Hello there, yes we are at war- with something that we can’t even see with our naked eyes! Well call it rule of nature or whatever you may like to- The fact always has been that wars and enemies emerge from unseen blind quarters within or outside! Today, I want you to think around what is developing behind the smoke screen of the pandemic- sure enough- the pandemic is real people have risked themselves and have become history- but there is more in store and for what is in store- not everyone needs to die necessarily- but the changes over the horizon will be no less then having a rebirth! This piece is about what the unseen and unavoidable fall out of this chaos will be for the next 12 months at least- beyond that- well let your wisdom guide you!
So wherever you are on the world map right now- If you have been one of those lucky one’s to get a reprieve from travelling to work and are soaking in the windfall time with your family or pursuing your hobby or plain speak- something that you like to do (rarely that is possible when you are at work!); be wise and stay cautious! If you have not got that call from your boss, that client of your’s and if you did not get a chance to wear that mask and do a quick trip to your office like a super-hero to save the day- well you know what chances are your Work From Home (WFH) will eventually plateau out to a Always At Home (AAH) scenario pretty earlier then you would have thought! Yes! you read it right- you don’t trust me- well, no problem- drop me a mail around September 2020, then we will have a chat! Now don’t get scared- here’s what you need to understand and take charge of to ensure you stay relevant through your absence!
People tend to forget the age old maxim- “Your absence must be just enough so that your value (if any at all) must be realized- but your absence must be not so long that people learn to live without you and move ahead!” This is the space where the risky WFH is treading on- We live in times where interpersonal skills among people in work environments are already substantially screwed and messed up- if there is anything important that we talk with co-workers even as we work- it is about the third person- whether that third person in the context and content is a team member, your client or the classical corporate bitching session that has no end! I read somewhere- what people have started to realize is how shallow the entire corporate experience has been- once everyone has been packed to their homes-for their WFH- the realization has dawned that- the only thing that always mattered was the responses to the mails, the quick chats of under 3 minutes with clients and action planning and getting work done for that day! Everything else suddenly has started to seem to unwise- dumb and completely useless! Well, realization of all this is good for you as a worker- the problem here is even your employers now have started to realise- how dumb they have been to get sold to your personal charisma- your high value degrees and much hyped and eternally eroding experience(of course- there are a few exceptions- and this is not about them!)
Yes, folks, even as you think you have been smart to convince your employer for a WFH waiver and you are possibly working as you binge on a some movies and web series even as you work! Employers world wide right now are unleashing the complete available power of AI (Artificial Intelligence) – something that you, would have contributed to- knowingly and unknowingly (knowingly if you have bee a software and systems developer and unknowingly- if you have left a great digital imprint of your existence on the planet to provide ample data points to study behavioral and capability patterns)- and this is what can possibly make you technically redundant!
Well, there is nothing wrong and right about this – It is about knowing what we have done to ourselves as human beings!– First, we built capabilities through enveloping our intelligence- next we misuse and abuse them to sub-serve ourselves and for those who we work for – whether employers or society and finally we play dumb and under the garb of automation end up making ourselves redundant! What is happening to the service sector today- is what had happened to the manufacturing sector thirty years ago with the advent of robotics and CNC (Computer and Numerically Controlled) programmable machinery, and as humans guess what- We failed to remember what we should have learnt from that instance- We should have could have set a limit to our levels of procrastination and laziness which have in a way led to the need and urge to seek more and more automation! Automation from an innovator’s point was always designed to make things easier for difficult situations- now that has been extended to manage dumb and repetitive tasks (that’s what I asked in a previous article- Does your designation define your incompetence!)
So what next, well as humans we can do only one thing what we are best suited to do- turn the circumstances to our advantage- understand and differentiate from what is meaningful and what is meaningless!– I will tell you what- here’s simple test- If what you can do- can be done by anyone else- Well then you are in trouble and you need to course correct your life and skill sets now- to stay relevant and stay alive! another step you can think around this is – Can anyone do what I do the Way I do It- here if you have answered NO- Well, then Congratulations- No matter how much automated the world becomes- You are and will always remain to be one of those human beings who have been and continue to be “Human” in the essence of the word by simply being “Who You Are” and that is how it is supposed to be and this is what each one of us should aspire for ourselves to be! Always remember, every time that stepped back and gave away the control to technology- technology has come back seeking more and more and there will be really no end to it- The only way to subvert this, is to ensure we are smart enough to limit and know what we should, can and need to automate and to what extent!
I leave you at this point- Take a pause and reflect- What is the essence of being an human mean to You and more importantly Being You – whats is that helps and harms you! Importantly also Know what is the relationship that you share with automation- Who is the Master and who is the Slave and what are you going to do about it- so that in times to come that equilibrium stays the way You want it to be and that’s how it should be!
Stay wise, have an awakened weekend ahead and stay who You are and stay Relevant!