From the best-selling author of Talent Is Overrated, an extensive look at the essential human skills that can never be replaced by technology.
In the economy of a few years from now, what will people do better than computers? Technology is rapidly invading fields that it once could not touch, driving cars better than humans do, predicting Supreme Court decisions better than legal experts, packing boxes, identifying faces, scurrying around hospitals delivering medications, all faster, more reliably, less expensively than people. In a world like that, how will we and our children achieve a rising standard of living?
The real issue is what we humans are hardwired to do for and with one another, arising from our deepest, most essentially human abilities - empathy, social sensitivity, storytelling, humor, forming relationships, creativity. These are how we create value that all people hunger for, that is unique and not easily quantified.
Individuals and companies are already discovering that these high-value abilities create tremendous competitive advantage - more devoted customers, stronger cultures, breakthrough ideas, more effective teams. They're discovering also that while many of us regard these abilities as innate traits - "he's a real people person", "she's naturally creative" - it turns out they can all be developed and are being developed in far-sighted organizations from software firms to the US Army to the Cleveland Clinic. To a far greater degree than most of us ever imagined, we already have what it takes.
“Geoff Colvin’s fresh take on how to respond to the rise of brilliant machines and the changing nature of work is as wise as it is inspiring.” (Dominic Barton, global managing director, McKinsey & Company)
“Beautifully written and deeply researched, Humans Are Underrated is one of the most creative and insightful leadership books I have ever read. It is a triumph!” (Doris Kearns Goodwin, Pulitzer Prize-winning historian)
“A powerful exposition of the strengths and limitations of technology in shaping our lives and addressing today’s greatest challenges. More than ever, as Colvin demonstrates, we need people who embody the most human of qualities. An uplifting account of the enduring potential of humanity itself.” (Paul Polman, CEO, Unilever)