The MIT Sloan Expert Series recently presented a webcast with Andrew McAfee ?and ?Erik Brynjolfsson, co-authors of the new book Machine, Platform, Crowd: Harnessing our Digital Future, Beth Comstock, vice chair of GE, and Sandy Pentland, MIT professor and expert of group dynamics in a digital world.
A crucial theme of the new book is that unsettling, disruptive change is becoming the status quo. Suddenly, companies we think are going to be around forever are being instantaneously upset by start-ups. Machines gain more complex cognitive abilities every day and are rapidly taking over jobs in a way we never dreamed was possible. And the corporate research labs? They’ve got nothing on the collective brainpower of the Internet.
Given these scenarios, effective human leadership is more critical than ever. In Machine, Platform, Crowd, McAfee and Brynjolfsson encourage professionals to leverage technology to make our organizations and industries better and to transform our global world into a more educated, entrepreneurial, and inclusive place. The most powerful force at play today is not solo automation, but the combined strength of humanity and technology. Here are a few key takeaways from the webcast:
Let Go of the Concept of Management
Our traditional notion of leadership came about because the industrial age mandated hierarchies. Today, we don’t have to be so static and rigid about how we organize our companies and need to be adaptable and willing to move things around.
Focus on Connector Jobs
The highest paying, most competitive jobs today and in the near future will employ people who understand how to connect people to people and people to machines for the purpose of exploiting new business opportunities. Consider where in your organization connectors can add the most value.
Hone Interpersonal Skills
Ensure that your team members have adequate training and strong skills in negotiation, persuasion, and coordination. Jobs that require these will not be replaced by bots anytime soon.