Almost Half of US Jobs at Risk of Automation

Approximately half of American jobs could be replaced by automation in the coming years, and roughly one in four are at risk of being lost to foreign competition, according to a study recently published by Ball State University.

Image: Study: Almost Half of US Jobs at Risk of Automation

“We do not wish to be alarmist,” the researchers said. “Both trade- and automation-related economic growth are hallmarks of a vibrant economy. The findings of direct and indirect impacts of displacement are not homogeneous across populations. The negative long-term impacts of displacement have been found to be worse for low-skilled, less-educated workers, who are likely to work in more vulnerable jobs.”

Employees at risk of losing their jobs to automation are low-skilled workers with lower wages, while virtually all labour markets are susceptible to job losses because of foreign competition. The U.S. economy has already lost about 71,000 retail jobs to machines since the beginning of this year, according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.

What Would the World Be Like if We All Loved Our Jobs?

When you wake up in the morning, are you filled with excitement about the prospect of a new day at work, or do you dread the thought of having to make it through yet another day of drudgery? A great question which we will often answer in the negative! But what would it be like in the positive? Asked and answered by one of Inc’s finest, author and futurist Jacob Morgan @JacobM.

What Would the World Be Like if We All Loved Our Jobs?

If you’re like much of the population, you fall into the latter category and disdain going to work. Surveys have found that only 13% of people around the world actually like going to work–an astoundingly low number.

Low employee engagement can lead to a number of problems, including low office morale, physical ailments, and emotional disorders. Employees who don’t like their jobs, especially when they work together, tend to feed off each other, which can cause distress in many other areas of an employee’s life and lead to more sickness and familial problems.

What would the world be like if we all loved our jobs? Think of the power of that question. To start, the emotional and physical problems from having to spend hours a day in an unsupportive environment would go away or be mitigated. People would likely be much happier and spread that happiness to their personal lives. Think of the potential of what problems society could work together to overcome. With a world of engaged employees who are excited about what they are doing, we could solve some of the world’s biggest problems and bring people together in new ways.

There are a number of reasons people dread going to work: it could be that the work itself isn’t challenging or engaging, the management is difficult to work with, the pay and benefits are lower than the employee would want, co-workers are difficult, the culture isn’t a good match, and many other reasons. And while we may not be able to create a world where every single person loves his or her job, each company can work towards creating that environment in their own office. Imagine what could happen with a full team of engaged and passionate employees–goals and success would likely be higher than ever. Every person deserves to work for an organization that they feel deserves their time and attention to be there.

In order to create this ideal environment, management needs to be on the same page with employees. The right to love your job doesn’t arrive once you hit a certain level or get a promotion–employees at all levels should be excited to come to work. Start a dialogue with honest conversations about what employees like and dislike about their work environment. For some organizations, this happens through town hall meetings or performance reviews, while others use anonymous surveys. Those results can point leadership in the starting direction. If a majority of employees feel unengaged because of the physical office space, management knows that one of its first steps should be reevaluating the office and perhaps creating something that better meets the needs of employees.

Creating an engaged environment isn’t a one-time thing, however. The best companies keep the conversation going and involve employees in the entire process. Constantly asking employees about their ideas for the future and their thoughts on the progress of the company gives leaders at all levels a metric of how their efforts are playing out. Being flexible and listening to employee feedback creates a cohesive environment where people are happy, engaged, and productive.

Everyone around the world deserves to wake up excited to go to work, but unfortunately that doesn’t always happen. While we can’t control what is happening other places, we can focus on what we can control: our own attitudes and the environment in our organization. By putting a bigger emphasis on employee happiness and engagement, organisations can reach new levels of productivity and success.

Millennials, Need These Old-School Skills to Thrive!

managers meeting

The modern workplace changes rapidly. Whether it’s a new management approach, skill or tool, the modern worker easily gets caught in constant change.

Millennials are a generation comfortable with change. We experienced everything from floppy disks to Uber, and we understand change is part of life. Yet constant change can result in lost focus. If we constantly focus on the “next big thing,” we never actually grow. Instead, we find ourselves stagnant in our life and careers.

Despite the changing workplace, there are a few old-school skills millennials must master to be successful. What are they? I asked five executives from top companies to find out:

1. Adapt

Business moves quickly, so it’s impossible to know what will happen in the future. Big is no longer a competitive advantage; adaptability is. The only way to deal with an uncertain future is to build culture and competencies to deal with uncertainty.” Chris Heaslip, CEO, PushPay

2. Understand people

“Even with todays pace of technology evolution,  a few vital skills from history don’t seem to grow old. Those skills are revolve around understanding and working with people and all of their complexities. As companies today head toward new agile ways of working, forming self directed end to end teams is most critical.  And the skill of mixing the right people on these teams will make or break their success.” Konrad Lagarde, IBM’s Agile Academy

3. Say thank you

“Saying thank you in person has become such a novelty in the workplace! As we move toward virtual workplaces, it gets harder and harder to talk face-to-face. But, especially as team leaders, never underestimate the value of ‘putting your mouth where your money is.’ Don’t just thank someone with a bonus and an email. Give them a handshake and make eye contact too. It will make a big difference to your team!” Carolyn Slaski, EYAmericas Vice Chair, Talent

4. Develop yourself

“A growth mindset is the single most important skill to be successful in the workplace. How work is done changes rapidly, and to stay ahead people need to change with it. If you plant yourself in your job and expect the world to stop moving, growing and morphing around you, you will spend your time in a state of frustration. Developing a true growth mindset is one thing that separates a good employee from a mediocre or even bad one. And it ultimately allows both the individual to be a success and the company they work for to win. Which is ultimately the goal, right?” 

read more at Forbes

What is the Biblical way to approach management?

Managers: The Main Characters in Nearly All of Jesus’ Parables

Now, what’s a parable Jesus told that was explicitly about “management” and “managers”? (We can define a “manager” as one charged to be a wise and responsible steward with what he or she has been given.) Where should we begin?! Let’s just list 28 that have specifically a business, financial, and/or resource management context:

  • The Parable of the Talents (Matt. 25:14–30)
  • The Parable of the Minas (Luke 19:12–27)
  • The Wise and the Foolish Builders (Matt. 7:24–27; Luke 6:46–49)
  • The Growing Seed (Mark 4:26–29)
  • The Two Debtors (Luke 7:41–43)
  • The Rich Fool (Luke 12:16–21)
  • The Workers in the Vineyard (Matt. 20:1–16)
  • The Two Sons (Matt. 21:28–32)
  • The Unjust Steward (Luke 16:1–13)
  • The Faithful Servant (Matt. 24:42–51; Mark 13:34–37; Luke 12:35–48)
  • The Ten Virgins (Matt. 25:1–13)
  • The Hidden Treasure (Matt. 13:44)
  • New Wine into Old Wineskins (Matt. 9:17–17; Mark 2:21–22; Luke 5:37–39)
  • Parable of the Sower (Matt. 13:3–9; Mark 4:3–9; Luke 8:5–8)
  • The Tares (Matt. 13:24–30)
  • Parable of the Mustard Seed (Matt. 13:31–32; Mark 4:30–32; Luke 13:18–19)
  • The Leaven (Matt. 13:33–33; Luke 13:20–21)
  • Parable of the Pearl (Matt. 13:45–46)
  • Drawing in the Net (Matt. 13:47–50)
  • Counting the Cost (Luke 14:28–33)
  • The Lost Sheep (Matt. 18:10–14; Luke 15:4–6)
  • The Unforgiving Servant (Matt. 18:23–35)
  • The Lost Coin (Luke 15:8–9)
  • Parable of the Prodigal Son (Luke 15:11–32)
  • The Master and Servant (Luke 17:7–10)
  • The Parable of the Tenants (Matt. 21:33–41; Mark 12:1–9; Luke 20:9–16)
  • The Budding Fig Tree (Matt. 24:32–35; Mark 13:28–31; Luke 21:29–33)
  • The Sheep and the Goats (Matt. 25:31–46)

For business managers, there is a goldmine of management wisdom in these parables.

bible-with-light-on

And given that managers are the main characters in nearly all of Jesus’ parables, this is clearly the way in which Jesus wants us to view ourselves.

Here are a few, general Christ-centered management lessons from Jesus’ parables that can help to restore a Biblical view of management.

1: Christ-centered management breaks the “I’m the master” mentality.

In the parables of Jesus that include a “master” as one of the characters, God is depicted as the “master” while people are depicted as the managers, servants, stewards, etc. As managers… that’s how Jesus would have us consider ourselves.

As we immerse ourselves so deeply into leadership teaching and training, it can be easy to allow our leadership mindset to creep into our relationship with God. When it comes to our relationship with God, we are not leaders. We are His followers and stewards of whatever and whoever he entrusts into our care. Let’s not get it backward.

Let’s let God do the leading. We’ll do the managing of what He, our leader, entrusts to us.

2: Christ-centered management keeps us focused on being faithful and effective rather than on being important and significant.

The unforgiving servant in Matthew 18:23-35 thought he was superior to the person who owed money to him. He failed to realize that he himself was subordinate to the master and that the master would not approve of his treatment of his fellow worker.

In responding to His disciples concerning their desires to achieve greater status in society, Jesus said, “Whoever wishes to become great among you shall be your servant” (Mark 10:43). In other words, “If it’s leadership status you’re after, assume an attitude of humility and subordination.”

People who view themselves as managers—subordinate to God and viewing themselves as less important than others (see Phil. 2:3)—will find it much easier to serve than those who think of themselves as being above other people on some sort of hierarchy.

3: Christ-centered management increases our influence and authority.

In the Parable of the Talents and the Parable of the Minas, the responsible managers were given more responsibility while the irresponsible one had his taken away.

The influence and greatness that comes from God results from being a better manager of the time, calling, gifts, mind, relationships, body, resources, and opportunities God entrusts to each of us. It’s a byproduct rather than the objective.

If we will focus on being better managers—better stewards of what God has entrusted to us—people will follow us, and our authority will increase. God-given influence and effective leadership are byproducts of Christ-centered management.

4: Christ-centered management means we’re accountable for everything entrusted to us.

When we become overly focused on leading and influencing others, we can become deceived into thinking that the behind-the-scenes issues of life and business don’t matter. This is part of what causes business professionals to feel as though their service to God would be “more significant” if they left the marketplace to enter pulpit ministry. Managing money, employees, and day-to-day business operations seems irrelevant to eternity. Nothing could be further from the truth.

As Jesus has demonstrated through His immense amount of management teaching, everything matters to God, and we’ll be held accountable for how we manage even the “smallest” things that God entrusts to us.

Consider the legacy and impact of Moses. The precondition for his level of impact was responsible management over everything God had entrusted to him:

“I, the LORD, shall make Myself known to him in a vision. I shall speak with him in a dream. Not so, with My servant Moses, He is faithful in all My household” (Num. 12:6-7).

As God’s people, everything God has entrusted to us in business and beyond is part of God’s “household.” Let’s be effective Christ-centered managers of every spiritual gift, every cent, every moment, and every relationship God entrusts to us.

Discussion: Do you think our culture is elevating the idea of leadership while deprecating the idea of management? What management lessons can we learn from the parables of Jesus? Like to hear from you

The Mega-Goal of Five-Fold Leadership

Three Goals of Five-Fold Leadership

“And He [Jesus] Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers for the equipping of the saints for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ till we all come to the unity of the faith and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a perfect man, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ; that we should no longer be children, tossed to and fro and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, in the cunning craftiness of deceitful plotting, but, speaking the truth in love, may grow up in all things into Him who is the head—Christ—from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” Ephesians 4:11-16

Whenever God repeats something in the Word, it is important. Clearly within these six verses are three distinct goals mentioned (in different ways) at least two times each. The highlighted words wrap themselves around these three obvious goals:

Goal #1: Edify/edifying/fullness = building up unto completion

Goal #2: Unity/knitted together = agreement, oneness

Goal #3: Growth = progressive development, increase

Notice that the Lord does not stop with these three measurements, but continues toward the one mega-goal.

The Mega-Goal of Five-Fold Leadership

The mega-goal five-fold leadership is not about your leadership anointing or even the edification, unity, and growth of your teams. It is ultimately about love (good will, benevolence, affection).

The only way to achieve the mega-goal of love is to take your focus off measuring the depth of your unique leadership gifts, and instead, focus your attention on measuring the edification, unity and growth of your teams in love.

Jesus’ final exam is based upon on how well you release His leadership gifts toward love. Unless you move beyond the gifts themselves into a focus on His outcome of the gifts, you totally miss His purpose for the gifts.

Therefore, to avoid falling into the tantalising trap of five-fold leadership, measure all your leadership efforts in love.

TRENDS IN MARKETPLACE CHRISTIANITY

What are these trends and why are they so exciting?

Trend #1: “Less Talk, More Action”

Since the 1990s, the Movement has been focused primarily on highlighting problems such as the separations between sacred and secular, Church and the workplace, etc. Today, rather than waiting for an endorsement of their ministry calling to business, many marketplace Christians are simply doing what they are called to do.

For example, many of today’s Christian entrepreneurs are launching and growing successful companies for the foundational purpose of glorifying God in the marketplace. Telos Ventures Capital is an early-stage venture capital fund that has built and invested in aelof these “Gospel-centred, for-profit ventures” (ref. 1). The company invests $50,000 to $300,000 in viable, early-stage startups whose founders demonstrate a compelling response to the question, “How are you planning to live out your faith through this business model?”

God is revealing new technology to His servants. My eldest son’s new company is called REVELANT (Revelation from God of new technology that is relevant for today). Have you heard of nanofluidity? No! neither had I, in fact, it is new and it is about to revolutionise energy consumption and a whole lot of other industries, oil, water and even treatment of diseases. Take a look on You Tube under Revelant or nanofluidity or nanophysics or check out their website www.revelant.com.

Trend #2: “Division of Labour”

Every spiritual gift given by the Holy Spirit to the People of God (the Church) is represented in the marketplace. As marketplace Christians are discovering their unique ministry assignments in the business world, a division of labour among the extended Church’s ministry responsibilities is emerging. The uniqueness of our different assignments is the reason for the wide variety of terms and phrases currently used to describe what God is doing in the business world:

  • Biblical Entrepreneurship
  • Marketplace Ministry
  • Business as Mission (BAM)
  • Workplace Ministry
  • The Seven Mountains Mandate
  • Work as Worship
  • Theology of Work
  • Values-Based Investing
  • Theology of Business
  • Eternal Return on Investment (EROI)
  • Christian Companies
  • Social Entrepreneurship
  • Great Commission Companies
  • Christ-Centered Companies
  • Workplace Evangelism
  • Kingdom Business
  • Values-Based Business

Let’s not worry about trying to get everyone to use the same terms. It’s actually a good thing that not every marketplace Christian approaches marketplace Christianity in the exact same way. Every marketplace Christian’s gifts and callings are essential for the fulfilment of God’s will for the business world.

Trend #3: “Ministry Collaboration”

As we recognise the variety and diversity of the Church’s marketplace assignments, many of us are realising opportunities to collaborate with other Christians for the purpose of revealing the glory of God in the business world.

Christian business consultants are providing Spirit-led, Biblically-based business advice for Christian business leaders.

Christian venture capitalists are investing in the companies of Christian entrepreneurs.

Christian chaplains are serving the employees of Christian business owners.

Christian pastors are collaborating with business professionals in their churches to host marketplace ministry equipping programs.

Christian business professionals are referring new customers and clients to each other.

In the podcasting industry (internet radio), an entire eco-system is developing around the theme of “marketplace Christianity.” Since 2013, podcast shows such as The Success Edge, Church for Entrepreneurs, Kingdom Driven Entrepreneur, iWork4Him, Gospel Driven Entrepreneur, Eternal Leadership, Theology of Business, and others have emerged with the goal of helping Christians to apply their Christian faith to their work in business.

The Mission America Coalition has launched a new initiative in which key leaders in the Marketplace Christianity Movement have united under a vision to see 56,000,000 people reached with the love of Jesus in the workplace by the year 2020.

A similar initiative has been launched with marketplace ministries in Australia which includes Business GREENhouse, Paladin Group, Kingdom Builders, Called to Business, Wealth with Purpose and others.

If 56,000,000 people are going to be reached with the love of Jesus in the marketplace by 2020, it’s going to require that we as marketplace Christians work together across denominational, racial, professional, socio-economic, and any other lines that divide us. Approximately 85 percent of Christians spend most of their waking hours working in for-profit companies, so the potential impact of our ministry collaboration for the glory of God is enormous.

Have you noticed evidence of these current trends? Have you noticed any other current trends in the Marketplace Christianity Movement?

[i] http://telosventures.com/about/

Article by Darren Shearer Theology of Business, Three trends in Marketplace Christianity.