Rise of the Humans 3

Hardly a day goes by, it seems, without apocalyptic warnings that robots in the workplace will create a dystopian destiny. The convergence of artificial intelligence, robotic process automation (RPA), machine learning, and cognitive platforms are at the forefront of the Fourth Industrial revolution. As organizations seek to streamline processes and reduce operating costs, cognitive technologies are rapidly creating a new class of intelligent automation. Arguments range as to whether intelligent automation will remove or grow jobs but in the midst of this debate, KPMG professionals explore the ways that jobs will likely be transformed and its impact on organizations. It is important to understand the potential impacts that intelligent automation will have on the shape, size and functions of organizations and to provide guidance with this, KPMG International continues its exploration from the original Rise of the humans published in 2016. Rise of the humans part 2 explores in more detail what is involved in workforce shaping and the observations and experiences surrounding clients.

Executive Summary

The convergence of artificial intelligence (AI), robotic process automation, machine learning and cognitive platforms is at the forefront of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and organizations in every industry need to explore and understand the advancing integration of humans and machines in the workplace. AI will create a new division of labor between bots and bosses –and success will demand the transformation of traditional workforce management and skills acquisition. According to KPMG’s 2018 Future of HR Survey, 70 percent of HR executives agree the need for the workforce to be transformed

As business leaders grapple with today’s pressing – and unprecedented – challenges, we provide key insights and learnings that consider aspects of the current environment and intelligent solutions for success, including:

  • —  exploring the emerging impact of AI and related digital technology on the workforce and what it means for leadership and workforce management
  • —  defining a strategic roadmap for organizations seeking clarity on the dramatic impact that
    AI deployment is likely to exert throughout their workforces
  • —  sharing revealing lessons we’ve witnessed firsthand during workforce-shaping initiatives involving clients, KPMG and our recent Workforce of the Future projects.

Report Highlights

Organizations have ensured that they have the right capabilities, in the right place, at the right time by focusing on these four steps:

  1. Truly understand what the data is telling you: To bring the data to life, it becomes vital to understand the possible business futures of the organization and its associated business levers (e.g. partner relationships that will be needed, channels to market that will be used, product offerings, etc.); the extent to which they will be pursued (e.g. as an insurance business that currently uses intermediaries as a channel, will you keep all, some or none of them?); and the time frame for this to happen.
  2. Build a strategy for your workforce of the future (WFOTF): This is about understanding future workforce needs and executing a plan of action to achieve overall, long-term aims. It seeks to avoid looking at today and instead works backwards from a future vision to include skills/capabilities, technology/AI, leadership, and work structure, labor supply, people practices and organizational principles.
  3. Define a plan to achieve your strategy: The immediate activity involves understanding the attrition, retention, recruitment and training plans for capabilities identified as ‘no regrets bets’ or as a common skill for the future. This process should produce a set of initiatives that support the workforce strategy and ensure that workforce change is evenly balanced between short- and medium-term operational focus and longer-term strategic ambitions.
  4.  Build a compelling story to help the workforce engage with change: Without the story, Shakespeare’s famous tragedy Romeo and Juliet is a set of data that can be graphically plotted on two axes such as ‘love’ and ‘tragedy.’ The real art is the story that’s told with the data. It inspires, it excites, it saddens – it’s a journey told with data. Workforce data in and of itself is interesting but weaving a compelling story that inspires action also requires the skill of storytelling and artistry. Given the uncertainties of the future – and today’s need for immediate, short-term results – it’s this part of the journey that engages the future workforce audience.

KPMG member firms operate in 153 countries, collectively employing more than 207,000 people, serving the needs of business, governments, public-sector agencies, not-for-profits and through member firms’ audit and assurance practices, the capital markets. KPMG is committed to quality and service excellence in all that we do, bringing our best to clients and earning the public’s trust through our actions and behaviours both professionally and personally.

U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
Strada Education Network