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Thrilling and scary? Welcome to the future of work

At the recent World Economic Forum’s Annual Meeting, the future of work was a hot topic among attendees, including business executives.

In a blog post released during the event, RBC President and CEO Dave McKay cautioned that “a quantum of change is coming” and suggested that “while machines will be increasingly powerful, humans will actually be more essential.”

As the Executive Director of a boutique change management firm, I was asked recently if helping organizations navigate the future of work was thrilling or scary. My answer: Both!

On the one hand, I find it thrilling because of the opportunity it provides our firm to grow our knowledge and expertise while assisting additional organizations in need of our specialized services.

I admit it is also a bit scary – largely because of the fear of the unknown.

Overall, though, our firm is excited about what the future holds because just like RBC’s top executive, we realize people will have a key role in what many are calling the fourth industrial revolution.

Our view is that successful leaders are those who are committed to properly preparing their employees for digital transformation through comprehensive training and performance support along with a measure of empathy during the transition.

Often, they don’t have the ability to provide these services in-house. So, firms like ours are available and eager to assist them by offering customized resources, coaching skills and activities to build their emotional intelligence and resilience while addressing gaps in skills and expertise.

Sure, this requires a major investment – in both time and funding. However, the organizations that get it realize it’s worthwhile on both accounts.

As this process occurs, you have an excellent opportunity to energize your organization by identifying and developing new leaders while also providing frontline staff with the opportunity to learn new skills that can lead to more fulfilling, value-added work.

This is important because when most people raise the topic of modernization or automation, they think it simply leads to job loss. However, while efficiencies that are realized can result in manual tasks being eliminated, it can also create new roles for workers who are displaced in areas such as customer service and sales.

The reality is the risk of doing nothing is immense as more adaptable competitors begin to dominate their space, resulting in weaker organizations experiencing a deterioration in performance and engagement among staff. Success with these forces at play is problematic.

Building partnerships

While many of the services and training we offer – including change sponsorship, change leadership and change resiliency – are distinctive, we also partner on occasion with post-secondary institutions and outside training providers. This allows us to offer added expertise in complementary disciplines such as strategy and leadership development.

We also regularly attend conferences and events focused on the future of work to build our knowledge and expertise because we truly believe that to assist organizations with change, we have to change too!

So, if you are currently struggling with change – or want to take some proactive measures to prepare for the future – feel free to connect with us. The sooner you start, the better prepared you will be for what lies ahead.

To discuss your change management challenge and opportunity, contact us at

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