Leading a robot-human workforce

January 29, 2019 9:58 am

We are quickly moving to a hybrid workforce which will transform the way we work and lead in most industries. In their article, Stephanie Hyde and Wilson Chow, outline some of the changes that will develop for the C-suite as we integrate more tech at work.  They highlight the necessity for executives to blend a tech-savvy and data-driven mindset with exceptional emotional, social skills.

Preparing the workforce to change significantly is essential. As the authors of this article suggest, technology will necessitate changes in governance, structure, roles and responsibilities.

From our experience working with organisations across various industries, the tech changes discussed in this article are matched by the equally significant changes that will be required to meet the needs of a more diverse workforce; to address changing community expectations and subsequent shifts in regulation/legislation, as well as, challenges imposed by climate change. All of this will result in a future of work that looks and feels very different to today.  These changes will impact every level of organisation, from the board of directors through to the front-line employees/contractors.

This article and others like it, highlight the fact that self-awareness, which has always been important for good leadership, is now a moving target – where previous strengths can now become liabilities. Anyone who intends to lead in the future needs to ensure they are regularly assessing their experience/skill set against the new standard/requirements, and making appropriate changes because the past is not necessarily the same for the future.

Tips for leaders of the future

  1. Build your capacity to remain open to ‘what is’, even if it means facing the fact that you or that your business is ‘out of step’. This can be hard, we all want to believe we already have what it takes to be successful, but that is not the case anymore. Because of how the human brain functions, it is easy to see ‘what we want to see’, not what is actually happening when things are changing fast.
  2. Constantly assess yourself. How do you perform under pressure, with a set of rules that keep changing, in an environment that regularly surprises? It is not enough to know how you perform in the ‘best of circumstances’, or how you would like to perform. Leaders must find ways to ‘get feedback’ about performance under the same circumstance that they actually have to work.
  3. Learning is not an option anymore. It is not possible to assume you have mastered your industry or profession. It will keep changing which means leaders have to adopt a learning mindset – including a healthy approach to mistakes and the ability to build capacity as you go.

If your industry, like many, is expecting to be disrupted by technology, and you would like to know more about how to future-proof your leadership, we would love to talk to you. We have developed programs that help leaders ‘stress test’ their leadership and build their capacity to lead themselves and others in a fast-changing high-uncertainty marketplace.


Photo by Lukas on Unsplash


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.