Industry Insights

4 Tips to Develop Future Leaders in the Age of Automation

Posted by Diana Montero on Nov 26, 2019 11:23:46 AM

Technological trends are challenging the traditional corporate learning systems and programs used for talent development. To succeed in the future workplace, your L&D strategy should consider new technologies such as automation as an advantage rather than a threat.

Future of Workplace

The first and most crucial step is to understand the overall business context and be able to align learning with the organizational strategy. Yes, it is easier said than done, but here are four tips to prepare future leaders for an inevitable shift in the nature of their roles.

Develop leadership skills rather than technical abilities

Contrary to what most people think, this is not about operating highly-complex systems and mastering all available technologies. This is about expanding skill sets that the future workforce needs. Future-Proof Leaders will apply emotional intelligence, creativity, and empathy to improve the quality of their interactions with clients, users or patients. Intelligent systems, on the other hand, will handle most paperwork and other easily programmable tasks.

This shift emphasizes the importance of being effective in your communications when collaborating with others and finding the appropriate channels to establish a more personal, human connection.

Bring in experiential learning into your L&D strategy

Brain plasticity decreases over time, making harder for adults to retain information through listening and reading. Experiential learning captures attention because it is an immersive and hands-on method where learners are active recipients of knowledge.

In corporate settings, experiential learning techniques are very useful to acquire the leadership skills in demand. From design thinking to business simulation tools, the “Action” and “Reflection” time allows leaders to put into practice behaviors and skills in a close-to-reality but risk-free environment. It will be vital to provide spaces to continue using the new skills acquired once participants get back to their everyday jobs.

Shift the focus from institutions to individuals

Once you have defined the skills you need and when you need them, empower future leaders to learn.  Organizations have to offer employees tools to better assess their current skill level. Self-awareness exercises and 360 assessments are two of the most common ways to identify gaps, development opportunities, and potential of individuals to take on leadership roles.

Traditional L&D functions have been using a hierarchical approach to develop talent. The future workplace demands preparing talents at all levels, including entry-level where activities can be easily executed by intelligent solutions and technologies available. To make this individual journey possible and truly empower leaders, it is important to make available easy-to-use, effective learning system and blended solutions.

Train your leaders to be adaptable and responsive to the VUCA world

No one knows how exactly the future of the workplace will look like in the next decade or two. Today we talk about automation but tomorrow it could be another challenge. Therefore, it is important to develop people with the agility and resilience necessary to drive profitable growth and accomplish the objectives under uncertainty and constant change.

Future leaders must be ready to multitask, undertake the upskilling process to redefine their current role and use digital skills to leverage automation effectively.

Humans vs Machines

In conclusion, this is not a race between humans and machines. The future workplace requires alignment between technology and future-focused people strategy. Those responsible for future planning need to sit at the same table with those in charge of leadership development to design integrated plans together that can bring optimal advantages for the organization.

Develop Your Future-Proof Leaders

To attract, develop, and/or retain the next generation of leaders, it is essential to see talents as consumers of workplace experiences. If you would like to find out how StratX ExL can help you build immersive, experiential learning programs that can help your leaders transition into new roles, download our latest white paper or reach out to one of our expert consultants today.

Future-Proofing Leaders White Paper

Topics: Leadership Development, Experiential Learning

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