Author Profile Picture

Helen Green

Quest Leadership

Leadership Collaborator

Read more from Helen Green

googletag.cmd.push(function() { googletag.display(‘div-gpt-ad-1705321608055-0’); });

Implementing leadership strategies

default-16x9

The world is on the cusp of a fourth Industrial Revolution. So says the World Economic Forum in a report entitled The Future of Jobs. According to the report the combination of hardware development, robotics and massive computing power will expand information technology way beyond its current software remit. In the process there will be a radical shift in both consumer requirements and employable skills; effectively transforming some business sectors.

Of course, there is nothing new in predicting that technological change will transform the job market. Way back in the 1970s when computing was in its infancy, science programmes were predicting a rise in leisure time thanks to increasing technological potential. And just last year, another report highlighted the way in which technological improvements had led to a reduction in jobs at the lower end of the scale, but that job losses had more than been replaced by higher skilled positions.

In drawing up its report, the World Economic Forum (WEF) surveyed senior executives and chief human resources officers across 15 major developed and emerging economies. Representing nine broad industry sectors and more than 13 million employees, those surveyed were asked to predict how jobs in their industry would change in the years up to 2020. According to the predictions, hardest hit will be routine tasks undertaken by white-collar workers, whilst on a positive note those working in roles such as computing and engineering will see a greater demand for their skills.

Manage, shape and lead change

Whilst the shift from routine to skill-based jobs brings tremendous opportunity, managing such a seismic change requires foresight and leadership. With this in mind, the WEF counsels that businesses and governments do not have the decades which it took during previous industrial revolutions to develop the new set skill sets required on a large scale. Action is required now to plan and manage the transition and to build a workforce with future proof skills; particularly as responders to the survey predicted that the technological shift would occur within the next five years.

However, whilst those responding to the survey generally recognised the need for urgent action, many were also acutely aware of their lack of planning for disruptive change. For example, only 53% of chief human resources officers were reasonably or highly confident about their organisations future workforce strategy. Barriers to change included a lack of understanding of the disruptive changes ahead, resource constraints and a lack of alignment between workforce and innovation strategies.

If the WEF predictions come to fruition, organisations will have to be prepared to fundamentally alter their employee training, expectations and outlook. Suggestions from the WEF for immediate action include the reinvention of the HR function to one which is more strategic and the leveraging of flexible working arrangements and online talent platforms. But such a radical change in outlook also requires business leaders who themselves have the skills to manage the transition to a more technological era. As the WEF says “the talent to manage, shape and lead the changes underway will be in short supply unless we take action today to develop it.”

Author Profile Picture
Helen Green

Leadership Collaborator

Read more from Helen Green
Newsletter

Get the latest from TrainingZone.

Elevate your L&D expertise by subscribing to TrainingZone’s newsletter! Get curated insights, premium reports, and event updates from industry leaders.

 

Thank you!