The term Fourth Industrial Revolution may sound familiar – but what exactly is it? And how directly will it impact the human resources industry in 2025? In the case you have not heard of it – let an infographic from the World Economic Forum define how the industrial revolution has progressively transformed the global workplace.
Photo: World Economic Forum
The first Industrial Revolution was defined by the founding of steam and water. Electricity for mass-production progressively introduced the world to the second Industrial Revolution. The third was drastically epitomized with the digitalization of everything – from the internet to various communication technologies. The fourth Industrial Revolution is a hypothesis of how the real world would integrate with the technological world – and more specifically; how such a new wave of technology will revolutionize the way we work – or if human work for that matter, is needed in the coming decade.
Virtual reality has catapulted the consumption and interaction of information to higher levels never imagined. From 3D printing tools to nano-bots futuristically injected into blood streams to cure illnesses as well as medicinal equipment like IBM Watson utilized for a doctor’s diagnosis – even medical scientist Sir Mark Walport’s statement of how previous job disruption has affected those in manufacturing and has not troubled professionals is about to change. Predominantly in his own area of medicine. Professor Andrew Moore, School of Computer Science, Carnegie Mellon University substantiates this with one fact – 50% of patent applications are now checked by machines. “You are safer being a plumber than a management consultant.”, he continues. The bold prediction of how the doctors will lose footing in the medical industry only feeds more global anxiety on questions directly related to human resources. How will technology transform people management? Will the future of HR be no HR – according to Mike Ettling, President of SAP SuccessFactors – the global provider of cloud-based human capital management (HCM) software?
HREasily combines the complex facts and findings into one straightforward framework to make the future of HR a reality. We combine the findings of top HR leaders who envisioned the 2025 HR profession through CHREATE (The global Consortium to Reimagine HR, Employment Alternatives, Talent, and the Enterprise) with the observations of the report, HR Leader’s Playbook: Digital Transformation.
This combination includes five forces shaping the future of work and organizations, and six necessary roles in which the CEOs and Board members interviewed, believed as relevant to virtually every organization. In addition, there are three modus operandi a HR professional can be guided by as we go along.
Five Forces That Will Shape Workplace 2025
Social & Organizational Readjustments
With less employment-based and more project-based relationships, this force will increase democratization of work, transform organizational forms such as the traditional hierarchy in favour of more power-balanced organization. Talent will participate with organizations increasingly based on similar interests and purpose instead of merely economic exchange. Organizational responses will include social collaborations as essential elements of product and service development. Business practices and culture will reflect shared purpose and mission along with shared leadership. Talent sourcing and engagement processes range from diverse work arrangements such as part-time, full-time, freelance, outsourcing, talent exchanges with affiliated organizations, and engagement based increasingly on a purpose-driven mission.
An Highly Connected World Globally
Increasingly affordable mobile devices, virtual collaborations and new media will facilitate global and real-time communications that increase ideation and product development. Market strategies will use rapid prototyping with intensive user feedback. Businesses and their operations will be globally transparent, with extremely fast product development and release cycles, immediate feedback and relationships based on trust. Work will be sourced from anywhere at any time, by workers organized in the cloud, and networks of freelancers or free agents. Work will be engineered through newly defined talent management systems that support a distributed and global workforce, high-trust cultures and purpose-built networks, empowered with large data.
All-Encompassing Global Talent Market
Work will be seamlessly delegated around the globe with 24/7 operations enabled by new corporate and social policies. Maximum longevity will allow mature talent to stay in workforce longer. Major talent majorities will include females and non-whites. Organizations increasingly divide work into projects, tasks and micro-tasks directed to the best talent within and outside the organization through diverse work relationships. Leadership and engagement will evolve to meet differentiated cultural preferences in policies, practices, work designs, pay and benefits. Purpose-driven organizations will excel in attracting, engaging and motivating workers from many sources.
Six New Workplace Leadership Roles:
In 2013, The CHREATE teams envisioned that these changes will require organizational capabilities embodied in six new roles. These roles may be embedded in an HR profession of 2025, reflecting boundaries beyond traditional HR of today:
The Organizational Engineer
An expert in facilitating virtual teams, nurturing leadership wherever it exists, and talent transitions. He or she has expertise in task optimization. Has the knowledge resource on principles such as responsiveness, networking, power and trust.
The Virtual Culture Architect
Adept at principles of values, norms, and beliefs, articulated virtually and personally, he or she is a culture expert, ambassador and brand builder. Connecting current and potential workers’ purpose to the organization’s mission and goals is the purpose.
The Global Talent Scout, Mentor and Coach
He or she masters new talent platforms and optimizes the relationships between workers, work and the organization, utilising the best platform (e.g., freelancer, contractor, regular employee, etc.). More than a talent contract manager, this person serves as a career and even life coach.
The Data, Talent & Technology Integrator
It is after all, the fourth Industrial Revolution. This person serves the gap and provides expertise at finding meaning in big data and algorithms, and how to design work that optimally combines technology, automation and humans.
The Social Policy & Community Activist
He or she creates synergy between goals that include economic returns, social purpose, ethics, sustainability, and worker well-being. He or she influences beyond the organization, shaping policies, regulations and laws that support the new world of work, through community engagement.
1 Simple Modus Operandi To Survive The Future Of HR
The fourth Industrial Revolution has revolutionised the workplace of today. The advent of artificial intelligence, A.I, and robotics has increased the rate of change. HR professionals, both as individuals and as organizations, must develop adaptability as a core skill progress in the new world of technological transformation.
Main challenges of the fourth Industrial Revolution include a widening skills gap. Academic programs may fail to teach the programming languages needed to power the next generation of software and hardware products. To avoid the consequences of a workforce with obsolete skills, companies must train new and experienced employees alike, as new technologies quickly replace existing skill sets. The entire concept of “Human Resources” must be reinvented. It is time for the future of HR to listen to more human needs: flexibility of a work-life balance, global mobility, belonging, learning. Technological advancements aside, people want to make an impact. It is up to the future of HR to build systems that allow them to grow and express their talent.
In the fourth Industrial Revolution, scientists are not required to focus on data and A.I. alone – but the human mind in order to enable people to be key drivers of innovation. Only then can the world start thinking about how we will interact with evolving A.I. and technologies. Without transforming the concept of HR into “people first,” humans risk becoming robots themselves.