Reclaiming our humanity

Ade_McCormack_Digital_Age_Vitruvian_manIn the last post, I raised the alarm in respect of the digital tsunami. In this post, I will propose a response. From an enterprise perspective, we need to acknowledge that automation will result in people losing their jobs. But to differentiate our offerings from those of competitors, we need to have access to people whose creative thoughts lead to differentiated customer experiences that command a high margin.

We need to create environments that attract the best people. People who want to do great work with other great people. They will expect tools that enhance, rather than obstruct, their productivity. The quality of the apps they have access to will play a large part in that.

We need to recognise that the power sits with the talent and not the employer, so it will be less about taking instructions from senior management, and more about meeting the wants and needs of this high calibre talent.

In keeping with our anthropological needs, the tools they use need to be accessible from anywhere, because work is increasingly where the worker is, rather than a specific geographical location. As wearables enter the enterprise, these talented people will expect to engage with their employer in a manner that resembles an athlete-coach relationship.

From a personal perspective, I would ensure your role enables you to be both mobile and social. Ensure that you have a high degree of autonomy in what you do and how you do it. Creativity needs to represent a significant part of your role. This will require a high level of curiosity and courage. Along with these anthropological drivers, if we are to operate in line with our genetic programming, refined over many millennia, we need to focus on productivity, rather than activity. Arriving back to the cave after a day’s hunting with no food is a bad day at the office so to speak.

As detailed in my book Attention Dynamics, you need to manage your cognitive capacity very carefully. Poor attention management leads to distraction, which in turn drains you of your valuable, but limited, daily allocation of cognitive capacity.

In short, if we are to succeed on the digital savanna, we need to ensure that we are valuable to our tribe by being excellent at what the market values. For work to feel like a good use of our limited time on the planet, we need to ensure that all our anthropological drivers are satisfied on a daily basis. Reclaiming our humanity needs to be a primary goal of digital age organisations.

If you would like to learn more about thriving in the digital age, I will be addressing this topic at EMEA Atmosphere- 8-11th May in Disneyland Paris.