Resilient leadership wins in a time of ongoing technological change

Ethical Leadership in Business

23/04/2018

Do you also feel overwhelmed and at the same time empowered by the ongoing technological transformation? Personally, I’m fascinated by many innovations, for example artificial intelligence (AI) can help to track lost children or spot Alzheimer five years before diagnosis. Unfortunately, this technology also has a scary side, as it can be used for less nobler causes, like social citizen ranking systems.

At this innovation pace, there is very little time to find out about potential long-term impact of new technologies. Today, we simply have no idea which jobs or business models will be created or destroyed in the next five years. Time will show. But, how can we prepare ourselves and the next generation for the future?

When changes are happening fast and on a large scale, can we still rely on time-intensive legislation to assure that new innovations do not harm humanity? A lot is at stake when it comes to technological innovations. So, what kind of leadership do we need today to assure that innovations empower business and society ?

We need to build resilience on a personal and organizational level as it fortifies our ability to adapt to changes and to rebound quickly from difficulties. As individuals, as much as in businesses, we can also strengthen our resilience by working on our attitudes towards the unknown.

As solutions from the past will probably not be the right answer in today's’ setting, we need to see the new world with beginners’ eyes. Like an explorer, we can discover the novelty of today’s world and develop solutions that help us to easily adapt to new situations, for example developing innovative ideas for the education and training of the future workforce. I think that the Singapore government has developed with its stakeholders a very interesting approach.

Turning the unknown into something familiar implies that we are constantly connected and listening to those who innovate and those who are impacted by innovations. Actively listening connects us to the needs of others, their ideas and dreams.

The wealth of diverse opinions will nurture businesses’ creativity and give direction as to which products and services are relevant to innovate. But active listening is not only about others: it’s equally important to connect with ourselves.

Observing a moment of silence on a daily basis is a wonderful means to recharge our batteries. This pause can also become a source of insight, inspiration or of finding a long sought-after answer. This will also increase personal resilience to change and enable us to seize opportunities while developing solutions for minimizing risks.



Annika Hartmann de Meuron works as a Managing Director of the Ethical Leadership in Business event for Initiatives of Change Switzerland.

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