Never far from the subject of defining and promoting your value in a changing economy, I share Harold Jarche's recent blog post titled Pre-empting automation.
The difference, he states, is between standardised and customised work. "Standardised" work can, and will, be automated. "Automation", he says, "is pretty well inevitable but it does not have to decimate the workforce".
Looking at the overall company balance between standardized and customized work should be an indicator of its potential to succeed. By visualizing the Labour/Talent split, people in the company can take action and make plans before the inevitable shift.
In other words: standardised work = labour and customised work = talent. As automation of standardised work increases, companies must focus on talent development to keep innovating.
Labour, in this context, becomes tasks that have to be performed and take up time and brain power, without allowing extra space for learning, experimentation and adaptation.
Automation is an opportunity to shift the focus on to your unique talents and knowledge. Focus on improving those standard systems and growing output.