Have you geared up for the 4th Industrial Revolution?
We can hardly believe that the 60th IPM Annual Convention and Exhibition is already over! We enjoyed 3 days of learning, networking and socializing. But the Convention explored a very serious theme this year, and really challenged us to sit up and think very clearly and carefully about what is going to happen in the future.
The theme of this year’s event, in case you missed it, was the 4th Industrial Revolution. Our challenge is how we gear up for that. Information and insights from the whole event will be digested and shared with you over time through channels like our Institute Journal, People Dynamics, but we want to pick out an over-arching message for you here.
As we explored in a previous blog post (add link to Blog 75), the 4th Industrial Revolution is about innovations based on combinations of technologies, and the increasingly blurred line between physical, digital and biological spheres. The distinction to be noted, with attention, is the velocity, scope and systems impact that characterizes this revolution. All disciplines will be impacted, all economies and industries. Read more about the key principles here.
In the 4th Industrial Revolution, there will be winners, and there will be losers. The demand is increasing on business to understand and respond to a rapidly changing environment with continuous and relentless innovation. There are also South Africa’s skills and talent shortages, combined with a vacuum in succession planning at middle management levels, as noted at the convention. We have to rethink our business models, organizational cultures and structures. There is a lot to tackle. And yet we should have more tools at our disposal to do so than ever before, given the pace of technological advancement, and new ways of discovering, collaborating and creating.
As people in the business of people, our call to action was issued loud and clear. We need to start gearing up for a future that will intensify today’s challenges, and to lead our organisations through it. And we need to gear up for that by being deeply collaborative in our relationships, innovative in our approach to solving challenges, and by embracing new technology so that it assists us. No other profession in the organization has the role and responsibility we do. But are we ready? Are we ready to change the game, personally, as a profession, as a team, and as an organization?
If you attended the event, we would like to hear the key insights you came away with, and how you will gear up as a result. Please share them with us.
Before we go, here is a Ted talk by Olivier Scalabre that puts another perspective on revolutions. Scalabre, surprisingly to some, explains how a fourth revolution will produce a macroeconomic shift and boost employment, productivity and growth. And he believes this revolution will be a manufacturing one. We encourage you to deepen the debate and your insight, by taking 20 minutes to watch it. We hope you enjoy it.