SCP E135 The Future of Work: Evolving Career Trajectories and Transdisciplinarity, Anuraj Gambhir

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In this episode I have a really interesting chat with Anuraj Gambhir, an innovation evangelist, business strategist and a philosopher as well. Anuraj tells us in this episode about his really varied career trajectory starting from the telecommunications and mobile technology industry, through to startups and entrepreneurship, and now the holistic Smart Cities space. Anuraj and I discuss the need for meaningful interaction with technology the power of what he calls ‘transdisciplinarity’ or the disruptive creativity that comes from integration across different disciplines and industries. Anuraj also explains his focus on where technology and spirituality meet, and the importance of keeping humanity at the centre of all the tech. Anuraj tells us about a couple of projects he’s been involved with that connect dots between industries and some real use cases of data and predictive analytics helping keep humans safe and well. We finish our chat talking about the emerging trends of neuro-tech and wearable tech being used to improve health outcomes, plus the distributed intelligence in our Smart Regions and Rural Communities. As always I hope you enjoyed listening to this episode as much as I enjoyed making it.

Listen here:

What we cover in this episode:

  • Anuraj’s background in electrical engineering and telecommunications, followed by experiences in the startup and entrepreneurship world and now the holistic Smart Cities space
  • How early concepts of the Smart Home and Intelligent Mobility sparked Anuraj’s interest in Smart Community concepts
  • The need for meaningful interaction with technology
  • The power of what Anuraj calls ‘transdisciplinarity’ or the disruptive creativity that comes from integration across different disciplines and industries
  • Why Anuraj focuses on the place where technology and spirituality meet, especially in this rapidly changing world
  • The importance of keeping humanity at the centre of all the tech
  • The future of work and the skills needed in the Fourth Industrial Revolution
  • The change from VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) to VUCA (vision, understanding, clarity and agility) in the new job market
  • The Japanese philosophy of ikigai and how it relates to the Millennial generation’s approach to work
  • Examples of projects in Anuraj’s career that connect dots between industries and real use cases of data and predictive analytics helping keep humans safe and well
  • Two more new words Anuraj has coined in this innovative, collaborative, increasingly complex world
  • Why we should be building champion networks to drive change, solve big challenges and integrate across disciplines
  • The emerging trends of neuro-tech and wearable tech being used to improve health outcomes
  • The distributed intelligence in our Smart Regions and Rural Communities

Quotes:

“The pace of change has accelerated so rapidly, and we’re living in this time of enormous impact. We’re on the verge of so many technologies that are really going to be creating some amazing benefits for mankind if taken the right way.”

“Humanity is back at the centre of everything again, [because of the] realisation that the technology-enabled world is giving us…so much clutter. It’s really about how do we declutter from the digital elements, which are not so important, and then find deeper meaning?”

“The journey most of the Millennials [are on] and what the next wave of work is going to be about [is realising] that it’s not about a nine to five job, it’s not about just working for a particular corporate. It’s about adding value in a much broader sense and to your own life, which will then actually help the community and other people as well.”

“An [emerging trend] I’ve been looking at is neuro-tech. One of the key areas of a Smart City is quality of life, and the gross happiness quotient is one measure. Then, how can you impact that? It’s so interlinked with…each facet or touch point of life within a Smart City. How can we uplift that? That’s where we’re seeing a lot of research happening in technologies into [like trans-cranial direct current stimulation].”

“Especially in Australia…can we talk about Smart Outback, or Rural Upliftment? The agri-community, which is such a big domain for Australia and we have so much know how in agri-tech. How do we think more broadly and beyond for those remote [areas]? We need to look at that whole community approach, because it’s on that edge that will find that true connectivity.”

Links:

Mobile World Congress

Singularity University

Smart Cap Protocol Life

Fishburners

GoBe 2 Smart Life Band

RelaxVR

Flextronics

Connect:

Connect with Anuraj via LinkedIn

Connect with me via email: hello@mysmart.community

Connect via LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook @smartcommpod

The Smart Community Podcast is produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.

SCP E134 The Future of Work: the Importance of Body Intelligence in Workplace Culture and Design, with Thea O’Connor

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In this episode, I had a wonderful chat with Thea O’Connor, a body advocate and Workplace Wellbeing and Productivity Advisor. Thea and I met last year at the Bellingen Ignite conference run but the RDA Mid-North Coast and it was great to chat again. In this episode Thea shares with us what sparked her interest in the link between technology and health, and the impacts of workplace culture on health and also productivity. She tells us why we need body intelligence in our personal lives and in our workplaces, as well as why we need more power naps! Thea shares with us some techniques that can improve the way we work into the future and cultivate Smarter workplaces now, as well as some tips and tricks to combat white collar fatigue. We also have a really interesting discussion about the opportunities and challenges in the uptake of designing workplaces to support human bodies and brains, and the dangers of the intense, hustle culture in the startup scene. We finish our chat discussing the emerging trend of designing algorithms and apps with the body in mind, and also the experiment I’m doing to try to break my phone addiction. As always, I hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as I enjoyed making it.

Listen here:

What we cover in this episode:

  • Thea’s background as a dietitian that eventually led to her work now in workplace health
  • What sparked Thea’s interest in the link between technology and health
  • The health impacts of workplace culture and a history of separation of mind + body
  • Why we need body intelligence in our personal lives and in our workplaces
  • The power of the power nap
  • Techniques that can improve the way we work into the future and cultivate Smarter workplaces now
  • The opportunities and challenges in the uptake of designing workplaces to support human bodies and brains
  • The need to factor in adequate recovery time in order to work effectively, and the impact that short term contracts and the gig economy has on this
  • The dangers of intense, hustle culture in the startup scene and the resulting problems with burnout and mental health problems
  • Thea’s tips and tricks to combat white collar fatigue
  • Why we should choose technology based on what we want and need to augment our human experience, instead of letting technology choose for us
  • Breaking our addiction to our phones and the personal experiment Zoe is doing with hers
  • The emerging trend of considering impacts on the human body in the early design of algorithms, apps and emerging technology

Quotes:

“I really became interested in how our relationship with technology affects our physiology. We’ve known for quite a while now that as technology has taken over manual work, that’s really contributed to things like the big rise in overweight. But now we’re seeing more and more impacts of that intense, sedentary screen based computer work. And it’s leading to a whole range of problems, everything from RSI to tech neck…even through to our breathing. I see the many health challenges that technology contributes towards.”

In our work culture, we really almost encourage people to disconnect from their bodies, or to do things like rely on artificial stimulation to get through the day like caffeine, rather than work in tune with its natural rhythms…We need to rebuild trust in the body, learn to live in more body intelligent ways, both for the sake of ourselves, but also our workplace productivity.”

“If we’re talking about how can we cultivate Smarter workplaces, I think the key thing that we need to do is to educate people about the role of the body not just in our physical health, but how it actually underpins some of the key workplace capabilities that we need now and into the future.”

AUDIOGRAM: 9.02 – 10.25 “I’ll ask people, you know, given that technology is taking over cognitive labor now, as well as manual labor, what are some of the key skills and attributes that we’re going to need to thrive, and, you know, the participants will come back with things like the people skills, the communication skills going to be more important than ever, we’re still going to have to talk to clients, manage relationships, inspire our teams, emotional intelligence as part of that. And also name things around, you know, innovation, we all know that you have to come up with good ideas for solving complex problems, we need to be agile, to deal with change, etc, etc. And then when we actually look at what happens to those essential capabilities, when we don’t take care of the body, you actually discover it well, things like communication skills, there’s no way you can be a great communicator, there’s no way you can regulate your emotions. If you’ve only had four hours sleep, you will not be able to think creatively or flexibly. If your prefrontal cortex is effective tiredness and fatigue, the prefrontal cortex, which does all you know, that higher order thinking, that’s the part of the brain, that’s the most vulnerable to tiredness. And I go through and show how actually a body’s physiology actually impacts all of those key capabilities that not just my workshop participants, but futures predict, are going to be the most important. So we have to really get that body intelligence is the basis of those other intelligences.”

“Given that the body is the foundation of our lives, and it’s home to all of those workplace capabilities, we need to take care of how we design our days around the body. We need to use a body-centered design process… In most workplaces, we actually work in direct opposition to the design of our bodies, so we’re undermining our key instrument for living and working.”

“If we were to work in tune with those [body] rhythms, we’re going to have to stop during the working day. And the default position has become work flat out…and learning how to insert some pauses and commas into your day, that’s more of a challenge. It does take a concerted effort between managers and teams to change those norms.”

“We’re learning more about how quite short recovery breaks throughout the day, anything from 1-10 minutes, can actually make a measurable difference to your cognition and also your energy levels. There’s more and more science coming out around that and I think that’s going to be the essential skill for people working in this more flexible, unpredictable economy.”

“We know that burnout is a massive shadow issue and that mental health rates are higher amongst startup entrepreneurs. So it’s a massive issue but the culture is so intense. People don’t want to take time out for anything.”

“When you start to show people the science behind how severely white collar fatigue can impair those essential capabilities, that often does make people stop and think. Then you need a [workplace] culture that’s going to support [changing that].”

“In order to tackle [our attachment to our phones] we do need a degree of self discipline or self regulation and, and we need to expect that it’s going to be uncomfortable… Expect to feel anxious, that’s a normal part of tackling an addiction.”

“The body is our home, our foundation. It’s the only vehicle that we have for living [and working]. As we’re getting all starry eyed about artificial intelligence, we tend to forget how amazingly intelligent the body is and we should be listening to it, learning from it and respecting it.”

Links:

Email apnea

UQ’s Be Upstanding website

Buddhify meditation and mindfulness app

Connect:

Find the full show notes at: www.mysmart.community

Connect with Thea on LinkedIn or at Thea.com.au

Connect with me via email: hello@mysmart.community

Connect via LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook @smartcommpod

The Smart Community Podcast is produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.

SCP E133 The Future of Work: Personal Branding and Talent Retention in the Digital Age, with Sally Illingworth

Episode133_SallyIllingworth_SmartCommunityPodcast_BlogTitleImageIn this episode, I have a truly fantastic conversation with Sally Illingworth, a strategic thinker and calculative action taker who thrives in fast-paced and complex-adaptive environments. Sally tells us about her really interesting background from starting in a pizza shop and working her way up the food retail industry, to moving into management consulting and the world of digital marketing. The theme on the podcast this month is the future of work and this is a brilliant interview to kick us off. Sally and I discuss how her career progressed and why she believes that hard work and a willingness to learn can help anyone make similar moves in their career. We cover the skills that are needed in the future of work, including the importance of creativity and curiosity, as well as the challenges and opportunities facing businesses and organisations trying to attract and retain talent in this digital age. We finish our chat discussing the emerging trends of the speed at which jobs are being created and then becoming commonplace, as well as the challenge of balancing legacy systems and the need for employers to protect their brands with the trend of employees taking control of their career by building personal brands online. As always, we hope you enjoy listening to this episode as much as I enjoyed making it.

 

Listen here:

 

What we cover in this episode:

  • Sally’s background starting in a pizza shop and working her way up the food retail industry, moving into management consulting and the world of digital marketing
  • Sally’s passion for inspiring people and helping unlock human potential
  • How her career has evolved from the food retail industry to where she is now and the value of patience, hard work and belief in possibility when learning new things and getting better
  • What a Smart City and Community is to Sally and why it’s so important for us to preserve energy and resources (human and otherwise) so we can reach more potential
  • The future of work and the skills that will be needed in the future more than they are now
  • The challenges and opportunities facing businesses and organisations trying to attract and retain talent in this digital age
  • The importance of curiosity and creativity in the present and future workforce
  • The emerging trend of the speed at which jobs are being created and becoming commonplace
  • The challenge of balancing legacy systems and the need for employers to protect they brands with the trend of employees taking control of their career by building personal brands online

Quotes:

“I’ve developed like this massive passion for just showing people that if you’re willing to put in the work and commit and develop the stamina to do something, then the world is your oyster.”

“One of the most common things that discourages a lot of people is there are unfortunately circumstances where people get sold dreams that this is going to happen overnight. And they don’t talk about the work that I talk about, the stamina required to do something. What happens is people spend money or they put time, effort and motion into things and then this massive change that they were sold doesn’t actually happen [overnight] so they become discouraged and [decide they’re] not even going to bother try.”

“There’s a lot of jobs now that didn’t exist even five years ago. With things like technology, it’s causing a lot of fear for a lot of people because they [worry] what’s going to happen, that all the jobs are going to go, and then we’re going to have this massive unemployment issue.”

“From a company perspective, you’ve got to get really clear what differentiates you, and why would someone want to work with you? In today’s landscape, people want more fulfillment and meaning from their jobs and that’s reflected in retention rates.”

“How can [employers] really harmonize that balance between employing someone but allowing them to have the freedom to really own and build their career beyond their job? It’s a big challenge…How do you as an organization, as business, as a company embrace the fact that people aren’t going to work for you for 20 years?”

“Thanks to things like social media, the power no longer sits with the people with millions and billions of dollars—everyone has a voice, and everyone has the ability to really own what they do. So this power shift is causing a lot of challenges for companies, but for employees as well.”

“The most curious people will become really integral from a strategic perspective in terms of how a lot of this change [in the workforce] due to tech is managed by organisations. Because you need that curiosity to try and solve a problem or challenge. Once you’ve got that curiosity, you need to be able then obtain information, assess things, analyse things…On top of that, you need the creativity to be able to connect the dots and try and find the solution.”

Links:

World Forum for Foreign Direct Investment

5G AI enabled automation white paper

Connect:

Find the full show notes at: www.mysmart.community

Connect with Sally via LinkedIn or at sallyillingworth.com

Connect with me via email: hello@mysmart.community

Connect via LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook @smartcommpod

The Smart Community Podcast is produced by Ellen Ronalds Keene.