New Masterclass on “Leadership in Disruptive Times: Navigating the Organizational Challenges of VUCA-Driven COVID-19 and Industry 4.0″
“ Leaders in organizations are also confronted with increased competition, globalization, demand for growing social responsibilities, and a stream of technological revolutions causing disruption in the marketplace. Hence, leaders need to challenge their mental models in their efforts to build and sustain a high-performance organization. Effective leadership is the process of impacting and influencing people to achieve the desired results and prepare for the future. Leading in today’s highly disruptive and increasingly VUCA-driven world is becoming much more challenging. There is no easy path to being a highly effective leader, and the challenge of being one seems almost insurmountable.”
– Sattar Bawany (2019) Transforming the Next Generation of Leaders: Developing Future Leaders for a Disruptive, Digital-Driven Era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0). Business Expert Press (BEP) LLC, New York, NY. ISBN-13: 978-1-94944-304-2
We face a new era of radical uncertainty and disruption brought about by challenges such as the ongoing and escalating COVID-19 pandemic, climate change, financial crises, terrorism, Brexit, demographic changes in the labor market, rapid developments in transformation of the digital technology in the workplace in the era of the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0).
The management of shocks and crises is becoming an everyday occurrence. Organizations also need to be agile, and leverage opportunities and drive innovation to remain competitive in the face of these disruptive and increasingly volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA) challenging business environment.
In the Industry 4.0 workplace which is characterized by rapid and continual disruption, organizations must be agile and quickly respond to change. As a result, businesses require leaders who are not only effective interpersonally, but who can also manage increasingly complex organizations.
Effective leaders today must be able to make decisions faster and lead change efficiently, while skilfully influencing in a more interconnected, collaborative landscape. Additionally, they need to foster a “digital-ready” organizational culture that embraces – rather than resists – continuous change.
Building on cutting-edge research, the program will develop the participant’s ability to embark on complex problem solving and decision-making, develop their cognitive readiness and critical thinking skills as well as accelerate change processes at the workplace. It will provide the participants with a set of best practice approaches, framework concepts, and tools enabling them to lead their organization with impact and efficiency and engaging their teams resulting in the maximizing of its performance during these disruptive and changing times.
Brief Overview of the Disruptive Nature of COVID-19 Pandemic
Since China first reported the existence of a new virus to the World Health Organization (WHO) on 31 December 2019, the virus, now known as SARS-CoV-2, causing COVID-19 disease, has spread quickly throughout the whole of China and today in almost all countries globally .
COVID-19 increasingly represent a threat to public health and global commerce. The next phases of the outbreak are profoundly uncertain. The prevalent narrative, focused on the pandemic, to which both markets and policymakers have gravitated as they respond to the virus, is possible but underweights the possibility of a more optimistic outcome.
Managing the Challenges and Leveraging the Opportunities of the COVID-19 Pandemic for Businesses
The profound impact of COVID-19 has yet to be fully realized yet as the consequences for our businesses, organizations, economy, and society is expected to continue over the rest of 2020 and into the following year. The epicenter of the pandemic has shifted from China to Europe and the US.
The disruptive nature of COVID-19 requires leaders to demonstrate agility in reinventing their business models and adapt their organizations to meet with the challenges posed by this new pandemic on various stakeholders including employees & their families, customers, suppliers and business partners as well as governments.
For many companies around the world, the most important consideration from the first ten weeks of the COVID-19 outbreak has been the effect on supply chains that begin in or go through China. As a result of the factory shutdowns in China during Q1, many disruptions have been felt across the supply chain, though the full effects are of course still unclear.
A global slowdown would affect all organizations with small and medium enterprises (SMEs) more acutely. Less developed economies would suffer more than advanced economies. Service sectors, including aviation, travel, and tourism, have been reported to be the hardest hit. Airlines have already experienced a steep fall in traffic on their highest-profit international routes.
The strongest business leaders are dealing with the short term—by acting rapidly to protect their employees, customers, business, and the public—while anticipating the eventual rebound. The situation remains fluid and even if the epidemic subsides in the coming weeks and months, how can organizations and leaders lead and engage their teams during these challenging times and normalize operations in the aftermath?
Managing the #VUCA Impact of #COVID-19 Crisis
Since the US War College started to use the term VUCA as far back as 1987, it has been in the business lexicon to describe the volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity of the world after the Cold War. Today, the concept is gaining new relevance to characterizing the current COVID-19 pandemic and the leadership by all organizations required to navigate it successfully.
The degree of uncertainty confronting all of us with the COVID-19 pandemic is unprecedented. Where next? How bad? How long? Who can we rely on for the latest and most reliable information? How will our organization – our employees, customers, partners, supply chain – be impacted? How should we respond?
The main emphasis is and should be on containing and mitigating the disease itself. However, the economic impacts are also significant, and many companies are feeling their way towards understanding, reacting to, and learning lessons from rapidly unfolding events. Despite this, we frequently find ourselves managing in situations of absolute ambiguity—when it isn’t clear where you’re going or how you’ll get there. Why does this happen? Market conditions shift rapidly. Customers have more choices than ever. Resources are constrained compounded with your key talents leaving. The list continues.
Since the lockdown as well as the travel restrictions in many countries globally, several clients have contacted us for advice on how to ensure the sustainability of their business including leading and engaging their teams during the current challenging times. Effective leaders demonstrate calm and being present to provide steady, realistic direction and to lead authentically with a high degree of emotional and social intelligence, even when the strategy isn’t clear.
Brief Overview of the Disruptive Nature of Industry 4.0
The Fourth Industrial Revolution or Industry 4.0 as it is more commonly known, is bringing about a paradigm shift in business and the leader’s mental models that will profoundly change the way we work, live and interact and will affect industrialized as well as industrializing economies alike. Industry 4.0 will affect all sectors and disciplines and will have a huge impact on developing countries in particular, where a concentration of low-paid jobs is likely. High-wage jobs will require increased digital skills, and weak education systems in developing countries are often failing to provide basic skills in literacy and numeracy.
Our research has shown that Industry 4.0 is truly a disruptive force which differs in speed, scale, complexity, and transformative power as compared to the previous industrial revolutions. It will increase the visibility of the existing inequalities among people, companies, and countries worldwide, as every country embraces its technologies in its own different way.
We have seen in recent years major technological advancements are revolutionizing industrial production, where automation of manufacturing processes is upgraded with smart autonomous systems capable of self-cognition, self-optimization, and self-customization.