There’s just one certainty about the future of work: uncertainty. Your work, your company and your industry will be disrupted. We live in unprecedented times where massive change is all around us. Consider,
- The demographic and socioeconomic trends of the past decade
- The rapid urbanization and globalization
- Insane fast advances in technology: machine leaning, robotization, mobile internet, the internet of things and more.
Everyone would like to know what the future will bring. From MIT to PWC, from the World Bank to the World Economic Forum, large and smart institutions are putting effort to understand how 9.7 billion people will be affected. Some of their predictions are,
- 75% of workforce will be millenials by 2030 (US Bureau of Labor Statistics)
- 9% of workforce will be permanent employees by 2030 (PWC)
- Automation will affect 80% of workers through wage suppression and job loss (US Bureau of Labor Statistics)
- In 2055 female babies will live to 96.6 years and males babies to 95.1 years (Institute of Public administration Australia)
Even if these are just predictions, they beg the question: what can I do about it? Well, what you and I can do is to develop relevant skills. We can develop skills that will allow us to thrive in those futures.
These institutions are not only predicting the future. They are also considering which skills could help us thrive under such highly fluid conditions. After reading many of these suggestions I came across the one created by the WEF. I found it hugely interesting and honestly infuriating. Let me explain.
Let’s start with the differences between the 2 lists. In the old one “Emotional Intelligence” and “Cognitive Flexibility” were not even mentioned. “Creativity” was last. Wouldn’t it be obvious that this is what we need? Obviously nothing is obvious.
More importantly, why is problem solving still at the top? Could it be because this was written by a team of linear thinking men? Could it be because they are following the logic that has guided us here: box few variables, apply a local solution and move one without considering the impact that this “box” will have in the whole?
This doesn’t work now. It hasn’t work in the past. Why does the WEF think it will work in the future? Why?
Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result
Problem solving doesn’t cut it anymore. It creates division: the “bad guys”, the victims, the saviors.
Problem solving doesn’t inspire anybody. It generates blame, low morale and separation. I would even say that it’s behind all extremism.
When you see reality as a problem to be solved, anxiety is automatic. We feel like we’re losing the floor, swollen by a tornado. All is moving around us. It seems that we have absolutely no power to deal with these massive and global changes. Total disempowerment invades us. Blame and fear seem the only choices.
Problem Solving cannot and will not bring us to a better future
I’m very sorry, WEF, I respectfully disagree. In our current complex environment, problem solving is not the right approach. We need a brand new one.
What is the alternative?
We need to back to fundamentals
Instead of finding flaws (problems) everywhere, we need to think about what we want. Of course we cannot have the planet, country, company conversation until we all have individual clarity. We have to start with ourselves.
Consider: What moves you? What makes you wake up in the morning? Which regrets are you ok having when you die? What you definitely don’t want to regret in your dead bed? Who do you want to be? What kind of impact would you like to leave in the world?
What is your big WHY? What calls you to be BIG?
Without a sense of purpose we end up as victims of the trends and the disruption. Without a sense of purpose the only tool at our disposal is problem solving. Without a sense of purpose we are not creating the future.
My very first job was professional problem solver. I was an auditor. My job was to find what didn’t work. I was looking for mistakes, deceit, and even fraud. I can tell you I found it. I always found it. My job was also to give recommendations on how to solve those problems. I knew and shared with them best practices. Results were never great. And the worst was that blame was greater than joy.
My heart couldn’t take this problem solving life anymore. So I decided to work on innovation from the purpose/vision point of view. I became an entrepreneur helping entrepreneurs to innovate and grow through answering very similar questions to the ones I offer you. I can tell you my joy and their results were much better than when my help was through the eyes of what was wrong.
Be honest with yourself
- Reacting to problems, requests, urgent matters
- Analyzing and predicting
- Waiting for someone to save you
- Waiting for someone to give you permission
- Blaming (your spouse, the government, men, women, your mother, your children, yourself…)
If your answer is yes to any of this, your career (and joy) are not future proof.
Don’t panic! Please do have compassion for yourself. We are in unprecedented times, using very outdated gear (our inherited non-supportive mental programing). This is hard!
Good news! There is a way out.
Imagine again that tornado. There is a place of stillness. That is its center. There the winds of change don’t touch you. In that place you can control what happens. This is true also for you. In your center there is all the power and all the wisdom.
Being in this center of our soul will take us
- Out of blame into personal responsibility
- Out of analyzing how the awfulness of the problem into envisioning our preferred future
- Out of separation and competition into a generative dialog in community
Please spell it out!
What is that ONE skill I need to develop to thrive in massive disruption?
Of course, you know it! The Ancient Greeks told us. Socrates told us.
It drives me crazy to see that this hasn’t made it to the agenda of the large institutions. It’s fundamental that we work on what makes us human. We need to connect to our consciousness. When we are in that clear pristine place, we find
- inspired action
- clarity of purpose
- unconditional self-worth
Knowing others is intelligence
Knowing yourself is wisdom
mastering others is strength
mastering yourself is true power
Strength and intelligence have proven very problematic. We need the big “guns”: wisdom and true power. All the skills that I find online being recommended don't cut it wihtout the fundamental basis: being the master of one self. Think about it:
- Branding without soul is gimmicky
- Relationship without soul are short term
- Sales without soul are no longer effective - no repeat business
As technology invades every aspect of our life, we need to become even more human. We need to become more conscious of our nature and our vision.
Be the change you want to see in the world.
Quiet your mind. See the change in your mind. Visualize that reality. Quiet your mind. Receive instructions. Act. When you adopt this as a daily practice you’ll change your entire life. Your business will grow. Your intimate relationships will flourish. Most importantly your joy and vitality will soar. Of course the added benefit is that you’ll change the world.
Would you like some help?
I've created a fast quiz that will allow you to identify what is your highest priority at this moment. This is the Clarity Assessment. The exercise of answering this questions will allow you to listen to your soul and understand what she's telling you. This will automatically give you clarity and that's powerful. With Clarity you'll know what to do, to stop, to say... You'll be undisruptable, in the center of the hurricane.
Where do you need to focus NOW?
Pinpoint the areas of your life you need improvement and how you can get started.
No! Don’t think that your “tiny” actions won’t have impact. They do. Your tiny actions inspire generations to come, your neighbors and many others you’re not aware off. Don’t think yourself insignificant.
Know Thyself and The Future is Yours.