• AS POLITICIANS CONTINUE TO PRIORITIZE INCREASED EMPLOYMENT AND WAGES, forecasts predict up to 375 million workers globally needing to learn new skills for transition to available occupations over the next dozen years. Automation is forecast to impact up to a third of activities in some 60% of occupations – the most susceptible being “physical jobs in predictable environments such as operating machinery, preparing fast food, collecting & processing data… Automation will have a lesser effect on jobs that involve managing people, applying expertise and social interactions, where machines are unable to match human performance or where jobs are technically difficult to automate and often command relatively lower wages which makes automation a less attractive business proposition” (e.g. repairmen, child & eldercare providers, gardeners). With some 300 million more seniors above age 65 by then, job growth will be greatest in healthcare & other personal services, followed by professionals (I.T., technology, engineers, scientists, analysts, accountants), execs & managers, educators, builders and ‘creatives’ (artists, performers, entertainers). But the largest challenge will be “ensuring that workers have the skills & support needed to transition to new jobs” – a challenge so far unaddressed. [McKINSEY GLOBAL INSTITUTE REPORT – Nov 17]
  • EMPLOYEE ‘RETENTION’ IS A CORE ELEMENT IN MOST COMPANY CULTURE STRATEGY but may be increasingly counter-productive. While risk of losing valuable workers and protecting against labor shortage as business grows is important, over-prioritized focus on retention can “jeopardize a company’s success, longevity & competitive advantage when: (1) lengthy tenures generate unproductive, unengaged and unfulfilled employees who are less likely to be exposed to innovative ideas & processes from new workers experienced in other industries or companies; (2) Reality is that hires may have been the wrong persons in the first place, who will always be mediocre or with minimal ambition – which can induce others in search of challenging, engaging jobs to leave the company; (3) Over-focus can distract from the vital task of redesigning work, roles & practice to remain agile and innovating in fast-changing global markets… Retention is an outmoded paradigm based on a social contract between employer/employee that no longer exists (outside of Academia). Reality is that layoffs are common and workers are adjusting to a new normal where jobs are not forever – especially among millennials.”  [INTERCHANGE-GROUP.COM – Nov 29, 17]
  • TECHNOLOGY WILL BE MAJORLY FOCUSED ON WHAT MAKES OUR BRAINS TICK. Examples: (1) With nearly 50% of Americans claiming they “could not live without their smartphone (according to Pew Research Center), a Korean University study of teenagers diagnosed as ‘Smartphone-Addicted’ has ominous overtones. Magnetic Resonance Spectography confirmed “imbalance in the chemical composition of their brains… based on neurotransmitters tracking levels of depression, anxiety, severity of insomnia and impulsivity.” (2) The U.S. Military is funding research at USC and Massachusetts General Hospital which utilize implanted electrodes to develop treatments for conditions including depression, PTSD, epilepsy and issues relating to concentration. The ‘Closed Loop Stimulation’ process detects patterns linked to ‘mood’ disorders then “activates electrical pulses that can supposedly shock the brain into a healthier state.” [FUTURISM.COM – Dec 1, 17]
  • AMERICA IS HEADING FORWARD IN A PERIOD OF “MESMERIZING CHANGE, where human nature is to seek community and embrace a simple, soothing explanation for events we can’t quite fathom. But the polarization of our discourse has an effect on our ability to make smart policy. Cultural-cognition research finds that people tend to be tribal when it comes to certain topics (like immigration or guns or climate change) and what people ‘believe’ doesn’t reflect what they know but rather who they are, and who they aren’t.”  Social media business models are “echo chamber construction, beaming & strutting based on algorithms favoring news that connects with individuals and affirms their own beliefs. Civil discourse suffers both from the echo, which amplifies even small, sordid sounds, and the chamber, which walls us off from diverse opinion – from ideas that might disturb in healthy ways.” According to an Axios poll, a majority of Americans now see social media doing more to harm than help democracy and free speech.”  [TIME – Dec 11, 17]
  • THOUGHTS FOR THE WEEK: Ronald Reagan perspective: “Governments view of the economy could be summed up in a few short phrases: If it moves, tax it; if it keeps moving, regulate it; and if it stops moving, subsidize it.”

      A fascinating look at where the future is heading: longevity, space exploration, technological unemployment, media communication, economies, climate change and more, hosted by Tony Robbins: