It’s not enough to just “do your job.” It simply doesn’t work that way anymore. If you learn a programming language, a year or two later, that language will cease to exist or be in a rapid decline. As soon as you embrace a new digital platform or app, you can count on it changing, or an even better and more innovative program quickly taking its place. For employees, this means the ability to adapt—to be more agile—will be more important than the ability to master a job or skill.
Certain advancements in technology, like cognitive computing and Artificial Intelligence (AI), instill a small but valid worry in many employees that their roles will someday become redundant. If employees simply sit idly at the wayside, this fear is almost certain to become a reality. But if employees can leverage new technology to their advantage, they can come out on top.
Ride The Tidal Wave Of Technology
We’ve already seen texts, chat, emails and videoconferencing replace face-to-face communication. Brick-and-mortar offices are increasingly becoming a thing of the past with the advent of employee mobility and the rapid growth of the remote workforce. Conference rooms are often barren since the invention of ingenious online social collaboration tools. The business world is no longer a place of neckties and cubicles—it’s become streamlined and adaptable and must be traversed with an attitude of change.
In this digital age, new opportunities will arise as tools begin to replace people. We’ve seen it happen across the centuries again and again, as “hand crafted” became “machine made,” and so on. Instead of seeing this (unavoidable, in my opinion) evolution as a source of fear, embrace it as your key to success. Use new innovations to climb to the top. Benefit from easier, simpler ways of conducting business, and remain on the “success” side of modern innovation.
Redefine The Enemy
If technology is seen as the enemy of the typical laborer, humans will surely lose the battle. And while you might think it will always take a human to render a machine functional, think again: We’re already seeing huge steps forward in machine learning and machine to machine communication. What’s next? We don’t know, really. But what we do know is there’s no stopping the steady march of technology. It will continue to progress with new discoveries and breakthroughs, replacing outdated ways of doing things with faster, more efficient methods. It doesn’t make sense to fight against this onslaught, when you can use it to your advantage.
Don’t view innovation as the enemy—instead, pit yourself against the failure to adapt. Employees who stubbornly refuse to learn the newest industry tech are only hurting themselves. While the rest of the world moves on to a new way of doing things, these employees will get left behind.
While today’s technological advances might not be feel as “world altering” as the advent of the automobile, they can still alter the business universe. Improvements to workplace technology—both major and minor—can revolutionize how employees work. It’s important to remember that the goal of every new technology is to improve user’s lives, whether through a helpful app or a total workplace overhaul.
Here’s the bottom line: Companies and employees must work together to create a new breed of worker who thrives in a state of constant change. Colleges and universities jumped on this bandwagon by incorporating more classes geared toward learning how to create and use new technology. The modern world recognizes the importance of staying on top of new tech trends, and businesses know they need to adapt to stay relevant.
I believe that by embracing the very ethos of “constant change” in your company culture now, you have a much better chance of instilling that concept in your workforce, and therefore will inspire your staff to be more open to adopting the latest tech innovations in the future. More and more startups are opting for relaxed work environments like the precedent set by Google, offering naps and even serving free beer. These workplace environments encourage creativity, freethinking and innovation, allowing for painless adoptions of the newest trends. Of course, not every enterprise can function in that manner, but you get the point. No matter the industry, you can take small steps toward inspiring creativity and innovation.
In a world undergoing a constant influx of technological advances, workplace transformation, and the introduction of devices never before available, it’s imperative to be open to change. Employees must acknowledge the overwhelming presence of the Digital Age and learn to utilize technology instead of losing to it. If we can become agile, adaptable people, in all areas of our live, frankly, I believe we can conquer the world—the technological world, that is.
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This article was written by Daniel Newman from Forbes and was legally licensed through the NewsCred publisher network.