Leadership in the age of the Fourth Industrial Revolution


Like the three previous industrial revolutions, the Fourth Industrial Revolution is dramatically changing the way we work. The fusion of advances in digitalization, automation, AI, robotics, IoT, engineering and other technologies leads to new emerging markets and new ways of working methods and processes where interaction and flexibility will be needed.

 This new age requires leaders who can secure their company’s future adaptability to changes and who can ensure that they have the right mix of skills. Digital Natives require a new type of leadership, and you will probably experience a difference between the generations where younger employees will expect new ways of working, while others may not. You and your employees will need to constantly develop in order to catch up with the digital world.

Leadership today means working as team. The importance lies in finding the right combination of talents and engage and motivate them to participate and strive towards the set strategies and goals. Leaders must engage his/her employees, which requires situational, competence-based leadership and willingness to hand over responsibility. Moving past the traditional values of hierarchy, most leaders today realize that EQ is as important as IQ and that employees want to be involved in decisions. The leader has developed into a motivator and coach and company culture is depending on trust, transparency and integrity. Due to the technological development, it is not as important to be at the workplace anymore. If you have access to the internet you can work efficiently everywhere. Working life and personal life becomes more connected and when and where work is done is less important and key is deadlines and results being achieved when required. This also requires a more flexible leadership in terms of how to collaborate and create the most efficient teamwork.

By making sure that you have the right digital competence on board and a team that can adapt quickly to changes, together with a culture of transparency and flexibility, you are on the right track to success.

Ann Johansson