The Future Is Now!

Automation has disrupted a great deal of the manufacturing world.  That’s a fairly obvious trend.  But what may be a little less clear is that automation is already upending the “knowledge economy,” too.  A recent study by McKinsey Global Institute looked at seven categories of high-end knowledge workers – doctors, lawyers, engineers, scientists, teachers etc. – and found large portions of their roles susceptible to displacement by machines as well.

The study shows that knowledge work automation tools and systems could take on tasks that would be equal to the output of 110 million to 140 million “full-time” workers.  It highlights the idea that the rate at which we are digitizing commerce makes this a remarkably critical time in our history.

It’s becoming apparent that we can no longer rely on one job, one company or even one industry to carry us for our careers.  In turn, a commitment to reinvention and constant learning will be required for sustainability.

While the economy demands a community of lifelong learners, some would argue that the combination of automation and wealth are giving rise to idle hands.  Therefore, we need an emerging group of nimble and gritty workers to thrive in the new landscape.  We need people who are aware of their past, have clear ambition and the willingness to take the pain to get there.

The bottom line is that the future is now, and probably every day from here on out.  The value of what we all provide constantly will be challenged.  So, the only way to rise above the smothering present is to push yourself to be a better version of you each and every day.  It’s a scary time, but the marketer who embraces the uniqueness of the period and continues to learn will win.

Our current issue of Connect Magazine is headed to the post office now.  Our cover article, “Dirty Work,” highlights the power of grit and shows why work ethic may be a lost art.  We examine the attributes that make up grit and provide some ideas of how to develop it within the world of business.

Our second feature, “Intimacy Doesn’t Scale,” champions the concept that to have great empathy and trust, you must be close to people to develop it.  The article discusses how to get close when people may not want you to try.

All in all, we love this issue and hope readers will digest it and share it with their peers.  If you would like to receive Connect, you can subscribe free on our website or you can email

Enjoy the rest of your summer.