20. The Paradox of Efficiency

With the continual integration of AI into our lives and work, we're often faced with efficiency breaks that will help us complete our current scope better, faster and more effectively. As pattern recognition software can help expedite mundane tasks, our attention is freed up. But for most parents, these breaks in efficiency aren't necessarily a "go home early" ticket, or path towards a reduced workweek. In fact, what we more frequently recognize is the opposite.

Although we can get more efficient in our work, we can't rush innovation. And innovation - big, world changing, market changing innovation - has never been more important to the salvation of our careers. But as everyone seeks to make themselves more efficient in their roles (to ensure their own marketability and family's stability), we get faced with what feels like ever more work. And not just easy stuff - the big, hard tasks that don't have clean, easy endings. Why? Because if it was an easy efficiency, the machines would do it.

Instead, we get faced with the requirement of generating big innovations - and that's the hard part. Staying ahead of the big innovation curve by really applying your creativity to transform businesses and processes will be the goal - and that's not easy, time constrained or predictable.

Perhaps the most disheartening part about this podcast, is there really isn't a good, positive takeaway for parents or their kids. Businesses, people and countries will continue to compete for scarce resources, and the role of people in these endeavors is, and will continue to, change. The more efficient you get today, the more the weight of innovation will rest on your shoulders tomorrow. But the competitiveness of your market, shareholders and company a lot on these changes, because if they don't integrate, they'll face being left behind.

So is there a way to break this cycle? Sadly, we don't know of one. But knowing the paradox is afoot can help you better maintain long-term and big-picture perspectives on your work, market and business. Knowing that efficiency brings more work and requirement will aid your efforts in the "race to the top" offering more to your markets and customers.