The future is now, are you prepared for what's coming?
THE future is not far away, it's happening now - driven by technology, a global market place and a rapidly changing workforce.
Demographics are shifting. People are living and working longer and their expectations of work are changing.
No longer just a means to provide, employees want fulfilling, satisfying and interesting work, with the potential to change the world.
And at this convergence in history, leaders need to be change agents and lift their game to even higher levels.
It's with these beliefs that Rockhampton award-winning businesswoman and leader, Elize Hattin sits on an exclusive leadership panel today.
She joins Zac Garven from Empire Hotel, NAB senior business banking manager, Tammy Staib and project engineer in the Australian Army, Benjamin Brown in a masterclass conducted by the Institute of Managers and Leaders.
Ms Hattin's topic is Leading in 2025 and Beyond.
She says technology is the number one driver of change and is disrupting the way we live and work, in a profound way.
"Work is shifting into a globalised marketplace, it's mobile and it's driven by change," she said.
"Each generation has its own quirks and their own potential, opportunities and challenges.
"In the past, if you wanted to do something you had to wait - you had to be accepted, promoted or discovered.
"Now technology has created a more equal playing field and allows us to take the lead, to connect, to publish or distribute.
"I'm personally very excited, but I'm concerned for the people who refuse to see the future, who refuse to get with the program and accept the world is changing."
Elize Hattin grew up in a small town in South Africa, studied psychology at university, then started her first small business, manufacturing handbags.
After selling the business, she moved to the United Kingdom and a short stint indulging a love for fashion design.
"I realised then that what I really loved to do was business, and relate with people," she said.
"So I trained as a life coach in the UK, then as a business coach in the US - my next business was in coaching."
During her time in the UK, Ms Hattin met many Australians who she said were all amazing people and all wanted to come home.
Alongside her husband, a GP, she arrived in Australia with a seven-month-old baby, four suitcases and a dream to live near the ocean.
It drew them to Rockhampton and eventually Yeppoon where they've lived for the past five years.
"We're so lucky to be alive at this time and part of this phenomenal shift," she said.
"Even though change is challenging, the world is getting better.
"But it's never been more important to be a self-leader, to take responsibility for yourself.
"Gone is the career for life or the company that will look after you until you retire."
Today's masterclass at CQUniversity is named Accidental Manager to Intentional Leader.
It's aim is to build leadership awareness and skills, especially in those who find themselves as 'accidental managers' - those people who are promoted because they are good at their job then find themselves in a position they aren't suited to or trained for.
Ms Hattin says leadership is a skill that can be developed - that it's a process and part of becoming intentional, through training and mentoring.
"I don't know that our schools are doing a good job," she said.
"I'm concerned about our education system, as it exists, it doesn't teach enough of the skills required for future work.
"As a country we need to take a hard look at what the future looks like, how technology is changing everything and adjust the education system to focus on training and education for the future."
As manager at Rockhampton's Smart Hub, a co-working space designed to support start-ups, some of Ms Hattin's time is spent engaging with the new generation of social entrepreneurs.
A group called Young Change Agents is sponsored by Smart Hub and Rockhampton Regional Council to run workshops in schools.
From next year, an accelerator program run by the council and Energex will take those business ideas to the next level of training.
"Being a social entrepreneur is about business that exists to solve a social problem," she said.
"Orange Sky Laundry or Backpacks for the Homeless are good examples.
"The skills are the same, but applied to a social problem - there's still a need for a profit or else it's not viable."
As excited as she is about embracing change and the opportunities that come with it, Ms Hattin readily acknowledges there are some things that technology and artificial intelligence will never replace.
"I'm yet to meet a kid who doesn't want to make the world better in some way," she said.
"That's pure when we are younger - the ability to imagine and create, to take something from the mind and create it in reality.
"Technology can never beat us in those creative qualities and in the drive to grow and be better.
"What's ultimate is compassion and empathy, technology will never be able to do that."