Fu­ture-proof­ing your firm for rise of the ro­bots

Belfast Telegraph - Business Telegraph - - News - By­su­san­moy­lan, As­so­ciate di­rec­tor, Peo­ple­and­change Con­sult­ing @grant­thorn­tonni For fur­ther in­for­ma­tion or ad­vice, Su­san Moy­lan can be con­tacted at su­san.moy­lan@ie.gt.com Grant Thorn­ton (NI) LLP spe­cialises in au­dit, tax and ad­vi­sory ser­vices.

Now, more than ever be­fore, busi­ness lead­ers are op­er­at­ing in an en­vi­ron­ment of in­tense and sus­tained change. Change seems to be hap­pen­ing in all spheres of our lives and is show­ing no signs of slow­ing down.

Tech­nol­ogy is prob­a­bly one of the big­gest changes af­fect­ing us all, no mat­ter what in­dus­try we work in or what role we have.

Yes, the fu­ture is dig­i­tal, but it will re­main the case that both tech­nol­ogy and peo­ple mat­ter. Dig­i­tal ad­vance­ments will hap­pen with or with­out us, so it’s time to take a proac­tive ap­proach to iden­ti­fy­ing how we in­tend to thrive in the fu­ture world of work, ro­bots or no ro­bots. But how?

We must trans­form our ap­proach, mov­ing beyond just au­tomat­ing ex­ist­ing pro­cesses. We need to com­pletely de­fine new ways of do­ing things and do­ing more to­gether, then use new tech­nolo­gies to help en­able these new prac­tices.

Our cus­tomers must be at the cen­tre of what we do, de­sign­ing change from the out­side in, with their needs front of mind.

We need a dif­fer­ent mind­set. An open­ness to change is key to any trans­for­ma­tion — so we need highly ag­ile teams.

To help build high agility, we should nur­ture a cul­ture which is open to change, and view change as an op­por­tu­nity.

We need a lead­er­ship team that is change-ori­en­tated, one that en­cour­ages del­e­gated de­ci­sion-mak­ing as stan­dard.

We must fo­cus on tal­ent de­vel­op­ment — tak­ing the lead in the tal­ent race by putting con­certed ef­fort into at­tract­ing, re­tain­ing and de­vel­op­ing our dig­i­tal work­force — our work­force of the fu­ture.

Tech­nol­ogy will drive change to tra­di­tional roles in the fu­ture, and ro­bot­ics will have an im­pact on in­di­vid­ual jobs — there is no ques­tion about that.

Rather than mak­ing the hu­man race re­dun­dant, though, the in­creased use of ro­bot­ics will bring in­evitable changes to the roles that we play.

New skills will need to be de­vel­oped; cre­ativ­ity and in­no­va­tion, change-ori­en­ta­tion, a strate­gic mind­set and data anal­y­sis, to name but a few.

Our learn­ing strate­gies will have to cater to the needs of a di­verse work­force which is dis­persed, global and multi-gen­er­a­tional, and we can lever­age new tech­nolo­gies such as mo­bile learn­ing, gam­ing and vir­tual real­ity, to help us do this.

Some peo­ple view the ex­po­nen­tial growth of tech­nol­ogy as a big chal­lenge, a prob­lem that needs to be sorted out.

Re­mem­ber, though, these ad­vance­ments have, and will, con­tinue to make our lives bet­ter and eas­ier in many ways.

Tech­no­log­i­cal ad­vance­ment is here to stay, so busi­ness lead­ers must take ad­van­tage of the many op­por­tu­ni­ties pro­vided, em­brace them, and plan for them.

If you don’t, your com­peti­tors will.

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