3 Steps To Get Ready For “Workforce 3”

July 10, 2023
Woman on Bench

We’ve been in full-innovation mode augmenting our work with AI-based automation, building new workflows and even platforms to help improve our work.

Now it’s time to ready our people for their role in shaping what’s ahead. 

First, rewind to the start of web 2, circa 2000s when we started evolving into the synchronous social web.

Brands had no idea what they were doing. We spent 50% of our time consulting marketers around what’s ahead, but we spent the other parts with legal and regulatory helping to build early ethics policies and processes. The rest was left to work with employees, teaching the skills of next, a mix of tech, community savvy, creative and data. It was thrilling, and scary and it’s happening again. No colleges had courses to support these new skills. So, we went to professors and helped build the curriculum. We pushed in on classes and sponsored challenges. We had to build the stabilizers along with the innovation. 

So, fast forward, present day. AI, ML, GPT abound. Change afoot. Workforce 3 ahead.

So, here’s what we’ve learned about where to start: 

1. Guidance

Some people think regulatory and legal makes things harder, but when you’re dealing with new platforms, new channels, new robots to tame, a good set of policies, procedures and review support goes a long way. Work with your legal team, get outside counsel. Help inform, educate and test with one another. Stabilize while you build skyscrapers.

HOT TAKE: We keep up with Davis and Gilbert’s thought leadership regularly because they always include regulatory updates, but also case law. We also love what our friends at All Tech is Human are doing with bringing legislation, regulators and big tech together to address issues in ethics.

2. Workflows

Document and codify your workflows and tool uses so you can train them. Yes, tech changes daily, and there’s a new generative tool for just about every use case, so don’t overcommit to any tool, focus on the workflow and the ways to automate or enhance with AI.

HOT TAKE: Build a step model with interchangeable tools so teams can test and land on the best platform.

3. Start Up-Skilling

Upskilling is the  concept of identifying how roles will shift based on new automated info, time spent or new needs to support AI efforts. Then, remap the roles of humans in this process. For example, we have put together a list of some of the shifts we’ve begun to re-skill:

  • From designer to systems designer, ready to help develop brand look, tone and feel that can be managed through new production models, including training. Generative tools.
  • From UX designer to UX professional, understanding the way experiences are evolving but moreover how we create personalized and game-changing experiences from data.
  • From AAE’s manually auditing news coverage, to trends analysts able to configure and read high volumes of conversation, search data and trending subjects  and find trends/forecast the future.

HOT TAKE: Start up-skilling as part of regular biannual reviews, and daily teaching, not as a major workforce shift. A former CCO of mine told me, “don’t spook the talent”. And I agree, no reason for us to all lean to one side of the boat at the same time, let’s up-skill as we evolve, but never, ever forget about the importance of bringing our people along.

The best thing about Workforce 3 is the opportunity to grow, evolve and elevate in a profoundly important way. And here we are, creating an ethical tech future our children will be ready for!