The world we live in is changing rapidly as it pertains to how we will experience politics, culture, and, equally as important, our work and professions. Artificial Intelligence, Machine Learning, Internet of Things, and Cloud Computing, and now COVID-19, to name a few, are all driving what the future of work will look like.

We cannot, regardless of our current profession, hide from technological innovation. This technological change not only shapes how we work, but when combined with political, social, and global demands, will impact where we work, how we will be compensated, and our ability to succeed within our desired profession. Prior to the COVID-19 pandemic, McKinsey Global Institute estimated that between 400 million to 800 million individuals would be displaced by automation by the year 2030 and would need to find new jobs. These shifts in technology all contribute to what has been called Industry 4.0, or rather The Fourth Industrial Revolution, which was first introduced by Klaus Schwab, the executive chairman of the World Economic Forum.

The Challenge

The major disadvantage and challenge many face when it comes to achievement planning is using old world methodologies and frameworks of thinking without considering the threats that may prevent them from reaching their outcomes. As the pace of technology continues to change professions, our thinking and our approach to crafting our future within the new world economy also needs to change, enabling us to thrive within Industry 4.0.

Understanding The Future

One principle I believe is critical for every individual is the awareness of thought leadership that is being designed for and delivered to organizations in their specific industries of interest. If you are working within the manufacturing sector, what is the future for the need of the products being manufactured?

If you are a real estate agent, what are the future needs of buyers and sellers as it relates to the real estate transaction or real estate assets? If you work in the hospitality sector, what will the future demand of the hospitality sector?

Each of these sectors have thought leaders that forecast the direction of these industries.

To position yourself as a leading candidate for the role of your dreams, or as a leading entrepreneur in your sector, it is important to understand who the leading thought leaders are in your current and desired sector, what they are thinking, and what leadership are they providing your clients or potential employers.

Personal Innovation

As you seek opportunities that are in alignment with your personal and professional goals, you must consider ways to differentiate yourself as a candidate or entrepreneur. This differentiation, I believe, cannot rely exclusively upon traditional education or your previous job roles, but should also include your ability to build human capital, understand technological change, and operate within a philosophy of work that enables you to thrive in Industry 4.0.

To begin your journey of personal innovation, here are a few questions to consider as you determine the direction you want to go personally and professionally:

  • What are your values?
  • Who do you want your work or values to impact the most from a professional perspective?
  • What industry or industries will you pursue, and what direction is that industry going?
  • How will you integrate your values with your work?
  • How will you integrate the people you want to have an impact on with your work?
  • What skills do you need to strengthen to prepare for technological change?
  • What type of professionals do you need to add to your network?

Answering these questions will help you not only gain clarity on why you’re pursuing your chosen profession, but will allow you to gain the knowledge, skills, and differentiation needed to thrive while also achieving your most important outcomes and goals.

This is my perspective on personal innovation and how to achieve in 2021 and beyond.

If you have questions about designing your Philosophy of Work, let’s talk!