Down with the machines; Up with humans.
The last 100 years has been a time of great industrial revolution and development. Really the last 500 years marks a season of great invention and innovation that has given way to the world and “industrialization” we have (and enjoy) today. While some foundational innovations such as the wheel and the compass were developed long ago, the number of new ideas and advancements have rocketed in the last century.
While some will always be resistant to change, the reality is we live in a world that is constantly evolving and developing. New ideas are in motion to take work and personal life to the next level of performance, production, ease, duplication, speed, etc.
The 1900s marked an era where machines were the key to a growing business. They replaced tedious jobs that were slow and laborious for the workers. Machines made the production of materials fast. People were still needed to run the machines as well as be the engineers, inventors, and developers behind the machines. Speed with accuracy became the commodity of a winning solution. As we journey into the 2000s, many predicted that robots, artificial intelligence, and increased technology would replace the need for the human element.
As much as there still is a demand for speed and production, a noticeable shift has been taking place. The era that is and has been evolving and gaining prominence is one of experience and connection. This new era is led by a younger generation with those values and life wiring systems tip to experience and connections. Millennials should comprise approximately 75% of our workforce by 2030.
This era IS about humans. On the one hand, it returns to what the world was before all the machines – a world of people. On the other hand because of machines changing the world in which we live, this new era is much different than human eras of the past. While the world today uplifts simplicity, there is great complexity. Things move quickly, in many different directions and on many different dimensions. We don’t fully understand all of this or even fully experience all of this yet, but it is coming.
Machines will continue; it is not that “machines are down” per se. They are evolving into intelligent machines, some called robots. Intelligent machines, aka robots, are currently being used at companies such as Amazon, Ford, and FedEx. “Machines are down” however in that the human experience is up. Machines are not the trump or king card in this equation. The demand for people to be present, innovate and develop has been a constant. That is what contributed to the evolution of machines. The new demand has to do with the human experience and connection. How we are present, why we innovate and where we take it.
- How we are present is about clearing one’s mind of the clutter and speed that has hijacked our bodies and instead being still and accessing one’s internal voice and wisdom. We will be challenged to get to a place and be present with people in an experience with them, not just a transaction. The experience will be multi-sensory, personalized and customized so that learning and enjoyment can take place.
- Why we innovate has to do with a shift not about speed and production, but about meaning and significance. Purposeful development that matters to the greater whole is more important. Looking at how and what we do that affects the world, people and ecosystems demands greater innovation to address the challenging impacts of the past and opportunities for the future.
- Where we take it has to do with reach. We are global and the awareness of the ability to serve and help anywhere in the world (and beyond) is a possibility. The impact of a development, program, service, training, etc. can be a global offering. How we share and work is a global consideration.
Human experience and connection change the game from a machine-driven system that worked for many years. As we get closer to the tipping point, a cultural collision can be felt as society shifts to a new value system. Here are some examples of “values” and “focus” that used to drive the machine era, that change in the human experience and connection era.
- Speed to Quality
- Telling (Data & Facts) to Understanding (Intelligence & Intuition)
- Utility to Connection
- Institutional to Community
- Hierarchy to Equality
- Preservation to Creation
- Process to Passion
- Information to Transformation
- Transaction to Experience
- Educate to Equip
- Permission to Empowerment
- Management to Leadership
What shifts do you see? How do you see the world-changing? How do you see machines as still important, but secondary to the human experience and connection? What is the impact of this value shift? Where do you notice yourself in this shift? Are you more in the machine and production era or the human experience and connection era?
he reality is that our world will continue to evolve and machines will continue to impact future generations of the workforce in ways yet unknown. But we can say, “Down with the machines and up with humans,” because to understand, embrace and thrive in this new evolving culture the understanding of human experience and connection is critical. So up with humans. You are important. You matter.