Technology transformed

21 October 2019 – CMI Southern and Solent University

… As you travel in your self-driving Uber to meet a potential new business partner, your smart specs project an image of the person you are about meet. Your glasses whisper the name of your client, when and where you last met, what was discussed and why you’re meeting today. You are also reminded you may want to ask about their new baby…  

Not a science fiction book but one scenario imagined by the Technology Transformed breakout group at the CMI Southern and Solent University event in October 2019 to explore the future of Management and Leadership. Five further teams considered the other key agents of change identified by the CMI.  

Managers and leaders at all stages in their career came together to consider when and how technologies such as artificial intelligence, analytics, self-learning systems and ubiquitous connectivity will affect their organisation, the role of managers and leaders, and the skills managers and leaders will need to be successful in the future.  

All the managers in this breakout thought 40 to 60 per cent of organisations will be significantly transformed by technology in the next 5 to 10 years with 20 percent of managers predicting more than 80 per cent of organisations will be transformed. More than eighty percent of managers predicted that ubiquitous connectivity will make working anywhere (including at home) the norm.  

Given these predictions attendees identified knowledge and innovation as critical skills for managers and leaders to develop, along with curiosity, creativity, resilience, self-management, social intelligence, empathy, adaptability, entrepreneurship, vision, passion for the industry, confidence and new communication skills.  

Managers and leaders will be responsible for enabling their organisation to deliver and support the introduction and use of new technologies such as automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning.  

Attendees felt managers and leaders will need a blend of skills to identify and manage technology and people change.  Strong technology skills, understanding the impacts, critical thinking and analytical skills were seen as key to successful technology change. 

Managing people through this scale of change will require excellent social intelligence, good communications, awareness of different levels of ability, cultural awareness, empowerment, trust, awareness of individual context, empathy towards individual experiences, listening skills and the ability to manage frustrations. 

Given the scale of change predicted the group anticipated managers will require leadership, positivity, single mindedness, an open mind, vision, a solid plan, and personal resilience to withstand ongoing change and setbacks.  

Participants agreed that while the future of management and leadership will be significantly different, they are optimistic about the future and recognise ongoing professional development will be essential for future success.   

Article by Jo Strain, CMI Southern board member 

Links to related materials

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

The following articles share the CMI Management 4.0 theme-related insights and feedback created by each breakout team of Southern managers and leaders. 

Summary of the Patterns of Work group

  • Flexible working is now expected by the younger generation 
  • Working hours have increased but we haven’t seen an increase in productivity  
  • We are expected to deliver more results with less resources 

The above points are the key changes to working patterns a variety of leaders and managers from all sectors (and at different stages of their careers) observed in the past five years in the world of work.  

The latest CMI Southern and Solent University event focused on The Future of Management and Leadership, and as one of the six breakout groups we focused on ‘Patterns of Work’. You can explore the other key themes identified by CMI in a previous post.

Considering the changes to patterns of work managers and leaders have observed so far, how do they feel things will continue to change and evolve? 

From an ethical point of view managers will need to have clear expectations of remote working to ensure development of culture that accepts (and trusts) working remotely as well as ensuring people are not feeling under pressure to be accessible 24/7 to compensate for not being based in a physical office. We will see a significant increase in the use of Virtual Reality and our connectivity will increase, but interestingly managers and leaders don’t feel a lot will change within the public sector within the next 5-10 years. 

Change and evolution of our working patterns will support society’s changing expectations of work by changing focus from being ‘time focused to being results focused’, as well as enabling us to choose environments that help us to be more productive instead of forcing everyone to work from the same location at the same time.  

The ability to be more flexible will bring a lot of advantages i.e. reduced commuting times and ability to manage our work-life balance better, but it also brings the risk of increased presenteeism and managers and leaders need to be very aware of it. 

Working parents and people with other commitments will be better supported by more opportunities to job share and focus on results delivered rather than hours worked so people can decide their working hours in accordance to their other commitments i.e. split shift times around school runs. 

AI will remove the need for most administrative roles, processes will be streamlined and efficiency increased whilst most manual tasks will get eliminated to enable people to focus on creativity and delivery of ‘big picture’ results.  

More upskilling will be required and managers need to be aware of the fact that some people might struggle to adapt to new ways of working and erosion of some roles, which could lead to struggles with morale. 

Overall across our whole discussion and a variety of different questions debated one key point kept coming up as the biggest change we are about to face: focus from time/hours worked to results delivered.  

This change will allow people to concentrate on what’s truly important in their jobs, be more productive and take away the restrictions of having to be in a certain location between certain hours in order to be considered a good employee.  

Managers and leaders will play a vital role in this evolution of patterns of work as trust, collaboration and integrity will be essential in this transformation of the world of work as we know it.  

Article by Nina Murray , CMI Southern Board  member

Links to Management Direct resources for CMI members

You may need to login as a CMI member to access some of the resources below 

Stop the meeting madness: how to free up time for meaningful work https://members.md.cmi.org.uk/Content/Display/85091 

How to manage out of office workers https://www.managers.org.uk/insights/news/2015/september/how-to-manage-out-of-office-workers 

Is the five day week an outdated model?https://members.md.cmi.org.uk/Content/Display/79857

Summary of the Leadership transformed group

The future of Artificial Intelligence (AI) will remove the burden from standardised procedures and guarantees a consistent approach which will ultimately speed up processes such as training, vetting, onboarding, data mining etc it was still felt that human intervention is needed when the activity is not binary or clear-cut. 

It is expected that as a result of increased reliance on AI that the compilation of the workforce will change, where there will be less admin and support roles and more technology-based roles to support the use of AI; software development, programming, IT support etc. Whilst AI is a powerful tool for future leaders, the traits expected for leaders now and in the future remain the same; empathy, humility, open-minded, technologically curious, embracing of change, and culturally intelligence (CQ) becoming more vital as the workplace becomes more culturally diverse and enriched. 

Experience suggested that in the past leaders lacked emotional intelligence and the ability to self-reflect. In the past leaders have lacked emotional intelligence and intuition, an innate skill and attribute that cannot be mechanised by AI, however the use of psychometric tools have been positively regarded as a useful too for leaders.

Article by Laura Usher, CMI Southern Board Member