The Machines are Coming – Only the Agile Will Survive!

The continued and meteoric rise of artificial intelligence and other technological advancements, has left many organisations and employees worried about their futures. With surveys claiming 73% of people think AI will destroy more jobs than it makes, many people are wondering what the offices of the future will look like.

No matter what the surveys say, the machines are coming and at a rapid pace. As the EU plans toboost its investment in AI by 70% by 2020, new university courses and training programmes are emerging, to prepare the future workforce for the new skills needed in what is being hailed as the fourth Industrial Revolution.

Humans Do Not Apply!

In an age of instant gratification, the aim of AI is to reduce mundane tasks and give us what we want and instantly. The reality is that it already impacts and enhances the lives of many of us already – Netflix recommending programmes for us to watch next, Alexa providing us with play lists, predictive text and voice and face recognition.

But will AI really steal our jobs? Isn’t it true that during all periods of change people have worried about job security? In-fact since the 1980’s it is estimated that computers have created 15.8 million jobs and that 18% of jobs in the US did not exist 30 years ago.

If you consider the research the future isn’t that bleak. Estimates by McKinsey show that by 2030:

  • 60% of jobs will be made up of tasks that are 30% automatable
  • Less than 5% of jobs will be fully automatable
  • Only 15% of workers will be displaced by technology
  • At most only 14% of the global workforce will need to switch job categories

Agile Organisations

With so many rapid changes occurring organisations need to be more agile than ever in order to have the competitive edge in terms of technology and talent.

The workplace is constantly evolving, 20 years ago it would have been hard to envisage the rise of flexible and remote workers doing jobs that had traditionally meant teams needing to be in the same building to get the job done.

The ability to make speedy decisions, to outpace the competition with innovative ideas, is what will give organisations the edge as AI continues to expand.

New research by Dale Carnegie identifies the Building Blocks of Agile Organisations, that enables businesses to adapt to the changing needs of the markets they work in.

These building blocks include:


Agility requires resilience because it involves taking risks. Organisations need to empower employees to quickly respond to customer needs without lengthy decision processes.

This is why resilience is critical because with risk comes a chance of failure – agile organisations expect to make mistakes and are prepared to accept and learn from them when they do.

Promote Positivity and Confidence

It’s not a myth that positive people = positive results.  Creating an environment of trust and confidence creates an atmosphere of self-belief, collaboration and problem solving, where people are not scared to take a risk and make a mistake.  Scientists theorise that positive thoughts broaden our thinking and behaviours, whereas negative thoughts limit opportunities.

Improve Social Intelligence

Digital transformation is only as good as the hands that operate it and AI like other technology will rely heavily on the human behind the machine.

People with strong social intelligence are influential, connect with others, collaborate and create safe environments for innovation and change. All the skills needed when an organisation needs to adapt quickly.

Learning Environment

As employees continue to worry about robots taking over their roles, organisations must make learning a routine part of everyone’s job to ensure they don’t lose talent, and so that their business is equipped with the skills they need to succeed.

Whilst many people believe the future of the workforce will rely on technical ability, the research actually showed that 73% of respondents chose soft skills over STEM skills as what was needed for the future success of their business.

Involving Employees in Change

With the majority of change management initiatives failing companies need to involve employees, as those closest to the needs of the customers understand the problems and are best placed to deliver solutions, making them instant advocates for the changes ahead.

To learn more about the research download: The New Competitive Divide – Building the Foundation for Organisational Agility.

Dale Carnegie are running a series of free seminars across the UK about agile organisations. To find out more click here.