Change in the world of work, new professions and self-conception of HR: freshly used and the knowledge of the future

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The discussion about the changing world of work is in full swing. What experts like Gunter Dueck have long predicted is now in full swing. Working methods, entire professions, and yes, even the HR industry will change. How can we counter this.

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Simone Janson Simone JansonSimone Janson is publisher, German Top20 blogger and Consultant for HR communication.


Change of the working world: freshly scarfed vs. Experts |

Since his almost historic lecture at the re: publica 2011 I am a fan of Gunter Dueck,Professor and at that time Chief Technology Officer at IBM Germany. Like many others, I found this lecture outstanding at that time and - if you look at the current development - almost visionary. That's why I made the video here online again.

I still know how I found it exaggerated at the time, for example, to deny physicians their meaning, but now we see that many of the developments that were predicted and ridiculed at the time have arrived today - just think of data mining or language assistants.

Reinvent professions

Of course, what I was particularly interested in at the time was the aspect of reinventing professions and with them a whole new social system. In this, Dueck also sees the decisive task for the digital future.

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According to his forecast, many professions will lose their importance because we can do it themselves thanks to Internet - for example, buying tickets or researching information. What is left are the difficult consulting and administrative tasks for which Germany needs more specialists.

The transformation of the HR industry

For me, it's exciting to see where the HR and recruiting industry sees itself and where it will be in the future. Because if this meritocracy actually transforms into a creative society, then the management of labor productivity, ie the task that the human resources industry traditionally assumes, will be obsolete in the future.

And this is exactly what I want to discuss with the audience next week at Zukunft Personal Süd.

Digitization - a historic turning point

As you know, we are once again at a historic turning point: routine tasks are increasingly being taken over by machines and people can and must turn to creative tasks. As a result of the digital revolution, more and more occupations are disappearing, as Gunther Dueck unsparingly pointed out in his presentation.

There remains only one thing: Rethinking, away from the Protestant work ethic towards more creativity, cooperative cooperation and ultimately more enjoyment of work. The more I engage with digital technologies, the more convinced I am that, thanks to the internet, social media and mobile technologies, we are facing a radical paradigm shift in society and the world of work. For only in this way can those innovations emerge that our economy so desperately needs, as our reader Wolfgang has pointedly pointed out in his commentary.

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Does service have its day?

Especially in this week I had at an event of Oracle in Frankfurt again such a conversation with a champion of Leistungsdogmas: XY was only so successful, because he could market well, I heard there. And: specialization and specialists are important and in demand.

That such qualities were even positively connoted, we owe to the ideal of the Protestant work ethic, which was described among other things by the sociologist Max Weber - and which historically not by nature, but is still a fairly new phenomenon:

Idleness as a condition for creativity

It was Martin Luther who made a sacred duty imposed by God on the hitherto value-neutral work and declared the idleness, which, incidentally, I consider indispensable for creativity, to be a sin. For the Puritans it was then in the 17. and 18. Century to a sacred duty to follow their vocation and material success through hard work was considered graces of God.

But these changes were only made possible by the fundamental economic upheavals of that time: industrialization. The rapid increase in population led to an increased demand for goods that wanted to be served. In addition to technical advances, this required the optimal utilization of human labor through centralization of factory work and the systematic division of routine work processes, the division of labor. The required strict organization and the dependence on rigid working hours were only made possible by the invention of the clock and the electric light, which allowed to work without daylight.

Opportunities and risks of networked work

Today, the Internet offers us excellent opportunities for networked cooperation in which cooperation is possible even over long distances. Like no other tool, social media offers the opportunity to stay in contact over long distances and even to exchange deep emotions.

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That's one of the reasons for the success of Facebook - whatever else you think of the recently criticized blue giant. But that's exactly the point: Many people have the disadvantages of this development in mind.

Fear of change

In my lectures on social media, I notice again and again how great the need for education is in this regard, so that the Internet is understood as a positive development.

Because the change scares many people. In my books The 110 percent lie and Naked in the net I have dealt in detail with the uncertainties of employees and executives in a rapidly changing everyday working life through digital media:

Permanent accessibility and constant communication compulsion

Permanent accessibility and alleged permanent communication compulsion, teamwork with spatial separation or constant distractions are stressors that directly affect the performance and thus the productivity of Company influence and which we have to face.

In other words, to take advantage of the Internet and networked collaboration, it is necessary to say goodbye to the dogmas of the Protestant work ethic: quite different skills are required in the digital age - and which, I will shed more light on in the second part of this article ,

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What we need to know in the future

But knowledge alone is not the decisive factor, as Dueck explains: "Complex tasks not only require specialist skills (this is even largely provided by the Internet), but also social agility, emotional intelligence, management talent, negotiating skills, personal responsibility, entrepreneurial spirit."

At the point I want to the very good Interview with Regine Heidorn point out, which mE already carries out, what Gunther Dueck suggests: To create their own profession thanks to Internet. It shows excellently what we have to learn in the future in order to fulfill the requirements of the new world of work.

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  1. Holger Froese

    Gunter Dueck about new professions & freshly sourced: What we must know in the future!
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