Digital Transformation: What Will You and Your Business Look Like 10, 20, 50 Years from Now?

Over the course of human civilization, we have seen the steady reduction in the number of people working in agriculture. Advances in technology have done two things: increased the productive capacity of the land (irrigation, fertilizer, engineered seeds) and increased the productivity of each individual worker (plow, tractor, cultivator). With each new generation of technology, the output per acre and per individual has increased, allowing us to feed an ever-growing population with the labor of a diminishing percentage of that population.

During the past 200 years, the Industrial Revolution has also been having the same impact on other categories of labor. The introduction of process and mechanization has made it easier to produce more and more goods with fewer and fewer people. What is the end state? Are we heading toward a zero labor world?

This is a moment of complete change in state of being: an ice cube transformed into liquid, a rigid structure now dynamic fluid. This is what we are heading toward—everything we have done over thousands of years to develop the most effective means of organizing and managing our collective productive energies could be obsolete in the next few decades.

When your objective is to marshal a group's physical output, it is essential to do two things very clearly: define specific roles and actions for each person, and structure a hierarchy in which ...

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