Leaders With Soft Skills and a Head in the Clouds

As technology changes at an ever-increasing speed, today’s HR personnel, and leaders of organizations, face new challenges in their leadership responsibilities. While the classical training of leaders includes the much needed soft skills such as empathy, communication, management, assertiveness, and even technical skills, today’s manager must also be able to grasp a working knowledge of the digital landscape that includes everything from the cloud to AI (Artificial Intelligence).

Digital Prowess

One of the great attributes of modern leadership is the ability to continuously introduce knowledge and systems that streamline efficiency with accuracy and speed. The choice to avoid the advances of technology will prove to be a costly decision. In fact, it is predicted that by 2020, insights-driven businesses will steal $1.2 trillion per annum from their less-informed peers (Forrester Predictions 2017: AI will Drive the Insights Revolution). In almost every niche, avoiding the technological processes that could benefit your company will likely have devastating effects on your organization. There is high demand for executives who can implement digital transformations during the planning stages, and can then adapt as the organization grows. A keen awareness of technological advances and options helps the company evolve as new solutions are presented.

Contagious Digitization

One of the critical components of an employee’s productivity is his or her ongoing training. Managers in this digital age must be able to support their hires with training on the newest systems and processes. While there are a few options available that can beautifully “bundle” certain facets (like our Xenqu platform manages many HR functions), there are still many stand-alone solutions. What this means is that when a new employee begins, he must learn which system does what, and he has to be trained on the nuances of each platform. This can be confusing, and certainly time consuming in trying to learn multiple systems. However, a manager must be able to not only identify training opportunities for her employee, but she must also be able to quickly adapt when new solutions are introduced so that she can train her staff.

More of It 

Technology is not going away. In fact, more if it is coming. By 2018, 75% of developer teams will include AI functionality in one or more applications or services (IDC FutureScapes 2017). By 2020, 30% of all companies will employ AI to augment at least one of their primary sales processes (Gartner Predicts 2017: CRM Sales). Sticking your head in the proverbial sand will suffocate you. Pining for the days when it was all about human communication will get you buried. There are paperless forms, mounds of information hovering in the cloud, intelligent bots are talking, and robots are working for us.

It’s not a time to be afraid. It’s a time to move as fast as you can, to learn as much as you can, and to be the type of leader who can listen to the needs of your employees, while also being on the forefront of the technological boom. After all, someone is going to have to take care of those robots.