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Thriving in the Age of Digital Adoption: Overcoming the Fear of AI (part 1)

“What if artificial intelligence takes over my job? What if I become redundant?” Every one of us has experienced technology encroaching on our lives, more and more so with each year that passes. It appears that technological innovation is a certainty that is only...

Starting & Thriving in E-Commerce in South Africa: The Payment

In our previous article, Starting & Thriving in E-commerce in South Africa: The Customer, we looked at a few variables that affect the customer’s experience with a business; these include how you can build valuable information about and around your...

Starting & Thriving in E-commerce in South Africa: The Customer

In our previous article, Starting & Thriving in E-commerce in South Africa: The Foundations, we explored the various options and requirements for taking your business online as well as the importance of meeting your audience in the places they naturally...

Starting & Thriving in E-commerce in South Africa: The Foundations

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How to get people onboard your data journey to drive usage and adoption

In the preceding articles we have covered topics on building the correct foundations so as to implement data analytics in an organisation with a centralised data function. Using the Sit. Crawl. Walk. Run. Paradigm, we explored how best to embark on a data journey and...

How to get people onboard your data journey to drive usage and adoption

In the preceding articles we have covered topics on building the correct foundations so as to implement data analytics in an organisation with a centralised data function. Using the Sit. Crawl. Walk. Run. Paradigm, we explored how best to embark on a data journey and...

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Thriving in the Age of Digital Adoption: Embracing the Workforce Ecosystem (part 2)

Thriving in the Age of Digital Adoption: Embracing the Workforce Ecosystem (part 2)

In the first part of this series, we looked at how the fears of technological innovation are resulting in an unproductive resistance toward modernisation, even as it gains extraordinary pace in 2021. We also delved into the importance of a growth mindset in allowing individuals, and teams, to gain the motivation to thrive in this environment. In this second and final part of the series we will be examining how you can use a growth mindset to embrace a Workforce Ecosystem specifically designed to ensure you and your team remain relevant and valued as artificial intelligence (AI) gains more prominence.

AI has freed up a lot of our time, both in our personal and professional lives, and while this seems like a blessing, many do not see it this way. The paradoxical nature of the digitisation process can be seen in, for example, the rise in automated investing solutions. Digital platforms have been developed that can provide automated, algorithm-driven investment services and generate results based on the investor’s goals and risk parameters. While the simplification and efficiency of the process is a blessing for the investor, what about the traditional investment advisors or managers? Are their jobs being replaced by algorithms? Does the same logic apply for all jobs where AI is being introduced?

The answer is no.

Yes, AI is doing work that people used to do, but people are being trained on how to manage and leverage AI that is now doing the work. They are being trained on, as well as learning themselves, how to be workers of the future by embracing new skills related to technology. At MAC, we fundamentally believe in the concept of a Workplace Ecosystem, where humans and machines rely on one another to make the work they produce more efficient, accurate and of more value. While the AI can process the material you ask it to and generate results that you need, you have the capability to make judgement calls on what you find. You have the ability to ask the hard questions based on your findings and brainstorm with your team on possible solutions to problems you will be better informed about. As you come to embrace the machine as a colleague that is working for and with you, your team will be able to learn from it, experiment with it and develop the necessary skills to better handle this technology. In essence, you and your team will become more valuable to your business because you have more time and resources to do what the computer can’t. You will have more time and resources to develop the skills that are becoming increasingly more important and learn more about technological tools that can benefit you in the future.

Now, how do you make sure your organisation moves in the direction you want it to in terms of digital adoption? First, you have to be honest with yourself in assessing your organisation’s status of digital maturity. Does your organisation have an immature digital culture where management is sceptical to introduce digital initiatives? Maybe your organisation is playing with lots of digital features without a clear vision or coordination? Or maybe your organisation has a strong governance structure and has taken some steps toward digital maturity through the adoption of a few advanced digital features but has an under-developed digital vision? Based on this understanding of your current digital maturity, you need to develop a clear vision on where you want to advance to. You may want to strive to develop a strong digital vision with many digital initiatives being directed by excellent governance. In essence, you want to aim to become digital masters working within a coordinated Workforce Ecosystem. For a more in-depth look at how this is done you can read our article on the ‘Sit. Crawl. Walk. Run.’ principle that drives data and analytical maturity.

After appreciating your vision for your digital future, you will have the mechanistic foundation on which to lead the organisation from the humanistic level. Your organisation will have to come to understand that your old map toward success may have worked in the past, however, it is not relevant for the accelerated digital burst that we are currently operating within. The organisation will need to construct a governance structure that supports this new map, initiate many new digitisation experiments, and a comprehensive tracking system where the benefits of this experimentation are well understood and can be shared to all teams.

As your teams come to understand the vision outlined by your leaders and why it is essential for success, they will come to embrace the necessity for experimentation. They will be encouraged to reframe their mindset, unlearn behaviours and skills that are out of date, and relearn the necessary behaviours and skills that aid in the effort toward digital mastery. As mentioned in the first part of this series, your teams will have to embrace a habitual behaviour associated with being a life-long learner and actively seek out technology that can make them more productive. Instead of being fearful of what AI can do to them, they will need to be excited about how it can help them and what they can learn about it. As a whole, your organisation will support the mindset shift of its employees and teams through good governance and a shared purpose, and, in turn, your teams will bring the vision to fruition.

While the advantages of leveraging this technology are outlined in the opportunities it can create for you, the consequences are also true if you don’t. If your mindset remains fixed on what stops you from embracing technology, and the digitisation movement as a whole, you will be left behind. If you let yourself get stuck on thoughts such as, “we don’t have the resources to adopt technology” or, “my team is not capable of learning the skills required for true digital adoption”, you are simply letting the wave sweep you away and letting your competitors get that much of a step ahead of you. That is, unless you end every sentence with “yet” and embrace behaviours associated with life-long learners.

Our consultants at MAC understand the importance of the growth mindset in starting and thriving throughout your digitisation journey. We also understand that, while organisations can start off as digital beginners, they all have the potential to advance to digital masters operating within thriving Workforce Ecosystems and reap the rewards of the transformation. We have worked with teams in many fields, including the financial services, legal fraternity, and operations, to help them realise their new value proposition in a business and adopt mentalities and behaviours that will serve them throughout their careers. We have seen them succeed as they strive to not only remain relevant, but become essential in the world of digitisation.

You may not be where you want to be, but we can help you get there. Contact us at evolve@macgroup.co.za to find out more.

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