This, the Year of the Red Monkey, is the year I will be stronger, braver, kinder and unstoppable. This is the year I will be fierce — and I encourage you to be that way, too. Why you may ask? Because these are the traits we’ll all need to weather the changes coming to IT in the next 20+ years.
Roles in the IT industry and beyond are going to be turned upside down by automation, robots, artificial intelligence and other technologies we haven’t uncovered yet. We will need to be open to transformation — in our industry, in our home and in our work lives — and we should expect those three worlds to continue colliding.
Our work will take us to countries and cultures we never experienced before, either in person or via augmented and virtual reality. Gone will be the days of working 9-5. Already, I Skype with colleagues in the UK, India, America and Europe around the clock from my home base in Perth, Western Australia — the remotest city on earth (and I love it!). For the past 5 years, I have become used to working in a collaborative way across continents and time zones. I am used to asking, “What’s the weather like with you” and actually meaning it!
The sooner we all get used to this way of working, the better off we will be.
The union of many minds will mean we can solve problems that greatly affect us now. Cancer, for instance, may no longer exist. As innovation breeds innovation, ideas can grow into large trees, if they have the right nurturing environment. It has a knock on effect to us all.
Volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous — these are words that will describe the next 20 years. Change will be the enemy unless we can accept the rollercoaster that it brings. Those who go with the flow and adapt quickly will survive — but those who don’t, both organizations and individuals, will perish.
We have to be optimistic and accept that people on a grand scale will need to be trained in new areas we don’t really know much about yet. We have to say “yes” to the unknown. We have to get comfortable with uncertainly and excited by change.
And we have to guide our children in this future. Our children will have roles in the workplace we never imagined. They will likely work alongside robots on a daily basis and interact with technology in completely new ways. We will need to prepare our children for this new world.
Since IT will be leading the way, it is our sector that needs to embrace change first and guide our clients to new ways of doing and thinking. Let’s listen when someone tells us of a new technology that shocks and even scares us, then quickly get over it and listen some more.
Let’s be strong, brave, kind, unstoppable, fierce in the Year of the Red Monkey and beyond — so we can be prepared to make tomorrow a better place.