In addition, incorporating competency in these skills impacts all career paths. For starters, key areas ripe for professional development include sales, engineering, plant operations and C-Suite disciplines.
Artificially intelligent computer systems apply rules-based techniques for problem solving. To learn more, read my article on practical AI for business and industry.
Also, when I talk about the next generation workplace, I am not referring to what happens when millennials take over the galaxy. Oh please. Rather, I am addressing how a multi-generational workforce functions in the digitally transforming workplace, starting today.
Critical thinking skills start by applying objectivity and logic into evaluating situations and issues. Then a decision is synthesized.
Over time, thinkers (including machine-to-machine or M2M, deep learning and artificially intelligent systems) learn from experience and self-correct, update and upgrade their performance. Regardless of whether you currently embrace or dismiss this technology, as the workplace transforms so will the concept of workplace performance involving AI.
First and foremost, artificially intelligent systems support human decision-making. AI systems free up high value knowledge workers to apply critical thinking to complex decision-making. As a result, manual, routine, repetitive and time-consuming functions are assumed by an AI workplace “co-worker.”
Also, artificially intelligent systems assume hazardous or high-value tasks like threat detection or monitoring building air quality safety. Then again, improvements in manufacturing technology create plant floor robotic / human worker collaborative partnerships. While the robots do the heavy lifting (literally), their human co-worker concentrates on creative process improvement and new product innovation.
However, an intriguing implication of AI for the next generation workplace involves its impact on the role of Manager.
A new study by Accenture considers the impact of intelligent machines on the current and future role of manager. Rather than focusing on administrative duties, reporting and oversight, an AI system frees up managers for “judgment work.” As a result, managerial competencies involve: “data interpretation, idea development and the application of context and history to the decision-making process.” (p11)
How many of your current sales, finance, engineering, human resource and other managers are hired because they excel in design thinking? Now you start to get the picture (which requires critical thinking skills to begin to connect these conceptual dots!).
Getting your managers from where they are today to where they need to be tomorrow has major implications. Importantly, Accenture finds the majority of managerial mindset focuses on the value that a solo individual creates. However, the more complex the work environment and decisions to be made, judgments become collective.
How adaptable are your own critical thinking skills to the concept of collaborative judgment?
The insights from this report have big implications when designing human capital strategy for the next generation workplace. In addition, will managerial compensation models become the beta test for catalyzing workplace collaboration and collective judgment?
Clearly, incorporating pre-requisite or developed critical thinking skills in hiring strategy emphasizes design thinking. Executing that strategy pokes more than a few holes in status quo departmental silos.
Consequently, Us versus Them mindset will have a tough time finding a comfortable resting place when co-workers are both human and artificially intelligent systems.
Planning your next team, corporate or association meeting? Searching for a one-on-one catalyst to get you unstuck? Engage me to present a One Millimeter Mindset ™ program! Delivered virtually or in-person. Contact me here.
I am an extroverted STEM professional and left-brain thinker specializing in professional innovation, cross-functional leadership and client retention. I catalyze professionals to translate across communication and collaboration disconnects. Become more professionally visible, cross-functionally relevant and strategically valuable to your organizations. Better serve each other first so you better serve your clients together. One millimeter at a time. My One Millimeter Mindset™ virtual and in-person speaking programs leverage Voice of the Customer design methodology and storytelling to move individuals, teams, departments and organizations one millimeter beyond yesterday’s tools and today’s professional comfort zones My playbook of cross-functional collaboration, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. Contact me here.
Image author: z_amir Image source: Fotolia