The Future of Work After AI: Human Wisdom Will Be the Most Valuable Business Asset

by Jena Morgan

Jena Morgan, CLFP has been in the equipment finance industry for more than 10 years and is currently the chief operating officer at 360 Equipment Finance. She strives to remove roadblocks from the sales cycle, enhance productivity from people and deliver a superb customer experience. Morgan’s vision for ongoing improvement, drive for execution on the deliverables and deep love for helping people get where they want to go makes her a unique leader. Morgan is a technology visionary who has been able to see the impact technology and data can have on both the customer experience and operational excellence. She is passionate about taking visions from great ideas to people and profit powerhouses. She believes the equipment finance industry can be the leader in technology deployment rather than the follower. Morgan was honored to be on the 2024 ELFA Independent Business Council Steering Committee and the 2024 ELFA Funding Conference Independent Roundtable Subcommittee. She is an avid advocate of industry organizations and continuing their strong partnerships. She is excited to volunteer in these capacities. She lives in Minnesota with her husband and their three children — two human and one animal.

What will the workplace look like when AI takes over our day-to-day tasks? Jena Morgan envisions a future filled with more human interactions, time affluence and purpose for every human in the workplace.

What does the future of work after AI look like? What if the most valuable business asset over the coming decades will be the wisdom of our mid-lifers and elders? I predict a big Western culture shift in which we will respect the generations that came before us and listen to their wisdom. We will open our minds, shrink our to-do lists, slow our daily grinds, breathe and listen to our thought leaders. We have so much to learn from those who have done this before, and the insights that will come from these teachings will push us forward into faster innovation and better outcomes.

For some, this may sound lofty and too far out there. I predict it is closer than we think with artificial intelligence. Imagine a future where all the day-to-day tasks are done by AI — everything we enter, calculate, write, save and shuffle is done for us. What if machines really did take our jobs? What would we do every day? What would we have more of? What would we have less of? How would you take your business to the next level? I know this might be hard to imagine as something practical that could actually happen and not a “nice” idea, but let’s think about how this could be true.

Increased Human Interactions

We are entering into a relational playing field filled with more human interactions. If we don’t have our heads down in tasks, we will get to look up and talk to each other. We will no longer be staring at our computers all day. We will dive into deeper conversations that will give us deeper relationships. We will be listening and learning from each other.

This increased human interaction is an opportunity to master the skill sets of big-picture thinking, deeper relationship building, self-regulation and discipline of the mind. We will need to figure out how to create value in a different way for our customers and partners and how to move our industry.

Time for Affluence and White Space

If we don’t have day-to-day to-dos, what will we do with our free time? We will have more time for thinking and trying new things. We will have white space and clear head space to think about what is going well, not going well and what is next. The wisdom of our mid-lifers and elders will have an important seat at this table. We will have time to get out of the weeds and work on the business rather than in the business. We will have time for new ideas, doors will open for entrepreneurship, intrapreneurship and innovation, which require us to take a step out of our current thought patterns and into a new headspace. I believe introverts and deep thinkers, which have not historically been valued in Western business culture, will be in high demand.

We will no longer have to worry about trying to achieve the work-life balance that has been scientifically proven to be impossible and finally embrace the notion of life fluidity, meaning we will meld work and home life into one life. We will take more risks, not be afraid to be a beginner and travel the world to open up our minds to different ways of doing things, all because we will have time affluence.

Cultivating Purpose

What gives life meaning and purpose? It is taking what we have learned and giving it away to others. Wisdom from the people who have had more experiences, done more things, traveled to more places and been through harder times will have a newfound glory, space and appreciation from others to share their stories. These insights will take companies to the next level by catapulting innovation and intra-entrepreneurship. AI will allow this space to cultivate more meaning and purpose in our lives and our businesses. AI is not happening to us, it is happening for us and it is a beautiful thing.

We are already starting to see the effects of this change in action. Business media outlets are focusing more and more on the importance of soft skills in our leaders. Showing empathy to our teams and developing meaning and purpose as a requirement for continuity and productivity from our people is becoming the norm versus the exception. This is a big change from the early days of people working because they need the money and businesses asserting that employees should be grateful to just have a job. Today, we are seeing a shift from having everyone come to the office so leadership knows they are working, to teams wanting to be together because it gives them purpose.

You might be wondering why you should care, and what will this do for business. If the predictions are true, AI will assume the roles of taskmaster, doer and grinder. What’s left will be the wisdom of our minds. I, for one, am so excited for this transition and the unraveling of how we live every day. I am excited about how it will open doors for amazing possibilities.

Work after AI could be the best thing that ever happened to the human experience. People are lonely, isolated and burned out, and the aging workforce is wondering what is next for them. With a shift to increasing human interactions, time affluence and purpose, people will bring renewed energy to work every day. Midlife will no longer be a crisis and as Chip Conley, author of “Learning to Love Midlife,” puts it, it will be a chrysalis. There will no longer be failed retirements but a transformation to an ever-increasing importance for more experienced voices at the table. The energy and wisdom that people will bring to companies will add exponentially to the top and bottom lines because, as it has been proven, humans are companies’ most valuable asset.

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