Many worry that the growth of digital transformation and
AI will lead to machines and robots replacing human workers and see
this advancement in technology as a threat, rather than as an
opportunity to better ourselves.
PWC reports on AI shows that 67% of executives
surveyed say the technology will help humans and machines work
together, and to be stronger using both artificial and human
Many industries, such as healthcare, automotive, financial
services, transportation and logistics, technology, media and
communications, retail and consumer, energy, and manufacturing,
will set practical AI to work. Its potential will allow the freeing
up of time, a boost to quality, and increase personalisation.
It is in response to this that
ESCP Europe's London Campus hosted a panel discussion on 9th
May on 'The Future of Work'. Moderator Dr
Terence Tse, ESCP
Europe Professor and Academic Director of the newly launched
Master in Digital Transformation Management and Leadership was
joined by guests speakers
Laurence Hollobon, Europe HR Lead at BEL
Group and ESCP Europe Alumna; Luke
Fisher, CEO and Founder of Mo; and
Séverine Trouillet, Global Affairs Director, EURONORTH at Dassault
With the arrival of emerging technologies, the world of
employment will never be the same again. Today's employers are
challenged to recruit and retain a workforce that can enable the
nature of this transformation. How can companies adapt to offer
what workers want?
"Culture can shape the performance of an organisation. You need
to determine your company values, understand how technology fits
within those values, and then align your workforce. Bel Group has
embarked on a cultural transformation process as the demands from
both our customers and employees have changed. Our talent want
career opportunities; to learn more about digital transformation
and how this is going to lead to more effective operations; to get
more feedback from line managers; and to evolve internationally,"
said Laurence Hollobon.
"Digital transformation is less about technology and more about
people. Dassault Systèmes embraces diverse backgrounds as supports
customers transforming the world for the better and fostering
sustainable innovations. Organisations need to increase talent
diversity: people with different backgrounds will make stronger
teams, and it has been proven that diverse teams deliver stronger
results. Bringing more women into technology and leadership roles
will enhance the economy as a whole, hence diversity plays a key
role," said Séverine Trouillet.
Prof. Terence Tse explained how diversity helped Netflix to
improve its top-secret recommendation system by 10% in 2011. The
company decided to run a competition, and the first teams that came
in were very homogeneous; after several attempts they were not able
to accomplish the task. The breakthrough came when diversity was
put in place across the teams. People with different backgrounds
look at things from different perspectives, they have different
preferences. At this point Netflix started passing the 10%
threshold, proving that diversity is critical.
Séverine mentioned that, "Platforms are the infrastructure of
the 21st century. People will have to work more collaboratively
across continents, across cultures, and will have to be able to
have that flexible thinking. Also, workforces will evolve and be
more mobile and flexible than ever. So in the future the majority
of talents will have two employers rather than one."
This brings changes in terms of:
- Employer loyalty and the implication for the intellectual
capital of a company
- How invested you are
- How companies treat talent
Companies will need to learn how to manage these pools of talent
rather than thinking that employees will be there for the rest of
their life. Businesses will have to manage, engage and train the
workforce differently, added Séverine.
"People are able to work remotely, and it enables them to work
with flexibility and freedom. What is lacking is the link and the
bonding with colleagues. Businesses need to create the right
conditions for people to be able to work together; to share
elements of value or purpose. Learning to remotely create close
interpersonal links is a challenge for many organisations. The best
performing teams are those who share a common purpose, efforts, and
display resilience together," said Laurence.
"The key is for companies and students to anticipate tomorrow's
workplace. The jobs that we had in the past will no longer exist in
the future. We believe that careers will be richer and jobs will be
more creative, because talent won't have to do repetitive work that
can be done through automation. Emotional intelligence will be more
important than actual knowledge. Being able to work on platforms
and in teams will become the most important skills in the future.
Talent will need to have a creative mindset and resilience, but not
necessarily be taught in the traditional way of teaching and
project-based learning," said Séverine.
During his time at RBS, Luke Fisher learnt that having strong
soft skills and a well-balanced relationship with work are vital.
For sectors where the labour market is tight, employer branding is
crucial and its culture becomes really important, especially when
it comes to making work choices. Employees will ask what are the
development opportunities in the organisation? What is the cultural
Laurence added that, "Soft skills are crucial: these are the
robust elements to thrive in a career path. Businesses map what the
potential of their work force is. Therefore, talent needs to be
curious, look for different elements and learn."
What does the future hold and how we can keep ahead of the
In 2030, 85% of current students in higher education will have
jobs that haven't been invented yet. This is a striking figure, and
this is why academic institutions, businesses and students need to
work closer and co-create the future workforce. ESCP Europe's
approach is fantastic: it brings together companies and students in
providing a hands-on experience, and this is a very strong asset,"
She also added that employees need to constantly learn, and
platforms will play a key role in this as they will be certified on
a continuous basis. This has already become habit in Dassault
Systèmes. If people don't get used to it, they will have
difficulties to become or remain employable.
Empowering young talent
If the talent of the future is to overcome the issues that arise
in the digital age, they must be challenged to successfully merge
technology and management - requirements that are crucial for
businesses and organisations. Find out how ESCP Europe and its
full-time MSc in Digital Transformation Management & Leadership
can equip you with the tools you'll need! Learn more about the
For more experienced professionals, we offer the Executive
Master in Manufacturing Automation & Digital Transformation: escpeurope.eu/emma
Event's pictures are available here.