You Can’t Automate Everything

The more that automation technologies improve, the greater the concern regarding job security for human workers. Manufacturing has shown us over the years that factory machines can displace human workers. Automation means efficiency, productivity, and profit. If you give a bean counter the choice between a man and machine, the machine wins every time.

But, fortunately for us humans, you can’t automate everything. An article from the Harvard Business Review , written by John Hagel III, examines how automation will increase the demand for human workers in three types of work.

Technology changes the way we live

Our lives are, quite obviously, different because of technology. The difference between a life with electricity and one without is night and day. Sometimes technology brings about a more nuanced change in our lives, however. For example, automation is changing supply and demand dynamics.

Thanks to technology, consumer have more power. Customers have access to more information than ever before. We can research how and where a product is made, we have more access to alternate options, we can read product reviews and weigh the pros and cons of goods before we even try them.

Suppliers must work harder to make consumers happy and draw them in, or risk losing business. Hagel makes the point that companies must prove their value to consumers rather than simply get their attention.

This leads to more customization. There’s a higher demand for niche products made on a small scale, and people are moving away from mass-produced goods.

Technology changes the work that we do

Instead of businesses competing for the attention of consumers, they must provide so much value that consumers seek out businesses. This will shape the nature of the work that we do. By automating menial tasks we will have more time to focus on the work that is specific to humans.

Hagel predicts that we will continue to automate the mundane tasks. This will free workers up to focus on the things that we can’t automate – such as creativity, imagination, emotional intelligence, and social intelligence.

He describes three types of work that humans will thrive in: creators, composers, and coaches.

Creators are those who specialize in a craft. This means providing tailored goods. Think small batch chocolate, hand crafted furniture, and craft breweries.

Composers are those who create “engaging and rewarding experiences” for people. Hagel says that there will be less of a focus on material goods and more of a focus on memories and meaningful experiences. It’s up to the composers to create these experiences.

Coaches are those who help people improve in areas and unlock potential. These are your wellness coaches, life coaches, and motivational speakers.

Are your machines ready?

We will have to wait and see whether or not these types of work will blow up. One thing is certain, though. Your factory machines will need to be in top top shape, regardless. Call 479-422-0390 for preventive inspection, maintenance, or repair for Indramat motion control systems.