Rethinking the Value of Human Contribution in the Age of Automation

Fear of automation is nothing new. Automation has replaced jobs done by humans for a long time and will continue to do so. At the heart of this fear is the concern about human purpose. The concern for so many, whether they realize it or not, is that automation and new technology will replace human value and contribution. So how do we address this issue in an age of rapid change? We have to first recognize that the old ideas and platitudes about human labor are no longer relevant today.

One such idea is that the more time we spend on the job, the more we should be compensated. This worked fine for the assembly line, but today we continue to find new ways to simplify and automate workflow. Your work should not be measured in time, but in the value provided. This idea is something that consultants, lawyers, CPA’s and other financial services providers fail to recognize. Automation will continue to minimize the amount of time required to complete a certain task; however, it has yet to replace human value and contribution.

Another such idea is that opportunity for human labor abounds, people simply must be willing to work hard enough for it. Of course, opportunities for a hard day’s work still exist, but not in the abundance we like to believe. We know that many of the jobs that have recently disappeared are not coming back, but what we don’t realize is that our current mindset about the value of human labor is preventing us from moving forward. We are transitioning to a new economy, a new way of life for many, and during such periods, we must be willing to reimagine the value of human contribution to society.

If you want to hear more about this topic and how you can ensure your future relevance then please join me this Friday on Voice of America’s Business Elevation Show with Chris Cooper. You can find out more about the show by clicking here

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