We are now well into 2019. It is scary how time flies, it only seemed like yesterday many of us were still on holiday, planning our new year resolutions. Well, hopefully by now, your resolutions have become your daily habits. But there is a resolution that you may have overlooked.
I am talking about resolving to stay relevant and re-skill yourself for the future of work. The good news is that it is not too late, and there is no time like the present to start. There is no better time to make a “fourth industrial resolution”.
We live in a time where disruptive technologies and trends such as artificial intelligence (AI), the Internet of Things (IoT), robotics and virtual reality (VR) will change the way we work.
Are you equipped for this change?
Education has always been a powerful tool, but never has that been truer. I am not talking about the traditional, outdated, boring type of education. Please don’t rush to get an MBA or a new colleague degree.
Try to pursue relevant and ongoing education aligned to the times. There are hundreds of free or low-cost resources online that could help you with this.
Platforms such aUdemy have some top-quality courses, Codecademy will help you code (although the benefits thereof are debateable), and Trend Hunter will help you keep up to date with the latest products and companies being launched globally.
Some companies have amazing learning and development teams that push great learning initiatives to their people. If yours does so, embrace these. If they don’t, push them to support you in your plans to grow your knowledge, in the right way.
The right type of education
So, what is the right way?
- Understand the uses of new technologies. You can win in this era even if you are not a digital guru. It is not necessarily the person who has a doctorate in artificial intelligence that will become the billionaire, but the person who uses some creative or lateral thinking, one who spots a new way to use the technology that no one before had thought of.
Most people don’t understand the inner workings of their smartphones but know how to use them to improve their lives.
In the same way, it is more important for most people to understand what can be done with AI, Blockchain, VR, IoT, etc than to understand the inner workings of these new technologies.
- Update your toolset of daily digital enablers — I have helped employees and leaders in top companies throughout South Africa and have been astounded by the lack of knowledge of new smart digital tools that can be used to complete tasks faster, cheaper and better than ever before. Companies are still overpaying for services, because they don’t know any better. For example, some are paying large amounts for research that can be found for free online, for instance, by using sites like Moat or SimilarWeb.
- Learn what is happening globally, in all industries. Don’t just focus on your industry. You can get amazing ideas by exploring outside your confines.
Stop only going to your same-old, staid industry conferences. Commit to exploring across the board. Learn about what is being created in different fields and apply that thinking to create new solutions.
Make a real change
Most of those reading this won’t make a real commitment to get ready for the future. I am not naïve – I know this. In fact, most people probably quickly scrolled through the article, or just read the headline. But this is why it is even more important for you to be the one who listens to my advice. 4IR will have many victims. Don’t be a victim, be one of the people who actively takes control of their future.
It may not be January the 1st but there is no better time to make a fourth industrial resolution. — Forbes Africa.