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How to Manage a Modern Workforce in a Time of Technological Change

Bain Partner David Michels explains why leadership should not fear change, but rather embrace it as the new normal in the nature of business.


How to Manage a Modern Workforce in a Time of Technological Change

As companies shift to compete in a digital world, it is important for leaders to recognize that change is the new normal in business. David Michels, who leads Bain's Results Delivery® practice in Europe, the Middle East and Africa, describes three trends affecting change management and their profound implications on how business managers lead, engage and inspire their workforces.

Related: Change is Changing

Read the transcript below.

DAVID MICHELS: Change is not a dirty word. It is the very nature of business today.

KATE GALL, NURSE: I would say I've experienced a lot of change. Working, before, at the old hospitals, it was all paper charting. And now it's digitalized. We have computers, everything is scanned.

RICK ADKINS, AV SYSTEMS INTEGRATOR: We've got to keep learning new things. You can't just relax on what you know and expect it to carry you through. Just like equipment, people become obsolete.

DAVID MICHELS: Change is the new normal in business. It is no longer point in time, a project that needs to be managed with a beginning and an end. It is all the time. And that has profound implications for how we lead, how we engage, and how we inspire individuals in our organizations.

DELON GIFTH, NYC MESSENGER: Technology definitely is the future. They will phase out a lot of stuff.

KATE GALL: I think that you would never be able to make an AI nurse because our roles change every day. Every day we go into work, it's something different.

DELON GIFTH: I think what we have to do is just embrace it and go with the times because there's nothing that we can stop. You can't prevent it. You know, it is the future.

DAVID MICHELS: Artificial intelligence is changing the very nature of jobs. In many cases, jobs that humans once did will be now replaced by machines. And this is necessitating a fundamental rethink of the very future of work. Many jobs will be eliminated and many new jobs will be created. And this will be the challenge of business leadership. And it's going to be a very human challenge as well because it's about not just building trust between humans within an organization, but building trust between humans and machines.

TRAVIS OCASIO, RIDESHARE DRIVER: Actually helps pays the bills, this Uber and Lyft thing. And I do Juno too, so I have three platforms I use to pay my bills and give me the time and flexibility. So, I work whenever I want or take time off whenever I want. It's really fun.

DAVID MICHELS: The labor market is also fundamentally changing, and organizations are becoming much more porous. And so the challenge for business executives is how to create cohesion across an increasingly broadly defined organization. Change is not a dirty word, it is the very nature of business today. So don't try to manage it, embrace it.


Change Is Changing

Companies are coping with the death of traditional change management.


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