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Fast, Smart and Connected – The Future of Work

“Every invention is driving us to be faster, smarter and more connected and changes us in ways that it is difficult to anticipate” says Professor Genevieve Bell in the Boyer Lectures 2017.

With AI, robotics, digitisation and data disrupting the jobs we do, the skills we need and the ways we work, what does this mean for you?

Here are a few ideas.

Be Connected

Ask for help

It’s almost impossible to be on top of everything when so much is changing all the time. You need others to help you to keep up. Asking for help is a sign of being open; of having a learning mindset; and of being proactive. And don’t just ask your immediate colleagues, ask people outside of your work team, your organisation, your industry.

Asking for help is the core of an innovation mindset.

Help others

Giving helpWhen people ask you to help make it a priority to respond. You can be helpful in any number of ways. For example:

  • act as a catalyst to help others progress their ideas,
  • amplify the successes of those who feel shy about doing it for themselves,
  • in meetings, ensure that those who are reserved are heard and their ideas acknowledged,
  • advocate for others who don’t seem to be getting a fair deal.

Helping others is one of the best things you can do for your own career. According to Adam Grant, helpfulness is the single greatest predictor of team effectiveness and individual success.

Be Fast

Stay ahead of change

A changeable future requires flexibility and constant innovation. You need to stay ahead of the changes to remain relevant. That means being able to collaborate, learn, experiment, understand other’s needs and come up with ideas.

With the right mindset, you’ll be able to do different things and do things differently so that you lead the change rather than just react to it.

Use technology

The future is technology enabled. Be able to apply it to whatever you can and quickly. Apply your innovation mindset to find new ways to use technology to improve the way you work.

Be Smart

Dare to be different

For too many years, women’s job preferences have been limited by what we learnt about “a woman’s place”. The stories of women in non-traditional roles have been buried so our views about what we can and can’t do are shaped by half-truths.

Yet role models exist. There are countless stories and examples of women in computers and science, as well as in sports, leadership, war and other non-conventional areas. Read them, meet them, talk about them – start thinking differently about what women in general, and what you in particular, can do.

Be visible

In a competitive job market, the people who are visible get the breaks. You know you’re doing a good job but you can’t sit back and wait to be asked. Claim, and proclaim, your success, so that others see it too.

Without being arrogant, speak up more at meetings, grasp opportunities, volunteer for roles and aim for strategic projects rather than the operational ones.

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Written by Tess Julian, Principal Consultant, Hargraves Institute

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