Automation is inevitable and must not be resisted
Be sure, it will not replace people who are capable of leveraging the advancing automation to create Competitive Advantage
Geoff Colvin’s new book argues that automation will not replace people as a source of Competitive Advantage. Extracts from a recent post – http://t.co/XTl4rCZWLU by @harvardbiz – supporting this argument are:
….. an effective organizational system isn’t just a mechanistic one of capital investment. It’s a human system that relies heavily on unique human capabilities. ….there are some unique human capabilities, like empathy and storytelling, that will keep people employable even as automation chips away at the content of most jobs. … even in areas where machines do match or exceed human capabilities, there will still be an insistence that certain tasks and decisions remain in the hands of humans, …who continue to provide a superior value proposition relative to advancing technology…. we can run our own race, drawing on the strengths we have that cannot or will not be programmed into computers.
An interesting line in Colvin’s book: Staking our futures to our most profound human traits may feel strange and risky. Fear not. When you change perspectives and look inward rather than outward, you’ll find that what you need next has been there all along. It has been there forever.
……….managers may be too easily seduced by the apparent advantages of automation. In the relentless pursuit of lower costs and greater throughput, they might miss the fact that advantages in storytelling, judgment, and other human strengths are much harder for competitors to replicate…. optimizing asset utilization isn’t enough to sustain a competitive advantage. ….once smart machines are built to solve problems in asset efficiency (or indeed any area of operations) they very rapidly spread and become pervasive across an industry. ..therefore, they cease to provide a competitive advantage. .. for ensuring enduring competitive advantage, there will always be need for good people…. a system that engages them and allows what is unique and valuable about individual people to be leveraged – we do not need a system that compels people to perform standardized acts in the same way and therefore can commoditize them as undifferentiated human resources.
I recommend interested readers to read this latest book by Geoff Colvin
A selection of contemporary thoughts and ideas, researched and developed by Thought Leaders and Leading Business Schools
Prof Ranjan Das,
Professor of Strategy, Innovation, Entrepreneurship and Leadership and Chairman and Chief Mentor– The Strategy Academy