Reimagining the Future of Work: Talent-first strategy positions your people for unpredictable journeys.

Author:Fiore, Martin

Recently, business media coverage has shifted from a heavy focus on the effectiveness of new technologies to a growing emphasis on the qualifications of the people who will use those tools most effectively. The lens has been recalibrated--away from which products, platforms, and algorithms make artificial intelligence (AI) and intelligent automation (IA) smarter and faster and toward the skill sets, attributes, and learning needs of the workforces that will leverage them.

What do leaders need to know to get in front of the many challenges posed by the fourth industrial revolution? Get acquainted with both the technological and the human capabilities that will shape our future. Although smart machines will get better at performing tasks, we still need really good people to draw on their domain knowledge to make sound ethical decisions and to ask the right questions.

Aligning People, Machines, and Transformative Processes

In studying a wide range of companies grappling with the new wave of technological innovation, futurist and author Jacob Morgan found that the most successful ones always put strategy ahead of technology decisions. For our firm, EY, as part of our Reimagining the Future of Work initiative, this has meant implementing a "talent-first" strategy to help guide adoption of AI and LA tools. Improved productivity and new services are important, of course, but we are a people business, so our objective has been to find the best technology tools while adding value for our professionals.

Regardless of what industry you are in, we believe organizational leaders need to understand and value both the unique skills and passions of people and the transformative potential of technology. This includes aligning business and talent missions and ensuring talent and operations speed along parallel and mutually beneficial tracks. After all, the best collaborative technologies and platforms are useless if your people are not using them, if they can't see the value these tools deliver and pass that value on to their internal and external stakeholders.

Why Has People Engagement Become So Important?

Anyone leading change in an organization knows that people naturally resist new things. But in driving home a new technological vision, it is more important than ever to ensure that your employees are buying in. Employees perform better during change when they understand why change is happening. In today's working world, employees want a sense of purpose...

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