This week’s curator, Cerys Hearsey, looks at some of the challenges facing leaders and managers as they build new workforce configurations integrating humans and robots. Some companies have been racing ahead, but for many this still feels like science fiction. She also shares some related guides from Shift*Base and picks 5 links for further reading on the topic.

Key Questions and Challenges for Building a Hybrid Workforce

Last year, I had the opportunity to enter both the Drucker Challenge and the Bracken Bower Prize. Being able to choose from a broad range of topic areas, I wanted to explore potential challenges for those building human-robot hybrid workforces. There has been a lot of hype and negative press about what this means for more traditional labour forces, but we are only just seeing the emergence of commentary from those who envision a more positive future. By focusing on some key challenges in creating a symbiotic working relationship, and highlighting some concrete areas of challenge, I wanted to deepen my own understanding of this area.
At the time of writing, I never imagined sharing the outputs, it was more of a personal exploration. However, having made the list of finalists for both competitions (and with a lot of encouragement from my lovely colleagues) I have created a more succinct version to share with you all!

Building, Managing and Leading a Hybrid Workforce

“In the future, when Microsoft leaves a security-flaw in their code it won’t mean that somebody hacks your computer. It will mean that somebody takes control of your servant robot and it stands in your bedroom doorway sharpening a knife and watching you sleep.”

Shift*Base Guides

Some of my favourite Shift*Base guides are examples of how employees can become multi-skilled and learn as much as possible about the organisation as a whole and its mission. For example, rotating responsibility or personnel exchange. I believe these techniques are the basis for ensuring long-term engagement with your work. Overall, an organisation that creates agility for the workforce in the form of agile teams will be an excellent environment for this.

Weekly Linklog


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