Book Recommendation: Humans Are Underrated

How To Stay Competitive in the New Automated World of Work

Humans Are Underrated - Best Business Book Club

When you get to the end of Humans Are Underrated: What High Achievers Know that Brilliant Machines Never Will, you realize just how great a public service Geoff Colvin has rendered to us. Tremendously well-researched and crisply written, the book is a friendly, far-sighted and reassuring primer on how your work may be transformed by “infotech” and what you can start doing about it.

If you want to understand how the job market is about to change, what skills will be in high demand, and how you can stay competitive—this is a tome you can’t afford to ignore.

The World of Work and How We Earn a Living is About to Change

5 Things You Should be Doing to Compete in the 4th Industrial Revolution

The Fourth Industrial Revolution - Best Business Book Club

Recently, I’ve been writing a lot about robots and computers, and how they’re taking over jobs at a crazy rate, but I’m not trying to make the point that the future of work is a tale of Man vs. Machine. Instead, I think it may be a story of great scarcity and hardship, amidst remarkable abundance and opportunity. More importantly, I’m arguing that how that story unfolds is up to us. We have a choice in the matter.

I think that in the future, abundance will live where it always has, at the very top, but it will also be found in the frontier and border towns of innovation, where gifted and creative risk-takers feel at home.

The great middle—once a lush and welcoming paradise of opportunity for those who played by the rules—will become a no-man’s land, a vast desert of broken dreams and broken promises.

More and more, we see that the rules change so quickly that there might as well be no rules. In such an environment, excessive waiting, trying to fit in, or dancing to someone else’s drumbeat, is a mistake. Not taking (calculated) risks is no longer safe—that’s actually the riskiest bet in town!

Those who choose to stay in the middle, because that’s what they’ve always done, or because that’s what they’ve always been told to do, will be caught in a vicious race to the bottom.

I don’t want that to happen to you.

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is about to change everything you think you know about work and how to earn a living. And the revolution has already begun, though lots of people still don’t see it.

But we do, and it’s time to start thinking and doing things differently.

Here are the 5 critical things we should be doing to get ready and stay competitive:

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is Underway, Are You Ready?

5 Key Insights from Klaus Schwab's Book You Can't Afford to Ignore

photo courtesy of Web Tomorrow

The Fourth Industrial Revolution by Klaus Schwab is a book that everyone should take some time to review because it lays out a comprehensively sober assessment of the momentous changes already underway—changes that will forever alter the way we live and work.

As you look through the catalogue of evidence presented in the book, you’ll notice that there are reasons to be both highly optimistic and deeply pessimistic about what’s about to happen.

Like a Polaroid instant print, an image of the implications is emerging but that image is not perfectly clear, at least not yet.

We need to pay attention.

And whatever your own interpretation of the known facts may be, it is clear to Schwab, as it is to most economists who are peering further down the road than most, that humanity needs to buckle its collective seat belt. We’re in for a massive dose of unprecedented change.

Millions of people in the U.S. and around the world will be affected and, according to informed estimates, as many as half of all current jobs will be automated in the next 10 to 15 years. And as with all the technological tsunamis of the past, there will be winners and losers.

The winners, of course, will be those who understand that great change is coming and get ready, not just to tolerate the transition, but to help drive it! Not to survive, but to thrive! The losers will be those who ignore the warning signs, fail to understand the drivers of change, and do little more than bemoan the unfairness and injustice of the upheaval once it finally arrives at their doorstep.

In times of powerful change, the last thing you need to do is fight to hang on to the status quo. Instead, focus on your own sphere of influence—what can YOU do, where you stand, with what you’ve got, right now?

To quote Mr. Schwab: “There has never been a time of greater promise or greater peril.”

The question is, what are you going to do about it?

But before we can answer that, we need to further understand what’s happening:

Key Aspects of the Fourth Industrial Revolution