Thought for the week

Finding our humanity in a digital storm

Advancements in technology have both improved and disrupted our lives. They have provided new methods for us to connect with one another, streamlined how we conduct our daily affairs and the way in which we do business.

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For decades, businesses have used technology to make better products and reduce business costs. Now, AI systems are being designed and implemented to do more than simply answer search questions. They can also manage entire systems, improve the operational efficiency of organisations and take appropriate action. So the question that remains is - what can’t they do?

A double-edged sword

Although daunting, it is important to acknowledge that the benefits of tech are plentiful. The ability of AI to help businesses move faster and more efficiently, replacing menial and time-consuming tasks, gives organisations the freedom to innovate and explore their creativity. Despite these pros, it’s scary to consider the social and personal repercussions of technology on our lives — and particularly for our careers.

As processes including machine learning continues to grow, we all need to develop new skills to remain competitive in the job market. This is especially true for leadership. The most successful leaders will be those who understand that a strong sense of self will be integral to successfully navigating this new technological world. Time must be dedicated to introspection to ensure those in leadership positions don’t lose sight of what matters most: their purpose and the safety and confidence of their people.

Human to human

The most equipped leaders will be those who recognise their strengths and weaknesses in the domain of emotional intelligence and how to leverage these to enable those around them to perform and excel. Leaders of the future will need to invest in developing their EQ; while machines may replace much of the more analytical tasks, the job to inspire others is firmly human and fundamental to the success of an organisation. This will include their ability to negotiate fairly, manage emotions, encourage creativity and put themselves in others’ shoes – employees, customers and stakeholders, alike.

The advent of this new technology should not be seen as the beginning of the end of the world as we know it, but rather as the beginning of an era where people are the drivers of organisational change and development. What we can do better than any machine out there is found in our sense of self, our understanding of those around us and our unique ability to connect with one another. As leaders begin to invest in and nurture these abilities the same way that they would for more technical aspects of their careers, they leverage the power of being human and pave the way for a more compassionate society. In a world that is increasingly digitized and reliant on technology to progress, the need to come back to our humanity – our understanding, relatability and sensitivity - has never been more important. It is today’s thought leaders, who have the vision to pave the way.

So tell us: what are you doing to promote a human-centred strategy within your business?

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Tuesday, April 10, 2018
Contributed by:
by Serenity in Leadership
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