The 6 new roles your business needs that a robot can’t do

Whether you’re a large enterprise or a start up, identifying the job roles you need to fill is an on-going challenge. Getting the right team in place is the difference between survival and demise. As the world changes around us some roles look like technology might just finish them off. The rise of AI and machine learning means traditional audit roles could become a thing of the past. There are many more such roles where repeatable tasks mean a machine could replace a human in 5 years time.

But there is some good news out there. Technology is unlikely to destroy all jobs. While automation is good at replacing roles where tasks are well defined and repeatable, it is terrible at handling more complex positions.

So, want to prepare for the future? Have kids in school you don’t want replaced by Audit3000? Read on…

Here are the 5 key roles that most businesses lack and that technology won’t easily be able to replace.

  1. Chief of Staff

Sounds like we’re talking about the West Wing here but Josh Lyman epitomises the role in its simplest form. A Chief of Staff (CoS) is someone who normally reports into a senior member of the leadership team. Most companies experimenting with this role typically position it to guard and guide the likes of the CEO and CTO. The role of the CoS is to act as the gatekeeper to senior leadership. They help to sieve and assess information before it goes upwards. Their role is to ensure their boss is able to manage by exception and deliver on the company’s strategic goals. A good CoS will push back against pet projects and wasteful meetings. They will also have their back when political upheaval comes calling.

2. Prioritisation Specialist

This is a role that nearly every company needs. Prioritisation is one of the hardest things for any company to achieve. Most teams start with 30 items on a list and finish with 30 items on a list, albeit in a different number order. Prioritising objectives, investments, programmes, projects and other tasks requires skill and a menagerie of tools and methodologies. Most companies would run far better if they dedicated time and resources to getting prioritisation right.

3. Talent Chief

This isn’t just another start-up word for HR. Talent is about recruiting, on-boarding, nurturing and promoting the world’s best employees. Competition out there is fierce and will only get more intense as we move into the age of the freelancer. Talent is also about identifying weaknesses in your internal bench strength and mitigating this threat to ensure seamless succession of new leaders. Finding talent is a lot harder than before. The role of a Talent Chief is to concentrate on matching individuals who’ve mastered a certain skill to core business challenges. HR still has it’s role to play but Talent isn’t about mediation, compromise agreements and consultation exercises.

4. Localisation Specialist

Critical if you’re expanding internationally but a role many companies fail to recruit for. If you plan to take on China make sure you have a local specialist who can help establish the business and secure traction. There’s nothing more worrying than a company embarking on entering a new market with the view that translated assets and content are the only localisation they need. This role is all about establishing a business but recognising where changes are required given local customs, traditions and cultural nuances.

5. Growth Manager

Similar to business development but with a more focused remit on how a business should plan its growth rather than react in real time. Of course events on the ground require companies to be nimble but few actually dedicate thinking time and resources to sensibly planning how they grow.

6. Diversity Lead

The audience buying your product isn’t all white and they certainly aren’t all male so why would your company be? Diversity isn’t the latest boardroom fad it’s essential if you want your business to be successful. It is impossible to deliver a ground breaking product or service for a population if your build, design and operate teams don’t reflect the make-up of that population. Diversity breeds new thinking and divergent perspectives that will benefit the work you do. A diversity lead is there to outline the strategy and to execute diversity initiatives across the company. They should work closely with HR and Talent to ensure minority groups have an equal chance at securing positions throughout the organisation.

At Strategy Activist we help start-ups and enterprise businesses to design roles that will help them survive and thrive in the age of disruption. To learn more about what we do visit or call us on +44 7786063053.

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