May 8, 2017

"Hired hearts" can't be replaced by robots

From the Knowledge Economy to the Human Economy by Dov Seidman in the Harvard Business Review

Over the course of the 20th century, the mature economies of the world evolved from being industrial economies to knowledge economies. Now we are at another watershed moment, transitioning to human economies—and the shift has profound implications for management.

The industrial economy replaced the agrarian economy when people left farms for factories; then the knowledge economy pulled them from factories to office buildings. When that happened, the way workers added value changed, too. Instead of leveraging their brawn, companies capitalized on their brains. No longer hired hands, they were hired heads.

In the human economy, the most valuable workers will be hired hearts. The know-how and analytic skills that made them indispensable in the knowledge economy no longer give them an advantage over increasingly intelligent machines. But they will still bring to their work essential traits that can’t be and won’t be programmed into software, like creativity, passion, character, and collaborative spirit—their humanity, in other words. The ability to leverage these strengths will be the source of one organization’s superiority over another.
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This notion of a human operating system appeals to me because it hints at how fundamental the commitment to humanity has to be in a company. Many times, we see businesses launching initiatives or projects that take on problems such as bureaucracy or bribery. Think about these efforts as programs or “apps”—they are individually targeted at important problems, but without an operating system that lets them talk to each other and to the “hardware” of the organization, they can’t accomplish much.
Posted by Jill Fallon at May 8, 2017 1:57 PM | Permalink