The future of work will either be cataclysmic or exciting. The robots could take all our jobs, or maybe there is an exciting future ahead for those of us who are willing to upskill. That is the ambiguous conclusion of the speakers at the Future Work Summit this week in Melbourne.
Either way, the impact is profound. The World Economic Forum has described the era we have now entered as the Fourth Industrial Revolution which, “….is characterized by a range of new technologies that are fusing the physical, digital and biological worlds, impacting all disciplines, economies and industries….” However, Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum has grave concerns: “that organizations might be unable to adapt; governments could fail to employ and regulate new technologies to capture their benefits; shifting power will create important new security concerns; inequality may grow; and societies fragment.”
How is Australian industry placed to address the strategic challenges of this new era? An important piece of research by Optus Business, investigated the readiness of Australian industries, enterprises and executives for Industry 4.0 and how their enterprises are progressing with their current digital transformations. The report found that, “while many Australian enterprises recognise the impact that Industry 4.0 will have, most are not yet strategically built to capitalise on it.”
Building the strategic capability that is required for Industry 4.0 is a significant leadership challenge. That leadership challenge is exacerbated by an ambiguous future. But dealing with ambiguity is one of the challenges that game-changing leaders face. They are able to balance diametrically opposed views. They move forward like a sailor on a yacht, correcting course as they go.
Leaders need resilience as they balance the ambiguity of an uncertain future. It turns out that Zenger Folkman found in some new research with 500 leaders that the most resilient leaders are also viewed as the most effective leaders. They have some suggestions below about the enabling behaviours that can help leaders build resilience and manage ambiguity.
- Communicate Powerfully
- Be Coachable
- Build Positive/Trusting Relationships
- Be a Bold Risk Taker
- Develop Others
- Champion Change
- Be Decisive
Are you dealing with ambiguity?
Best regards, Brian
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