In the next few decades…
More and more jobs will be sucked up by technology and sophisticated computers, forcing humans to hone skills machines can't duplicate—at least not yet.
Qualities such as ethical judgment, compassion, intuition, responsibility, and creativity will be what stand out in an automated world.
That’s the view of futurist Richard Samson, as revealed in this article from the Christian Science Monitor…
With ethics issues spiking into the news almost weekly, the idea of a work world in which individual ethical acumen is viewed as an essential job skill is far from outlandish. The signs are already here.
Wall Street is toying with the idea of creating an ethical code of conduct. CEOs are getting fired for unethical behavior, even when it doesn't damage the company's bottom line.
At Boeing, former CEO Harry Stonecipher was hired with a specific mandate to strengthen company ethics—and then was fired when his personal ethical code fell short.
Increased openness, real-time media coverage and public disapproval have made lapses in behavior more costly for organizations. Just a few people can cause huge problems, especially when news can spread around the world through the blogosphere in a matter of minutes.
That technological interconnectivity is already increasing the importance of human cooperation.
"Individual discretion mattered very little" in manufacturing companies with huge bureaucracies and elaborate hierarchies, says Joseph Grenny, author of "Crucial Confrontations." Today, "the need for greater integration and cooperation in the workplace means human values become more important because they're the glue of a community."
Trust is one of those values. Many of the business scandals in the past 10 years—such as Enron, Worldcom, ImClone, and Parmalat—would have been met with a yawn 50 or 100 years ago, Mr. Grenny says.
If you accept that as true, it certainly is more welcome news. Real people are greatly harmed through bad actions of corporations and governments. Growing awareness is the first step toward remediation of systems that allow such abuse. Formalized ethics and decision training for decision makers, as recommended by the UN University's Millennium Project, could become standard practice.
Job descriptions in the future, says William Rothwell, a professor at Pennsylvania State University, will likely focus on the three-dimensional view—the type of person rather than simply the tasks.
It won't be "just what they can do," he says, "but the kind of person they are, ethically, morally."