Bob Schultek
Author of
The Gauntlet

In their book, “The Age of Agility,” authors Jason Gaulden and Alan Gottlieb describe how “we are in the early stages of a rapidly accelerating revolution that will bring automation and artificial intelligence into sectors of the workforce that have, until now, been spared this latest wave of disruptive change.”

Corporate executives, academics, technologists, and economists agree that this disruption “will rival any technological upheaval in history in both scope and impact.” Within the United States workforce, 47 percent of all jobs are at risk of elimination in the next 10-20 years.

The authors cite 3 drivers of this change:

  1. Technology: AI, robotics, sensors, and data;
  2. Demographics: Longer lives, growth of younger and older populations, and greater diversity;
  3. The power of pull: Customer empowerment and the rise of global talent markets.
For organizations, the implications will cause leaders to:
  1. Redesign work for technology and learning;
  2. Source and integrate talent across functions and networks;
  3. Implement new models of organizational structure, leadership, culture, and rewards.

As has been cited by numerous recent studies, leaders who have mastered empathy and emotional intelligence, who understand how vital it is to engage their people in discovering how they can make a difference for the business, will be better positioned to lead as this new economy evolves. Increasingly, an organization’s people, and the consistency with which they operate in accordance with the company’s culture to create value for their customers and company, are its most sustainable competitive advantage. Very soon, talent, more than capital, will represent the critical factor of production.

To retain their best people and increase the value of their business, a new model of workforce engagement will continue to emerge in which businesses provide opportunities for their workforce to pursue the continuous learning and skills upgrades necessary for innovating, improving and efficiently adapting to changing conditions. Cultivating the technical and soft skills of their personnel, including critical thinking, problem solving and working within diverse, cross-functional teams, will be a necessity for leaders who are committed to driving change that accelerates their progress amidst this evolving economy.

How prepared is your organization for this emerging 
“Age of Agility?”
What one or two steps could you take now
to begin your preparations?