This is the beginning of the end of industries


Lifehacker Martijn Aslander: To negotiate a future we can't imagine, we need some serious skills.

Imagine if you will, a world without organisations, without bureaucracy, without organisations, without money, where people work in swarms not hierarchies, and the traditional payment systems don’t apply anymore. That’s the picture painted by Martijn Aslander at the Finance Indaba 2018, where he told a stunned audience to stop worrying about the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

“We’re about to see the beginning of the end of organisations,” said Martijn, quipping that it’s good for people to hear about this in advance so they could “change their career before everything goes sideways.

“Forget about the Fourth Industrial Revolution. It doesn’t exist. This is the beginning of the end of industries, and there will be no new industries. Everyone will benefit from it, but we will see a systemic crisis in companies that think in terms of money and paper.”

Martijn is described as a lifehacker and executive sparring partner who helps leaders of global brands future-proof their operations. He advises a recruiting policy that looks at people’s attitudes first. “Hire for attitude, train for skills,” he told the audience. “We have no idea what kind of workforce we need in 15 years. But if people are not too stupid and have the right attitude, you can teach them anything.”

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There are six aspects that can make a difference to your own marketability, and make people fit for the future, he said:

1. Fast, forward thinkers
2. Flexibility
3. Open-mindedness
4. Curiosity
5. Courage/daring
6. Love.

The last item is not one that’s usually considered in business, but Martijn emphasised that it’s the most important one. 

“People need to be kindhearted. Being kindhearted gets you everywhere. It’s your social capital. And your social capital might get you monetary capital, but it’s way more powerful. To improve yourself, work on those six attributes.”

And constantly improve your digital skills, he said. Tech has given even the poorest people direct access to knowledge, information, and the an audience reach of billions. Millions of people are figuring out how to achieve their goals faster, smarter, cheaper and better, beyond the boundaries of organisations, and those organisations are not keeping up.

“We need to prepare ourselves for the speed of innovation, which is faster than mankind has ever seen,” he concluded. “Our only solution is to build on our optimism, social capital, and resilience. Open up your mind, and create a bigger world for yourself.”

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