
All we need to do to confirm how technology has changed work is look to the invention of the assembly line, our current education system, the steam engine, fabric mills, robotics, and several other examples. What is significantly different with our current state of work is that we are creating the history that others will read about in 50 years.
At the same time that we are in a period of massive change driven through technology, changes that will undoubtedly impact people’s manner of employment and hence their employability, changes such as cloud technology, artificial intelligence, voice recognition, VPN, e-mail, digital banking, etc. we also are coupled with an entire generation, otherwise known as the baby-boomers, who are expecting that much of what they have grown up with and know be kept in some form or another. Examples would include the postal service, grocery and retail “in-store” shopping, retail branch banking, photography, etc. Additionally, there is the reality of global warming and I do not believe that any examples need to high-lighted here. However, the Arctic ice cap is getting smaller, the global temperature is getting higher, and sea levels are rising.
My personal viewpoint is that we are in a period of our earthly history that includes a dash of transition, a tablespoon of transformation, and a cup of revolution. Certainly there is no recipe for what we are experiencing right now on a global level, the likes of which has never been upon us in our human history. So what is the plan?
No really, what is the plan?
We all need to allow change to occur, that is a given. However, in some instances, the most notable being global warming, how we work and in what mechanism we get that work done will need to be closely looked at. Will solar powered businesses be the answer? Will the leisure society be the new normal? Will there be a new economy that overcomes capitalism? Will fossil fuels be a thing of the past, something future generations read about in 50-100 years and ponder how we ever allowed the world to get into the state it is in now.
I believe we are much bigger than that as a species. Throughout history, men and women have become creative in overcoming significant and impactful change in their lives. We are at this stage again and the time has come for choices to be made, clear and careful choices. There is a lot riding on those choices and I know that the right choices will rise to the surface.