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Organisational Redesign in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

I must admit that there are times when I really regret having taking it upon myself to change the content of this blog from sport and sports to technology. Most of the stuff I am compelled to read is so sobering, I develop a strong urge to pour a glass of wine halfway through the introduction.

The information below was extracted from an article by Josh Bersin titled: Rewriting the Rules for the Digital Age: 2017 Deloitte Human Capital Trends.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution: What Has It Wrought?

As described by Klaus Schwab in “The Fourth Industrial Revolution,” we are in the early stages of a wholesale shift in technology, business, and economics.

  1. In the first industrial revolution (18th and 19th centuries) we shifted from an agrarian society to one more industrial and urban, driven by the steam engine, water, and mechanical equipment. This brought urbanization, the growth of cities, and rapid advancements in standards of living.
  2. In the second industrial revolution (1870-1920s) we harnessed electricity, telecommunications, and later the principles of mass production. These revolutionary advances gave us an integrated global business community and opened the door for large industrial corporations, the industrial career, and the emergence of the middle class.
  3. In the third industrial revolution (1970s-2000s) we invented and scaled the power of computing, integrated circuits, IT, and software, to build a workplace and workforce powered by intelligence, software, and personal computers. Again our productivity went up as thousands of new applications of technology (ERP, word processing, spreadsheets, electronic banking) became available.
  4. Today we are watching the fourth revolution, one characterized by mobile devices, sensors, artificial intelligence, natural language processing, bio technology, and soon wearable and always-on video. This fourth wave, which leverages the global internet as a real-time network, has yet to deliver productivity improvements, yet is changing life and work like never before.

As we studied these trends this year, we realized that today, like never before, businesses are squeezed in a vice, one tightened by accelerating changes in technology, social norms, and political and economic issues.

The following graphic vividly displays just how overwhelmed employees have become:

The article adds:

A recent survey by Gallup, for example, found that 31% of US employees now work remotely “most of the time.” This has given birth to remote offices, team management tools, video conferencing, and new ways of coaching and engaging people.

This report, which largely focuses on the needs of organizations and business leaders, shows that a new set of “rules” have emerged: rules to help leaders redesign the organization, rethink the employee experience, implement digital tools, rethink careers, and change the way we lead.

Please click here to read the rest of this interesting article.



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