Innovation in technology is occurring at an exponential rate. The Internet of things, Artificial intelligence, Cobots, Machine Learning, Blockchain, Data Science … all are garnering significant attention as they enable new possibilities for individuals, companies, ecosystems and society at large.
But new technologies also bring new challenges. Think for example about the Uber taxi driver or the employees of Deliveroo whose ‘boss’ has become more like an algorithm. Other examples are robots and cobots that take over certain tasks from nurses. These developments trigger the question of whether these new technologies and the way we apply them do lead to job deterioration and a low quality of labour.
Under the umbrella ‘internet of things’, wearables are introduced in our working lives. Besides the question about the protection of decent jobs, these developments also provoke ethical dilemmas such as privacy issues.
For us as organization designers, it is imperative that we not only better understand these developments and what is behind them, but also understand the implications on organization form/design and on the design process itself - in the spirit of continuing to help create better places to work and places that work better.