Technology seems to come with an endless supply of data. We produce data, companies collect and track data, some people have become data. Inspiring future, isn't it?
To me, this apocalyptic vision of a data-driven world is pure fiction. Tools change, but human beings don't. Even our most rational decisions always contain an emotional factor. We are emotional animals and nothing can change this great quality, even a world of ever-more-traceable activities. If you want people to act, react, engage and change the world, do not give them statistics. Feed them stories and inspiration.
The digital revolution has also brought the next phase of automation. Does this mean that robots will soon rule the world? Of course not. Just like intuition and emotions will always be part of our interactions and relationships, robots and computers are not the future of work if we are ready to redefine work and value creation. We hear about technology and disruptive markets all the time. But work and our relationship to it has stubbornly stayed the same. Some of our biggest challenges will require change and transformation in this area.
Jack Hughes, founder of TopCoder affirms:
Value creation in the past was a function of economies of industrial scale: mass production and the high efficiency of repeatable tasks. Value creation in the future will be based on economies of creativity: mass customization and the high value of bringing a new product or service improvement to market.
In a world where more and more tasks, jobs and missions will be completed by artificial intelligence, creativity will be a competitive advantage as well as a passport to success.
Analyzing and comprehending data may allow companies to understand the present, but it will never allow them to predict or define the next revolutionary idea or product. Envisioning the next breakthrough will require instinct, guts, emotion and most of all, passion.
We can all be and need to be creative. We just need to give ourselves the permission to follow our passions and fulfill our visions.
Loving what you do creates engagement. Only 30 percent of American employees feel engaged or inspired by their jobs. If you think having a meaningful job is "nice to have" or a generational quest, try imagining a world where 99 percent of us are engaged in our mission. Loving what you do is imperative to being creative and pushing the boundaries in order to invent our future.
I know some find the millennials' obsessive quest to be passionate about their jobs, or to find a mission that resonates with their values, to be naive. But seeking work they are passionate about and finding themselves along the way is not simply a tantrum thrown by a spoiled generation. Learning about oneself is the only way to discover how to best contribute to the community. Identity is the basis of any collective involvement. Can I give my best when I am lost? Can I be passionate about what I do if I cannot project who I am in it? Can I feel empathy when I do not even love or know who I am?
Generation Y was perhaps the first to believe that asking for meaning at work was legitimate, natural and obvious. But there is no generational monopoly on such a universal quest. This is what the future of work needs to be, and it is especially obvious when faced with the fact that Generation Y will represent 75 percent of the workforce by 2025.
Loving your job is no longer a luxury, and will soon be a necessity. Loving what you do and finding yourself in it is not asking too much. Instead, it must be encouraged, not only in small businesses and innovative companies, but in all corporate structures. Creativity and productivity are not forced into existence, they come from loving what you do.
There was a time where work and life were conceptualized as two different things. This absurd time is over. Work is not a box we need to fit in. Work, as part of your life, is also your meaning. I am not scared by this merge because I have never really understood the notion of work-life balance. When you are not engaged in what you do and it's killing you inside, simply leaving the office at 5 p.m. won't fix the problem. Loving what you do means respecting who you are and your internal resources. Not burning them even if its only from 9 to 5.
Loving what you do is freedom, the key value of a digital generation empowered by access to the world.
Let's start the Re"Love"ution.