4IR is "characterised by a fusion of technologies that is blurring the lines between the physical, digital and biological spheres". It follows that 4IR simultaneously brings great opportunities and serious risks. Opportunities: new technologies are able to process information faster which in turn can drive economic growth, empower individuals and fuel entrepreneurship and improve the health system. Risks: new technologies pose serious risks particularly from the perspectives of cybercrimes, personal information and employment. While for employment new technologies can create new jobs, they can also nullify and replace existing jobs. There is accordingly a newfound need to upskill and reskill employees to ensure that they remain relevant in the workplace. Lifelong learning is essential for all people, irrespective of age. This is especially important in light of Statistics SA's latest report on the high levels of unemployment in SA.
Judith Griessel - Illustration: A law firm detected that the billable hours of a group of younger Associates were declining, despite being given more and more work. This caused concern, as tracking billable hours is how performance and promotion potential has traditionally been determined. Their investigation showed that this group of Associates utilised their "Connectional Intelligence" (yes, it is a thing, following after IQ and EQ) and helped each other to get the work done faster and smarter by way of WhatsApp groups and similar means. They actually performed better, and delivered better and faster results for their clients. However - if this law firm sticks to its traditional performance criteria to identify top performers, the picture would be skewed, since the outstanding results of individual Associates would not be reflected by the measurement of their billable hours. Recognising the impact of technology and being prepared to utilise the intuitive connectional intelligence of the new generations in the workplace (instead of complaining about it), will set an employer apart and give it a competitive edge. We need to entirely change our thinking.
The jobs of the future don’t necessarily require a formal education, but staying in the game will require mental dedication, along with being tech savvy and digitally relevant. The future will also turn our definition of so-called “experts” upside-down. These days, it’s possible to meet a 19-year-old who already has 12 years of experience. Since we are all living in the information age, it is extremely easy for people to gain intellect and know-how across a variety fields even much faster than pursuing a 4-year college degree. With information and expertise now moving at the speed of light, what can you do to prepare for the workplace transformation. Can you trust the things you learn in school or at work to prepare you for the future? Will you take charge of your development or will you simply decline? The main thing to understand is if you don’t take serious strides towards changing or progressing, there’s a pretty good chance that you’ll stagnate or start going backward. We have to be prepared for lifelong learning. There is no finish line. And we should always stay flexible as functional and traditional job roles as we know it may greatly change.
Companies that managed to bring fundamental innovation to industries that had been deprived of it for long all had one thing in common: They did not start with something new, but they stopped doing certain things.
The Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is upon us. 4IR is affecting all levels of society, including the world of work. In his recent book, Magnetiize, John Sanei asks: Am I running away from the darkness, or am I moving towards the light?
The current use, development and limits of Privacy Enhancing Technologies in data analysis. This report by the Royal Society comes in the midst of a period of rapid developments in the collection, analysis and use of data. We are becoming ever more aware of the social, research and business benefits of accessing and using the data generated through everyday activities. We need to ensure that when such data is collected and used it is done so for good reasons, in a well-governed way and so that sensitive personal data or valuable commercial data is adequately protected.
Updating education, rethinking benefits and greater employee flexibility are just three of the ways we should rethink work for the 21st-century, says the founder of Upwork.
How each of us sees the world is about to change dramatically? For all of human history, the experience of looking at the world was roughly the same for everyone. But boundaries between the digital and physical are beginning to fade.
We stand on the brink of a technological revolution that will fundamentally alter the way we live, work, and relate to one another. In its scale, scope, and complexity, the transformation will be unlike anything humankind has experienced before. We do not yet know just how it will unfold, but one thing is clear: the response to it must be integrated and comprehensive, involving all stakeholders of the global polity, from the public and private sectors to academia and civil society.
As the benefits of flexible working are increasingly recognised, leaders need to understand what motivates freelance professionals versus their traditional counterparts.
The ‘new world of work’ of the ‘4th Industrial Revolution’ is one of the major topics of our time, being the central topic of the 2019 World Economic Forum in Switzerland in February this year; one of President Cyril Ramaphosa’s main themes in recent speeches; the focus point of SABPP’s 2020 to 2030 Strategy, unveiled at the June AGM; and the theme of the 2019 SABPP Summit to be held in August.To...