The image selected for this post is somewhat controversial, which is intentional as it potentially brought you here, and of course it opens a broader dialogue on ethics and the future. Don’t worry the future is human – we need humanity more than ever, but will we be collaborating with robots? Most likely. Robots and artificial intelligence will have differing roles to humans. As I said in my keynote speech Diversity-of-Things (DoT), “The future is humans + technology + digital + planet”, “Our roles are now changing.” We all need human faces, caring and customer service, and those roles are vitally important. However the manual and functional roles will continue to be taken over by robots, freeing up time for humans to focus on analytical, monitoring, management, caring, communications, strategic and creative skills. Those are the skills of the future.

I’m particulary interested in the human aspect of collaboration, competence and working, and have always been firmly against autocracy, while effective decision-making in leadership remains vital. In 2002, I conducted a piece of original research with the University of London, PriceWaterhouseCoopers and some SMEs. I assessed that my research needed a question on what the optimal culture should be for digitally transformed organisations to be successful. My cross-organisational research concluded that an organisational culture which was predominantly a collaboration and competence culture (value and authority based on subject-matter knowledge and experience) was needed, while also blending some elements of a ‘control culture’ where employee roles and seniority are clearly defined and adhered, with a cultivation and innovation culture where members can produce their own ideas. I believe this rationale is still valid today and will continue into the future. Therefore, Future Culture = Collaboration + Competence + Innovation + Ethical Governance

About the Author

Deborah Collier M.Sc. FRSA is an influential strategic, foresight and futurist leader in business, digital, education and media working on boards in the UK and North America. Described by academics and leaders as an ‘original thinker’, ‘thought-leader’, and ‘economic force’, she is an author and professional keynote speaker with a global audience, major brand following, network and readership of C-Suite leaders and professionals in business, academia, government, media and entertainment. A digital, technology and media entrepreneur, achieving global impact, she developed and implemented a three-pillared model, plan and solution for sustainability (Economy, Social and Environment), a digital governance framework, scalable brands, methodologies for strategic planning and leadership and management programs used by blue-chip organisations around the globe.  A media group CEO, Chair and Non-Executive Director, she is a digital education pioneer, founder and president of industry’s global awarding body Digital Skills Authority.