human talent will be more important than ever
The successful company of the future will blend human and technological capabilities.
Much of the discussion to date around bionic companies has centered on prospective job losses as machines take on more processes and operations. The transition will be disruptive. The first question for managers - before tackling any transitions - is, what kind of talent will their companies need in the future?
As machines and AI take over more of any given company´s operations, the role humans inevitably will change. Many new jobs will be created for people to design augmented and automated processes and improve them over time. There will be a fundamental change in the nature of work - from process operated by humans to process designed and audited by humans. Capturing value from this shift will require a massive redesigning of legacy business processes to enable humans and machines to work together.
All companies will need people who focus first on the frictions and pain points of customers and then work with technology engineers to find technical solutions to resolve the problems.
Companies will see substantial talent shifts in key functions where new technologies are already having a big impact on necessary skill sets. Marketing, for example, is rapidly becoming a dramatically more analytical function, and traditional creative and brand-building skills, while still important, are now only part of the mix. Data scientists and engineers will be equally critical to deliver new data features and outcomes.
Since many employees today do not have the required skills for a bionic future, the challenges of transition will be dramatic. Companies will need to employ multiple levers. The most important will be retraining current staff: a number of companies in traditional industries have already shown how retraining can be more effective than replacement.
The main alternative will be letting current employees or contractors go and then rehiring or accessing capabilities from other sources for new needs. Interim management could be one of the valid sources.
For all that machines will change us, humans will remain the essence of companies. In fact, the real power of a bionic company lies in further unleashing the power of human creativity. Machines are only enablers.