The Pace of Change / ABC Mornings with Jon Faine

We’ve just discovered a new piece of tech, a new app, a new fad, a new business proposition, a new idea or a new gadget and we think we’ve come to terms with it, when out of left field another new something comes along and blows us out of the water.

This was the starting point for a conversation with ABC Melbourne’s Morning presenter  Jon Faine as we explored all things future, including my belief that the rate of change has not increased just the amount of parallel technologies that we have to tame simultaneously have and that we are all now Homo Cyborg’s irrevocably tied to technology through things we carry on us, have around us and increasingly inside of us.

A fascinating conversation, well worth a listen (9 minutes 16 secs)


The Australian Workplace of The Future Is Here and It’s a Bit Blurry | Mashable

escapecubicleI have an addiction and I’m proud of it. It’s a constant need to check what’s happening on Mashable. So to be quoted in a Mashable article, is a moment to pause and give thanks. Anyway enough of that here’s the story…

SYDNEY — Entrepreneurs have been loving their new working lives for years, while regular office workers kept on slaving away in a cubicle. The good news is here. “Nine to five” is on the way out, finally.

Last week, Microsoft released ‘Life on Demand’, a white paper which looked into the digital habits of 1027 Australians aged 18 – 65 in collaboration with global research firm Ipsos. It revealed Australians are working around the clock due to higher connectivity than ever before, signaling a change in workplace culture with blurred lines between work and play.

The report shows 93% of Australians are now connected and spend an average of 17.5 hours online a week. In a shock show of dedication, 39% of millennials are also happy to be contacted by their employer 24/7. It comes with a caveat though; they also want to be able to entertain themselves with shopping, social media and videos while in the workplace.

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The data indicates a blurring of boundaries between work-life and home-life, which signals a new phase of employment. Work and play are now interchangeable in an employee’s day, with 53% of Australians completing personal tasks at work while 44% do work activities outside the traditional working hours.

“Our technology has become a constant extension 
of us, wherever we are — a complete departure 
from the way we lived life as little as five years ago,” the report stated. “Social context and location no longer determine what we do.”

“We are witnessing the beginning of the end of rigid divisions between ‘work’ & ‘play,’ and ‘work’ & ‘personal,’ as we have known them for the last 150 years. It’s happened so quickly, seamlessly and ‘naturally’ that it’s difficult to remember what life was like before,” the report continued.

Business futurist Morris Miselowski, who helped launch the paper in Sydney, spoke to Mashable about how he sees the workplace advancing and the quiet revolution so many people have missed while looking down at their device.

Miselowski agrees we are coming out of the way the workplace has worked since the industrial revolution, where the common belief was many hands make light work and the means of production were centralised. Technology has shifted the nature of work, due to the fact we can work from anywhere at anytime and Australians are embracing this change, yet employers need to keep up.
He sees a workplace bringing in skill sets when they are necessary, rather than having a person on staff “just in case”. In the next five years, Morris predicts we will see the move towards a disappearance of a physical space and the introduction of a highly “fluid” work schedule.

“In the next ten years, 60% of the tasks we will be doing we can’t even label today. The landscape isn’t clear like before,” Miselowski said. “Today’s kids, who are finishing education, are going to have six careers and 14 jobs. They will have a lifespan of 150 years and work until they are 90 years old. It will be a far more fluid workspace than now.”

So is there a possibility everyone will burn out in a few years time? With the “red cordial” phase of the past few years coming to an end, Miselowski believes a “burn out” phase would only eventuate if the consumer allows it.

The red cordial analogy refers to the hyper-active phase of consumption we have seen over the past five years, where the never-ending stream of content created a life dominated by multi-tasking. This mentality and excitement at the access to information took precedence over a deeper understanding of how to consume the appropriate information at the appropriate time.

“After an intensely rapid period of adoption of devices we’re entering a more reflective phase. We need devices and services that give the flexibility to move from one part of our life to the next, but we’re also learning how to adapt to this new way of living and negotiate some ‘tech-etiquette’ around the role of technology in our lives,” the report said.

It shows millennials are already aware of their need for time-out periods from technology, and are beginning to master technology to work for them rather than against them.

“If you allow it, technology can follow us into every corner of our lives,” Miselowski said. “But I have really seen that diminish over the past few years. We are not locked in a room [with technology], we can turn it off. We need to learn to master technology. You can use it all day or you can put it down and just step away.”

In the report, the consumers (18 – 35 year olds) accused of using technology to excess are actually the users who have learned to turn it off, demand a change to etiquette and command balance in their lives. The research showed one in five people in this age group have time-out breaks from technology or meditate away from devices. One in two people admit they take a power nap to recharge for the rest of the day and seven in ten Australians surveyed exercise weekly.
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In the next decade, Miselowski said the peak-hour commute would begin to fade away as employers realise face-time does not necessarily equal productivity and as the standard nine-to-five hours blur. The employers that will gain the most success from the workplace of the future are ones that “understand that innovation is at the core of what we do”.

“Companies that are willing to be collaborative, creative, understand employees and work in a flexible nature, while constantly questioning the market place and their offering” will dominate in the next decade, Miselowski said.

officespace
Employers will begin to realise face time will means nothing.

As people work and live how they want and have a “just in time” mentality –- which can be seen through the success of apps such as Uber — businesses will need to adapt and grow in the same way or be left behind.

With technology comes globalisation and Managing Director of Telsyte, Foad Fadaghi, believes being so connected helps his every day business activities.

“I can work with people in say, San Francisco, anytime, it’s so seamless. Technology is allowing us to be everywhere at once, no matter what time of day it is here or in another country or where we happen to be,” he said in the report.

“Once only multinationals could collaborate on a global scale for business like this. Now any kid with a device can connect with other people around the world to share ideas and create new things. The implications for how we do business and innovation are huge.”

source

for a copy of the report:MicrosoftReport-29 7 14

Unlearn the Future – Morris Live at TEDx Melbourne

To have the TEDx stage for 18 minutes is a privilege and an honor. To use this global platform to tell the story of my family’s past, to introduce my ancestors who have not been spoken of or seen in over 70 years to a worldwide audience that they could never have imagined and to combine all of this with my love of the infinite possibilities of the future and what we must each do to allow these opportunities into our lives is a gift that I will cherish forever – thank you!!

I would love you to watch it, like it and leave a comment to let me know what you see ahead and what excess baggage you’re leaving behind to make room for the future and an enormous thank you to the 1,000+ people that watched it within the first 24 hours of it being put up on YouTube.

Technology is taking over our lives

tv is evilI got a call this morning from Steve Mills host of Perth’s 6PR breakfast show about a recent study that concluded that people fear that in 80 years we will have lost all human interaction and instead will be tethered hypnotically and blindly to a computer, or whatever technology becomes or is called by then.

OK, my first reaction, is step slowly away from the ledge and hide all the sharp instruments.

Do we really have so little faith in the human race that we buy all this sci fi doom and gloom scare mongering?

We have survived for millenniums and have never melded with machines before and it’s fairly safe that we won’t in the next 80 years.

The line between human and machine blurred many years ago, with every medical and scientific advancement we ever made including hearing aids, pacemakers, bionic ears and human implants, but we survive and are clearly still human.

People let’s give us some credit!

We are social, gregarious community oriented animals, who rely on each other to survive and thrive and even in our countless attempts to change and reshape human lives and society we keep reverting back to type.

Social media is a prime example of how we have been told that society as we know it has ended and with the advent of Facebook, Twitter, SMS, mobile phones, Skype and so many other on line rabble rouses we no longer have the need to physically meet one another.

This has never been more untrue, we statistically connect with each other more than we ever have before. Is it the same communication? NO. Is it better or worse? That’s the debate.

Let’s temper this debate though with the memory that nearly every form of technology that we have ever invented or innovated including Gutenberg press, radio and TV were all seen as the devils child in their formative years.

The good old days were rarely that good.

Time tends to diminish the emotion and angst we felt and instead leaves us with two dimensional memories safely preserved and packaged for all time as truths.

The future has not been written, these prophetic insights are not mandated.

The future can only be created in our hearts, souls and minds, so instead of invoking the worst outcomes let’s plan instead for a far more harmonious future, one in which we use our advancements to eradicate social injustices, we learn to tame and cure diseases and continue to remain vigilant about the the boundary’s between man and machine.

Now I’ll get off my soap box, let you have a listen to my far shorter on-air response and look out for your thoughts on how you see the next 80 years and beyond.

Tourism needs to be more Social

If you’re going to ask me what the tourism industry needs to do to keep improving, then part of the answer has to be to get more social.

At this week’s Tasmanian Tourism conference I outlined that one of the most important things tourism operators can do to remain relevant into the future is to tear down their physical walls and thinking and embrace the virtual world.

If we remain too fixated on our physical product, offering, venue or experience then we are missing a large chunk of an increasing number of tourists needs and that is a combined physical and digital experience.

Take a look at ABC TV interview above to hear more.

Heaven just got a hell of a great innovator

Steve Jobs legacy will be the cause of much writing and review but his place in history is, I’m sure, certain for bringing innovation and fresh thinking to the brave new computer and digital worlds.

Today as a tribute to the man I am choosing to reflect on his determination to see the future for what it had to be and not merely as a poor reflection of what has been.

In 2005 he told a group of Stanford graduates “remembering that I’ll be dead soon is the most important tool I’ve ever encountered to help me make the big choices in life. Because almost everything – all external expectations, all pride, all fear of embarrassment or failure – these things just fall away in the face of death, leaving only what is truly important”.

His gift to us all is that we figure out, in life, what is truly important to us, steel our determination, gather our courage and go for it.

Adelaine Ng of Radio Australia and I chatted about Steve’s legacy, Apple’s road ahead and where to now for innovation, in our on air tribute to Steve Job.

Listen now: