HR landscape is changing quickly, facing a continuous shift towards future trends in terms of employee engagement, internal communication dynamics and, most of all, leadership.
In many companies, jobs will change as technology starts to take over key roles that can easily be done by robots, bots and digital infrastructure. With this also comes a younger, much more tech-savvy generation who will be intuitive to the technology around them. There will be new types of jobs that will require new types of skills.
Undoubtedly existing skills will become increasingly redundant, and leaders will have to navigate the expectations of their people based on this new landscape of demand and supply of inter-changeable skills.
As always, in a future world of ever changing demands new leadership will be required to ensure we continue to thrive! What will be the role of future leaders in this dynamic?
They will connect people and ideas instead of telling people what to do and how they should be working. Future generations of employees will expect to be treated like leaders. They will want trust, autonomy and independence. Command and control leadership will be seen less and will eventually be phased out by natural selection as new generations have a style of leadership that is a product of how they see the world.
This style will be empowering in a fast paced working environment. This will not happen overnight, and the new generation of leaders will be better educated at an early age to understand that to get the most from people you need to treat them like leaders who can be trusted, as positive psychology becomes more embedded in our everyday lives.
The workforce demands will create new jobs where interchangeable skills will be required, and workers will need to demonstrate a high level of learning agility. Leaders will not be able to exert power through position or expertise as the need to know everything diminishes. This means the ability to bring out the best in their people, working ‘with’ them as opposed to ‘for’ them will be critical to their success as a leader.
This incredibly important move from the ‘checking of competence’ to one of ‘trust and empowerment’ will be a shift across all organisations, along with a move away from ‘performance measurement’ to focusing on the ‘whole person’ and how they add value to the organisation. This will be reflected in no longer needing out of date competencies, with a focus on what success looks like across the organisation along with an understanding of what the talent of the future is that is required today.
Leadership success factors will spread across organisations where individuals will understand what success means and associate with what good looks like, with the freedom to express themselves through these success factors. Leaders therefore will need to be leadership success factor role models.
The age of the ‘all-knowing leader’ will end
Leaders will ask questions and not search for answers or need to know everything. We have all been educated to search for the right answer to questions or problems, and this has impacted our creativity as we lose our imaginative nature because there has to be one correct answer. Logic teaches us this. Organisations are also set up to do the right thing and to look for answers: in some cases this can create blame cultures when something goes wrong. Conformity also means that it can be painful to stand out and be different.
But with technological advances answers are becoming a commodity as we can search the internet and use Google to find answers to almost anything with ease. In the future successful leaders will be those who know how to ask the right questions and also know where or who to get their answers from.
They will not know everything and their credibility will not be about only their expertise but their ability to think differently, ask meaningful questions, and bring the right people or knowledge together at the right time.
Human v digital: balance of the future?
Yes, all great stuff. But what will it be the most important feature that future leaders will need to develop?
Leaders must stay human in a digital world! Being authentic will be a key recruitment driver with new ways to assess people’s integrity, personality traits and intentions. Who a person is will be equally as important as what a person can do with brain imaging tests and stress testing for the critical jobs in the organisation.
As we see a world of robots and digital infrastructure take over the workplace it will never be more important to be genuinely human in dealing with customers along with every day colleagues. This will be due to the ambiguous nature of customer service interactions, which require a human, not a robot. How to be human will become a science in itself as robots are programmed to become more and more human like. As AI starts to integrate with every part of our life, it will become more difficult to differentiate between who is human and who is robot.
So, if you want to get ahead of the game now, empower your people, lead with trust, ask meaningful questions, and help to connect ideas. Treat your people like leaders and tomorrow’s future will come closer every day!