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  • Ben Leeson

Exploring the Leadership Skills of the Future.

Our world is experiencing what many refer to as the Fourth Industrial

Revolution, an era that is completely transforming how we work. More

specifically, Artificial Intelligence (AI), Machine Learning (ML), Robotics and

other innovative technologies are changing how we operate and providing

added flexibility and efficiency. As a consequence, we have experienced a

dramatic shift in the overall profile of the workforce. As technology continues

to influence industries, our workplace will inevitably progress and change.



Our future work is heavily dependent on new technology. Business leaders

need to deliver the necessary skills to support their organisation in maintaining its competitiveness and taking control of up skilling and

implementing the mentoring support and development for their teams.

Technology has a direct impact on our workforce. According to “Robots and

Jobs: Evidence from the U.S. Labor Markets”, every robot integrated per

1,000 workers generates a 0.2% decline in the overall employment-to-

population ratio, equating to a total loss of approximately 400,000 jobs.


The World Economic Forum anticipates that technology innovation in the

workplace will eliminate nearly 85 million jobs worldwide by 2025. While this

may be a worrying figure, the rise in technology will reportedly generate 97

million jobs with different skill sets to meet the rising technology demand in

business.


Finding suitable candidates to fill these positions will be challenging as the

overall demand generally exceeds supply levels. Levels of productivity haven’t

maintained pace with the growth and development of technological

innovation. Eventually, workplaces will catch up as employees become more

familiar with adopting new technologies.


Business leaders will then shift their focus closer towards results,

accountability and flexibility, rather than where and how their team can get

the work done. Many job roles will require changes, but this requires time, and

often people will be uncertain of new technologies.


Business leaders will need to circumnavigate through this transition. With

more manual tasks managed by technology, employers will see a rising

demand for candidates with strong technical skills within various areas such

as artificial intelligence, machine learning, data science, analytics and cloud


computing. People will turn their attention towards value-added

responsibilities, strategic decision-making and problem-solving. Critical

thinking skills are a necessity for employees and their leaders.


Technology is advancing rapidly, and businesses are continuing to integrate

the latest and the most innovative systems to remain competitive. Achieving

this requires a certain quality of leadership that is agile and capable of

enabling this evolutionary path. Larger teams aren’t necessarily as flexible and

agile as a network of smaller groups capable of moving between new projects

and challenges.


As a business develops and its resources change, a growth mindset will ensure

leaders remain strategic and driven while following the latest innovations and

industry trends. Companies need to adapt before their competitors do and

have leaders that act as advocates so that their teams can achieve their goals.

Business leaders today need to provide their team with the necessary

resources and guidance. Understanding individual strengths and weaknesses

and providing training to deliver the right skill sets is critical.



In a tech-dominant world, strong communication skills are critical. Employees

need constant feedback so they can shift their goals and move to more

appropriate projects. Regular communications improve transparency, a vital

asset to developing a team and progressing as a business.


Aside from providing clear direction and strategy, future leaders will adopt the

role of being an influencer, using their success to share valuable insights and

motivating other individuals in reaching their goals.

The need for collaboration


HR leaders, the heads of other industries and decision-makers in technology

may not have spent much time working together in the past. Their positions

and responsibilities are often being siloed and separated from other

disciplines. In the new working world, this is all changing. Senior leaders from

across a broad set of industries are being encouraged to collaborate and tackle

the challenges faced by a modern working environment. Failing to work

together will inevitably influence success rates in the workplace.

As we work our way into the post-pandemic workplace, the strategic

challenges and implementing the best measures for now and future will be a

top priority.


Addressing the opportunities that exist within the workplace and utilising

greater collaboration between different teams and sectors will be vital to

developing the future workplace. The pandemic has accelerated the progress

of the workplace, and businesses worldwide continue to reassess their

priorities and adapt to a new normal. It has come with its challenges but has

also offered new opportunities. Those businesses that put people at the core of

their workplace strategy will likely be the ones that succeed in building a

workplace that empowers and retains a positive, productive and motivated

workforce.



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