How to future-proof your workforce for the unexpected

The lightning speed at which industry is innovating is threatening to leave the world’s workforce behind. Those who wish to keep pace will do well to mirror technology’s insatiable desire for advancement and agility by continually investing in upskilling, so that they are prepared to lead, rather than follow, or fall off  the wave of inevitable disruption.

man using a laptop in a cafe

It was almost half a century ago, in 1956, that the term Artificial Intelligence (AI) was first coined. A small group of scientists had converged at a conference at Dartmouth University, and together they imagined a truly technologically enlightened future. A decade later, TIME published an essay titled, The Futurists, which supposed that by the year 2000, robots would be so advanced they would adopt the basic domestic tasks of washing dishes, disposing of garbage, and even cooking and serving our food. These futuristic soothsayers, who included Arthur C. Clarke acclaimed author of 2001: A Space Odyssey, were not content with restricting their predictions to the menial chores within the home and ruminated that houses would in fact be robots too, and harness the power of flight.

Whilst these musings were occasionally off the mark, modern society has seen revolutionary milestones achieved, including driverless cars, 3D printed organs, delivery drones, and real time collaboration between offices in London, New York and Melbourne. The exact nature of technological advancements may be difficult to predict, but its inevitable use will consistently disrupt the workforce dynamic.

two women discussing at a desk in an office

Preparing for a nation of automation

There are two distinct points of view used to perceive the future of work. One lit with optimism, whereby the technological revolution will result in job creation. The other doused with pessimism, whereby robots and automation will eliminate all human-led jobs. Factually, both are true. A report released by McKinsey asserts that between 3.5 – 6.5 million full-time jobs will be displaced by automation by the year 2030, but that even more new and rewarding jobs will be created. What is clear is Australia’s workforce needs to transform to meet this change. In ten years’ time when we look back on this decade of change, the narrative that transpires will depend wholly on the action we take now.

According to Industry Fellow in Computing and Information Systems Dr Rod Dilnutt at the University of Melbourne:

“To be successful in this churning, disruptive environment the professional must have the basic skills to adapt and solve new problems. This can only be achieved on a platform of sound understanding of the dynamics and nature of strategy which requires an adaptive mindset scaffolded with strategic thinking and problem-solving skills.”

These new world attitudes and approaches form part of a new microcredential run by Dr Dilnutt at the University of Melbourne. Designed in close consultation with industry, this upskilling course provides tools and knowledge that are a prerequisite for organisations looking to future proof their workforce. Dr Dilnutt says “participation in this exciting new word depends on having current requisite skills. Industry is calling for digital leaders and the opportunity to take a prominent role in shaping future strategy is there for those with the foresight to invest in their own development. The credential of this microcert will underwrite your claim to be at the forefront.”

If you want to be in front of this change, rather than behind it, our Melbourne MicroCert in Strategy in a Disruptive Environment will provide you with the skills and knowledge required to examine the transformative impact technology is having on your industry, develop the critical thinking required to evolve ‘old power’ business models and consider and adapt emerging organisational structures.


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