WILL BLOCKCHAIN & AI CHANGE THE WAY WE WORK IN THE FINANCIAL SECTOR?
November 28, 2017 8:45 am
Blockchain and AI will undoubtable shift the way business is done in the financial sector.
But what does that mean for people working in the industry?
Similar to other disruptive technologies, AI and blockchain are likely to impact all aspects of work, at first slowly and then very quickly!
NOW IS THE TIME TO PREPARE
Planning for the ‘people’ impacts is as important as making shifts in strategy and business models. Preparation for the ‘people side’ of the equation has an advantage in that that much of what we need to do will be the same regardless of the specifics of the technologies.
WE KNOW JOBS WILL CHANGE
Research quoted in The Conversation, suggests that 230,000 jobs in the sector could disappear by 2025.
As in other disrupted industries the expectation is that the routine, high volume, repetitious, rule bound jobs will be impacted first, followed by changes in the jobs done by highly trained professionals such as quantitative analysts and wealth managers.
But before you panic, research shows that while some jobs will disappear, similar to other evolutions in industry, other jobs simply morph into something different and many more jobs will come into existence. We don’t know exactly what those jobs will entail but we do know some of the skills sets that will be necessary no matter what transpires with technology.
AGILITY, PEOPLE SKILLS AND CAPACITY TO LEARN: SKILLS FOR TODAY AND THE FUTURE
In addition to agility and resilience, the requirement for ‘people skills’ will continue to increase. Communication skills, the ability to understand diverse perspectives and connect quickly with a range of stakeholders as well as inclination and capability to collaborate are quickly becoming non-negotiables for a job at any level. Likewise, those individuals who have the capacity to constantly learn, adapt and to perform under pressure will have an edge no matter what changes in technology occur.
Helping employees develop these skills now, not only prepares them for the future but will benefit the business now. People skills – like all skills – are learnable and almost anyone can benefit from training be it formal or informal.
PEOPLE LEADERS ARE PIVOTAL
Two practical recommendations for people leaders to help your employee thrive in the future:
- Provide regular feedback and coaching associated with all aspects of how your team members relate to others – even the most technical or routine jobs have people ‘touch points’ that can enable employees to practice ‘people skills’ and those in professional roles have many opportunities for deepening collaboration skills.
- Create opportunities for employees to work with people from other teams or external stakeholders– exposure to different views broadens perspective, strengthens thinking and increases comfort with dealing with difference.
These are first steps people leaders can integrate into the day-to-day work for most employees.
Senior leaders and HR directors can lead the way by strategically prioritising training and professional coaching to develop resilience, change agility and self-discipline across the business. This means developing leaders at all levels. Start by ensuring that any leader with people responsibilities have
- strong coaching skills
- change leadership skills
- capacity to leverage diversity and facilitate collaboration
It is also essential that people leaders understand the importance of cultivating strong relationships and how to create a sense of safety during times of high volatility, uncertainty and change, be it because of the introduction of block chain, AI or some other change.
Building strong leaders and resilient cultures are among the best ways to future-proof businesses and the people working in sectors such as finance that are ripe for disruption.
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Dr Connie Henson, author of BrainWise Leadership, designs change leadership programs informed by the latest neuroscience research through Learning Quest.