The cover story of August’s Fortune Magazine is an article by long-time Fortune contributor, Geoff Colvin, entitled Humans Are Underrated. It’s also the title of his new book.
Fortune Editor, Alan Murray, spotlighted the article in his Editor’s Desk piece saying, “…as we perfect machinery, that strategy [to get people to be more machine-like] is making humans more redundant. What we need in the future instead is for humans to act more like humans.”
For thirty years, I’ve been pushing a similar message, telling companies, “People don’t buy products – they buy personalities. Good companies develop their employees; great companies develop their people.”
Mr. Colvin, relating the importance of innate human behavior, says it’s all about the advanced technological age that we humans have created. Robots are replacing so many humans on the job, and doing it better, that there is hardly anything, job-wise, those robots cannot do, including surgery!
Can You Really Be Replaced?
Mr. Colvin suggests that we spend less time trying to figure out what robots and computers can never do, and focus more time emphasizing the human skills that drive our “deepest nature.” You see, we always find a new solution when necessary.
Underrated human abilities include:
- Social sensitivity
- Relationship building
These interpersonal skills, and the self-knowledge required to master them, are at the heart of my work.
Over the years, I’ve spent considerable time trying to convince corporations that their people needed just as much attention as the creation of a new product.
It’s the humans who are present in all stages of the creative process. After all it was the humans who created the robots.
- Isn’t it time that we start teaching, training and guiding students beyond the STEM subjects –science, technology, engineering, and math?
- Haven’t we developed students who have more in common with the robots they create, rather than students whose interpersonal skills are in balance with their intellectual ones?
- What can be done to recognize and appreciate the much needed, sadly underrated, human skills that are so quickly becoming lost to us?
What Drives Your Deepest Nature
The beauty is that corporations seem to finally be coming around to the idea of appreciating and giving value to the human element that is real people. Hopefully, instead of trying to replace humans, they will begin to make better use of what drives our deepest nature.
For so many years, we’ve had to put our basic nature aside while the left-brain took all of the glory. Now the opportunity exists to explore the total human being.
In this time of cascading technological breakthroughs, the truly wondrous entity is the human being whose unique abilities and innate qualities are what really matters.
I am so excited to be teaching and training in a world that has become seriously open to taking on humanity’s gifts and incorporating them into business life.
Here’s a great quote I would encourage you to consider from Meg Bear, Group Vice President at Oracle, “Empathy is the critical 21st-century skill.”
What would you say is a critical 21st century skill that you’re concerned we may be losing in our daily efforts to communicate? Share what drives your deepest nature in the comments below.