The need to develop holistic strategies that effectively utilize AI opportunities, going beyond just reskilling and upskilling, is growing quickly. I think we are entering a territory of Re-Imagination of all jobs.
In 2021 Sam Altman (CEO – OpenAI) wrote this in his blog.
“In the next decade, they will do assembly-line work and maybe even become companions. And in the decades after that, they will do almost everything, including making new scientific discoveries that will expand our concept of ‘everything”.
Experiments on copilot-driven development are yielding about 30% to 35% efficiency. The numbers are higher in activities like Employment Verification and Movement of employees across departments, according to IBM CEO Arvind Krishna
In a recent workshop, I suggested reassessing our strategic objectives from the past two years to evaluate the possibility of realizing role re-imagination. A potential avenue to explore could entail inputting all the function-specific offsite presentations into Chat GPT, enabling us to delve into the initiatives we aimed to pursue but faced limitations due to resource constraints. These objectives may not necessarily demand entirely new skill sets, but they necessitate operating at a different level of empowerment and ownership.
In this context, a significant study stands out in my mind. Dr. Paulo Roberto de Oliveira, a professor of fisheries at the Federal University of Santa Catarina, has conducted extensive research on the Brazilian fishing industry, exploring the distinctions between sea fishing and lake fishing. Professor Oliveira found that even under similar skills, Sea fishermen operate in a much more challenging environment than lake fishermen. The sea is much larger and more turbulent than a lake, and the weather conditions can change rapidly. This dynamic means that sea fishermen must adapt to changing conditions and be prepared for emergencies. Sea fishermen need to use more specialized equipment than lake fishermen. The fish that live in the sea are much larger and more diverse than the fish that live in lakes. This means that sea fishermen need to be able to use different bait and techniques to catch different types of fish.
In our re-imagination, this type of transition is a real possibility. We have to learn to operate in a more dynamic changing environment – we have to become sea fishers in some roles
Here are some examples of such Re-imaginations:
The crucial aspect lies in identifying and mapping transformative skills that render roles more resilient, digital-oriented, and innovation-centric.
Encouraging creativity, critical thinking, problem-solving, and a willingness to embrace change cultivates a culture of innovation within an organization. Front-line workers who possess these qualities can contribute to process improvements, identify opportunities for innovation, and drive positive change within their respective roles. While knowledge workers can be inventions centric and the possibilities with humans are limitless
Here are some examples from a panel discussion:
Language Expansion: There exist numerous opportunities for Human Resources professionals, including the chance to undergo training in various language skills as companies expand their product offerings in Japan and South Korea.
Deeper Connections through Conversational AI: The expansion of Conversational AI not only transforms employee relations but also opens up the possibility for HR to intervene in a scientifically informed manner by analyzing the tones and emotions of employees. This valuable information can assist HR professionals in appropriately addressing and resolving issues within the workplace.
Proactive Workforce Planning: Anticipate the following changes in Workforce Planning:
- Smaller centers/locations will become relevant and influential.
- Workforce Planning Modules will extensively analyze the demand.
- Headcount expansion will incorporate assumptions on efficiency through Automation/Generative AI.
- Reskilling efforts will prioritize enhancing skills for existing roles rather than transitioning to new positions.
- Workforce Planners will exhibit a higher level of tech proficiency.
Frontline will be as valuable as Knowledge Workers:
With the advent of Generative AI aiming to automate various segments of knowledge work, numerous companies are proactively formulating comprehensive headcount and automation plans. Although robotics and other technologies have already disrupted front-line work to a significant extent, success stories like Zappos and Geek Squad highlight the enduring value that a front-line workforce brings as a winning strategy.
More Granular Paths towards nuanced Generative AI skills
Consider the following exemplar trajectory of prompt engineering