There is no doubt that automation, robotics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) herald a massive change for our society.

Apple’s 2014 financial forecast included a $10.5 billion investment in supply chain robots & machinery to do tasks such as polishing the plastic case on the iPhone 5c to testing camera lenses, and Amazon now has a workforce of 15,000 mobile Kiva robots deployed across 10 of its 50 US fulfilment centres to move merchandise more quickly and efficiently.

It is predicted that many manual jobs will be lost, hitting the low-paid hardest, but that automation will also impact commoditised knowledge jobs, such as researchers or data analysts.

What might this mean for us as coaches?  What might the clients of the future bring to their coaching?

Will leaders feel more guilt?  Will they struggle to adapt to the change?  Will they become less human?  Will HR become redundant?

And what if we, the coaches, were replaced?

You may have read the other day that an AI application got better results at detecting skin cancer than highly trained dermatologists.  There are now AI chat bots – technology you can talk with. Robots are being programmed to identify human emotion through facial recognition, temperature monitoring, skin hue etc.  Is an AI coach just around the corner?

What if your competitor wasn’t another coach but was a robot?

Steve Ridgley works with individuals as a coach and as a supervisor. He also works with business leaders exploring how the hidden dynamics of the organisational system can work to support their aims alongside the personal growth of individuals and teams within the organisation.