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MICHauto Roundtable: Technology Innovation Will Augment Workforce Transformation

In an age where automation and machine learning is increasingly becoming commonplace, technological innovation should not be viewed as a hindrance to job creation but rather a driver for how organizations consider how to design jobs, organize work and plan for future growth. That was a key message during the MICHauto Roundtable: Human Capital in the Digital Age at the 2017 Mackinac Policy Conference.

“If technology is harnessed properly, it can be an enabler for organizations competing for talent and jobs,” said Bill Diehl, managing director at KPMG.

Reiterating the findings in KPMG’s recently released white paper titled “Rise of the Humans,” Diehl said as businesses seek to streamline processes and reduce operating costs, cognitive technologies are rapidly creating a new class of labor.

The roundtable also featured a keynote address by Mike DiClaudio, principal for KPMG, proceeded by a panel discussion with Brose North America’s Mike Brosseau, Toyota North America’s George Cook III, and KPMG’s Kate Jackson and Claudia Saran.

Key takeaways

  • Despite doom and gloom scenarios for massive unemployment, cognitive technologies can spur new jobs and enhance human skills and expertise.
  • Technology and artificial intelligence will not replace people but will create the opportunity to make what we do better.
  • As more cognitive technologies work side by side with a human labor force, leaders are increasingly challenged to integrate and make the most of both kinds of labor.
  • Skills such as critical and analytical thinking, problem-solving and time management are uniquely human traits that are in-demand.
  • A five-stage process of inquiry can help leaders systematically think through how the shape and size of their workforce should change: compliance, cost, capacity, capability and connectivity.
  • There is a misperception that millennials do not like to work. However, most are hardworking and early adopters of technology.
  • Navigating a multigenerational workforce with different needs and expectations is a challenge for employers but understanding these differences and a willingness to be flexible is crucial to retain and attract talent.
  • Manufacturers and OEMs must work collaboratively with schools to create curriculum and training programs and dispel the myth that a four-year degree is the only path to success.

Kicking off the roundtable discussion, Glenn Stevens, executive director of MICHauto unveiled the 2017 “Michigan is Auto Mobility” report, which details the state’s world-class automotive and mobility assets. View the report here.