If you can’t beat them…join them! Robots are here to stay. We can not turn back the clock, progress drives forward and has no reverse gears. There are examples in the past though, that can help guide us for the future of work.

In the 1980s Toyota introduced robotics into the assembly line differently than General Motors. One of the things Toyota approached differently in its operations was asking for ideas directly from their workers. Today, Japanese cars still have a reputation for reliability.

Also in the 1980s, Saturn automobiles created a union-management partnership from the bottom to the top of the organization that helped the company advance quickly. Unfortunately, the resentment of traditionalists doomed Saturn.

Companies engaging their workforce in planning and designing new technologies will be best positioned to manage the coming AI revolution. Companies that invest ongoing training for their workers, and respect their worker’s input and feedback on the introduction of the new technology on the job, will make the best use of AI. A beautiful example of this is in the following video:

Another excellent video that can be shared with someone in management is the following interview with Erik Brynjolfsson from the MIT course, “Shaping the Future of Work.” Senior management should have their staff take this course to help keep to date with the changes in the workforce:

How are you helping your workers adapt? In the interview with Erik Brynjolfsson, did you notice he advised learning “interpersonal skills?” Emotional Intelligence involves our ability to sense and develop interpersonal skills. Inquire about sending your team to seminars that encourage skills to help in shaping the future of work. Look at our current events column for our future classes. If you’re interested in how to build on your natural abilities, contact us at for the Highlands Ability Battery online test.

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