The Great Debate: Management 4.0

“Despite the increasing use of robots, we don’t think managers are going to be replaced by robots. The role of managers and leaders will change though.”

Rob Wall, CMI Head of Policy

CMI Southern and Solent University’s joint Management 4.0 event in October 2019 was truly eye opening and thought provoking. Judging by the huge number of people who attended – it really highlighted the changes that we are experiencing and people’s eagerness to prepare for the new and emerging leadership and management styles.

A wonderfully diverse range of managers and leaders came together to contribute to CMI’s year-long research into the future of management and leadership. Rob Wall introduced us to CMI’s concept of Management 4.0 and broke it down to 6 key themes.

Technology Transformed

What will innovations like AI, automation and new ways of communicating mean for the role of a manager? Will we see the rise of the digital leader? Which industries and regions will face the greatest challenge?

Patterns of Work Transformed

Employee expectations are changing, with a desire for more flexible, self-directed forms of work that allow better work-life balance. How will managers and businesses respond?

Business Transformed

How can we ensure that rapid, disruptive business models are able to develop managers as they grow? What will technology mean for existing business models? Will we see increased demand for new forms of corporate governance?

Society Transformed

As the population ages and becomes more diverse, what new challenges will managers face and how will leaders adapt? How is the balance of power shifting in the workplace?

Lifelong Learning Transformed

Long gone are the days of spending the whole of your career at one company. Up-skilling and re-skilling will become even more important; how should we facilitate this? And who’s responsibility is it?

Leadership Transformed

With command-and-control styles of management becoming extinct, what skills and attributes will tomorrow’s leaders need to thrive? What new leadership styles will evolve? How will leaders demonstrate good practice when it comes to the ethics of AI?

These questions are of course very broad and tend to generate complex answers so it was really helpful that we were able to work in smaller facilitated groups and really focus on one theme at a time.

We finished the event with a fun and hands on session focused on our feelings. We contemplated the question “as an individual how prepared do we feel for working in the Fourth Industrial Revolution?”

LEGO isn’t the first thing that comes to mind when talking about preparing for the next Industrial Revolution, yet it really helped us to express our thoughts and feelings really well. Some real deep and serious answers came out of the fun we had building our creations.

So how prepared do you feel for the Fourth Industrial Revolution?

Nina Szewczak
CMI Southern Board Member

Share your insights about the changing role and skills required by managers and leaders in the future via email, Twitter on @CMISouthern or LinkedIn: CMI Southern Region.

In the next articles we will look at each theme in turn and the insights and feedback from Southern managers and leaders.

Links to other resources

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