Industry has gone through many revolutions throughout history and it’s constantly changing and adapting. The newest version of the industrial revolution is being referred to as Industry 4.0. Leaders in this economy are engaging in new methods of people and resource management. Leading in this rapidly changing world is now being referred to as Leadership 4.0. What exactly does this mean and how can you become a leader in this new technologically advanced world?
Leadership 4.0 revolves around the new primarily digital economy. The industrial revolution of the past focused on physical assets and finding new ways to produce and manage them. Today’s economy largely depends on digital assets and methods of using them for commerce.
This digitization has created new challenges and opportunities for leaders and businesses. Technology has created a situation where it’s easier than ever for people to find other like-minded individuals and interact with them, no matter where they’re located. At the same time, this change has simultaneously created a culture that is less socialized than older generations. More screen time leads to less time socializing with friends and family in many cases.
This digital revolution has also made it so that new markets are created and implemented rapidly. It’s like a constant cycle of gold rushes appearing and then rapidly disappearing before some people even know to react. Mastering this digital revolution can be extremely challenging, but the potential rewards are immense. Being a successful leader in the Leadership 4.0 culture will require you to navigate several areas.
Remote Workers and Teams
In the old days, a company would bring everyone on a team together in the same place and put them to work. They might setup cubicles or have everyone in a big open room together. In today’s world, your team might be located in multiple countries or regions and you’re expected to make it work.
Technology has made it possible for many people to work remotely and get their work done just as if they were sitting at the office. Many businesses are starting to shift to this remote working model as it cuts down on overhead and doesn’t require as much physical space as before.
As a leader, finding a way to keep your remote teams engaged and interacting with their counterparts can be a challenge. Regular meetings and some kind of accountability structure is critical if you’re going to be successful as a leader of a remote team or employees.
Internet of Things
The Internet of Things or IoT is a concept that is quickly being deployed throughout the world economy in which everything is connected to a network. This makes it possible to track every part, every piece of inventory, and interact with it in some cases.
As tracking devices and components have gotten smaller and more affordable, it’s opened up a world of opportunity when it comes to tracking everything. This makes it easier to manage your inventory, store data, and connect more things to the Internet. It can also be a challenge to manage all of that if your company is investing in utilizing IoT technology.
Cloud computing is an extremely powerful technology that has changed the way businesses handle documents and software. Instead of having to keep a server or room of servers on property and maintain them, you simply utilize the cloud. Someone else has the servers, takes care of them, and ensures that they’re secure.
The advantages of utilizing this technology are numerous. You can eliminate paper documents, save money on IT support, save money on hardware, and access your documents and programs from anywhere. This technology is essential when you’re working with remote teams, as you and your people can access your stuff from anywhere. Cloud computing makes it possible to get more done, because you’re able to work at any time on any device.
With major advancements in artificial intelligence and automation, businesses are taking advantage of this technology to cut costs and speed up production times. Many manufacturing plants are now utilizing AI to manufacture their parts and products instead of using employees. While most plants have a combination of people and machines working together, some are automating everything.
The big advantage of using this technology is that you can cut costs. Cutting down on wages and benefits makes it possible for companies to save money and potentially get the products made faster. While some products are so advanced that AI is not a viable option, simpler products can be made without humans actually doing the work.
As a leader, figuring out how to utilize AI and automation, as well as teaching your employees how to work with it can be a major challenge. It’s hard to get used to robots working along side you as an employee.
Leadership 4.0 Concepts
Leaders in this new economy have to be focused on results. Good leaders will focus on the essential things and not worry about every last detail. Trust your people to get the job done, while looking at metrics and trends along the way.
You’ll also have to work on getting your team to work in harmony and keep them engaged. Today’s world tends to separate and alienate individuals. It’s your job to keep the team together and focused on growing with technology. It won’t always be easy, but the rewards are so massive that it’s worth figuring out.
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