Mind Power: The Employee Skill of the Future


Promotional art for The Invincible Iron Man vol. 5, #25 (second printing) (June 2010) by Salvador Larroca.
Promotional art for The Invincible Iron Man vol. 5, #25 (second printing) (June 2010) by Salvador Larroca.

With the change in the nature of the economy “thinking” has become a much bigger issue. Rote, mindless work is now being taken over by robots and that will do nothing but increase. In this post I am not really talking about just the act of thinking. I am actually talking about the use of the power of an employee’s thoughts to power equipment. What if mind power is the employee skill of the future? Will you be prepared for the changes that might entail?
 Thinking power
Imagine being able to sit down at your desk and without touching a thing or saying a word you can turn on your computer, open the document you finished yesterday and proceed to edit it just by reading and then thinking the edits you wanted to make? What about making that robot on the factory floor operate as you sit in a control room and think the tasks you want it to perform? Sounds like the stuff of science fiction or science fiction movies doesn’t it? Well it may not be as far in the future as you think.
 Not quite Iron Man, yet
In Iron Man 3 Tony Stark talks to his “iron” suit. (An understatement if there ever was one.) He can will it to perform tasks. Unfortunately we are not that advanced yet, however, there has been work done that has shown that simple mechanisms can be controlled just by thinking. The example below shows how a toy helicopter can be controlled through a device on worn by the operator that transmits his thoughts to a computer and then to the helicopter. Watch this demonstration and then think about the implications of this technology for your organization. What kind of employee will you have to hire? What type of training will you have to provide? How will it change your job description and your compensation system? Does this create a world of individual performers or would this technology allow teamwork?
I can think of many industries this would have impact on. Indeed it might be hard to think of an industry that would not be affected by this potential technology. Give it some thought and let me know how you see this impacting you.
By the way, I am typing this on a Bluetooth keyboard for my iPad. I would love to have just “thought” this and not cramp my big fingers on this tiny keyboard.  

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