Small and medium-sized enterprises have proven their flexibility and innovative strength time and again in the past. They are more agile than large companies, decision-making processes are shorter. The task now is to play to these strengths in order to find strategically sound solutions for the weaknesses that have become apparent in recent years. Here are some ideas that might be worth thinking about. [Read more…]
At the beginning of the year: review business models, adapt strategies
“Same procedure as last year? Same procedure as every year…” Who doesn’t know these legendary lines from “Dinner for one”? But they cannot be applied to business models, especially not in such turbulent times as today. [Read more…]
Digitalisation and energy saving: Can they go together?
Everyone is currently talking about saving energy, unfortunately not so much in the context of the climate crisis, but out of concern about extremely high energy costs this year and especially next year. At the same time, digitalisation is being driven forward in business and administration. Does that fit together? After all, digitalisation also consumes energy, for example in the production of digital devices, in data transmission or for cloud solutions. [Read more…]
Shortage of skilled workers 2.0
Some of you may be thinking about the rest of the year and the following years, especially now that you have come back from your holidays. And you may also be starting to work on the budget for 2019. And of course that also includes the recruitment plan. At a ZEIT event on AI, I heard from Minister Heil that we now have a new problem. Ministry Heil on Reforms. So far, the majority of companies have thought about the challenge of how to retrain those employees who would lose their previous jobs as a result of automation and digitalization. I have also been thinking about what to do with those who cannot relearn. I have already spoken about this and applied for a patent. However, in the context of this event a third challenge was pointed out: The retraining of highly educated people. What if you suddenly no longer need a mechanical engineer, but a computer scientist? From 1.1.2019, the employment office will devote itself to this topic, which will then be given additional responsibility for the qualification of people.
New concepts for the workplace
The question that arises to me in this context is: when are we going to say goodbye to the ‘workplace’ concept. There are analyses that describe that even a board of directors does up to 30% of the work that a robot could do. When that happens, will the board members enjoy 30% more free time or will the work be distributed differently? If they want to use their free time, are the processes to be designed in such a way that this becomes possible? The future of work will have to focus more and more on imparting skills and competences for certain activities. If a person has the skills that are particularly needed, they will be used. What the person wants to do in other activities fills the remaining time that the person wants to work. Of course, this becomes a very complex system that has to be constantly optimized. But we do have intelligent support for this. Merely the beginning is difficult, as that is where one has to define all activities exactly. A program can then design the appropriate interfaces so that all employees can work together in a homogeneous manner. This in turn has the additional benefit that we can say goodbye to the concept of job titles and educational qualifications. Then we might describe what a mechanical engineer does quite differently, and realize that many of the activities are not so dissimilar to those of a computer scientist. Or those of an architect. New job titles already describe in more detail what the job actually is: Social Media Detox Engineer is someone who erases all your social media sins. What would your title be if you had to describe exactly what you do best? If you need support for that type of brainstorming: I‘m there for you!