What steps are you taking to prepare your company for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, or 4IR? According to 68% of executives, their companies were unprepared for the change. Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum, defines the fourth industrial revolution as “a blend of technologies obscuring the boundaries between physical, digital, and biological spheres.”
Rapid technological breakthroughs, disruption across industries worldwide, interconnectivity via mobile phones, and widespread automation characterise the 4IR. Recently, we saw the need to work remotely. Companies adopted decentralised structures. They were able to achieve this through the use of technology. Workplaces have become more mechanised through using digital tools and specialised hardware. 4IR is compelling businesses to upskill and reskill their teams to capitalise on the skills required to survive the 4IR.
We’re living in thrilling times, and companies are proactively learning to adopt these changes to remain competitive. Having a future-ready team involves lifelong learning, investing in technology, encouraging collaboration, and much more. Read on to discover ways to make your team future-ready.
Here are five ways of making your team future ready:
Encourage life-long learning
In today’s competitive landscape, continuously upskilling and reskilling keep you ahead of everyone in the workforce. Through upskilling and reskilling, your team acquires skills needed now and in the future. This enables your team to survive and adapt to the changing business environment, brought about by natural, global, government and other forces. You achieve continuity of business.
Encourage your team members to learn and be open to new opportunities.
How to encourage lifelong learning:
Make learning a part of the daily routine. Reading, listening to podcasts, and taking online courses are great ways to learn something new daily. Your employees can also learn by doing things outside the workspace, like cooking, gardening, or remodelling.
Find a learning buddy. Learning is more fun and practical when done with someone else. Find a colleague, friend, or family member who wants to learn and do things together. This makes accountability so much easier. You’re able to meet your learning goals.
Take advantage of free and paid resources. There are many free or low-cost ways to learn, such as public libraries, community colleges, and online resources.
Invest in technology
Technology has revolutionised how we work. Software has increased collaboration among employees and organisations. From the ability to work with people in different time zones, to attending conferences and building networks.
In traditional industries such as farming and manufacturing, software is being used to power mechanisation and increase efficiency and output.
By staying up-to-date with the latest tools and trends, you equip your team to handle whatever challenges come their way.
Investing in technology can be an expensive undertaking. But it’s important to remember that the long-term benefits will outweigh the short-term costs. By investing in technology now, you’re setting up your team and business for success.
Leading a team effectively in the 21st century requires more than just delegating tasks and organising workflows. To stay ahead of the curve, promote collaboration among your team members. Encourage team members to share knowledge and ideas and to work together to solve problems.
Ways to promote collaboration:
Encourage openness and honest communication. Make it comfortable for your team to come to you with any questions or concerns. Be open to receiving feedback.
Foster a culture of trust and respect. Your team should feel like they can trust you and each other. This culture helps them feel more comfortable working together and sharing ideas.
Create opportunities for collaborative problem-solving. When problems arise, try to involve your team in finding solutions. Solving problems together helps the employees feel invested in the outcome and build their skill sets.
Foster a culture of innovation
To lead a future-ready company, create an environment that rewards innovation Encourage team members to think outside the box and to always look for new and better ways to do things. Define what innovation means for your company and communicate that to your team, specifying the areas of innovation that take the most priority.
How to foster a culture of innovation:
Allow spaces for creativity and risk-taking. Too often, organisations foster a culture of fear where employees are afraid to take risks or be creative. Leaders need to encourage their team members to be creative and take risks. Create environments where mistakes are tolerated and celebrated as part of the learning process.
Create open communication channels. For innovation to occur, team members need to feel comfortable communicating with one another. Create an open and inclusive environment where you hear everyone’s voice. Leaders should encourage debate and dissent as part of the decision-making process.
Champion outside thinking. To foster a culture of innovation, leaders need to encourage their team members to think outside the box. Look for inspiration from other industries or disciplines. It also means encouraging team members to question assumptions and preconceptions.
Be open to new ideas. One of the most important things leaders can do to foster a culture of innovation is to be open to new ideas. Consider input from all team members, regardless of title or position. It also means being willing to experiment with new approaches and ideas.
Focus on resilience
In today’s ever-changing world, resilience is a must-have skill. To survive the internal and external setbacks/business environment, you need to be resilient. Resilience is described as the ability to handle and bounce back from a loss. According to Harvard Business Review, resilience is built on the cornerstones of confidence — taking responsibility and showing remorse, supporting others in reaching a common goal and focusing on positive steps and improvements).
Help your team members build the skills they need to bounce back from setbacks and continue moving forward even when things are tough. When preparing your team for the future, one of the most important things you can do is focus on resilience. Regardless of the challenges or opportunities that lie ahead, a resilient team will adapt and overcome.
There are a few key things you can do to foster resilience in your team:
Encourage a growth mindset. Help your team members see failure as an opportunity to learn and grow rather than something to be avoided at all costs. A growth mindset helps them approach challenges with a positive attitude and a willingness to learn from setbacks.
Promote open communication. Encourage your team to communicate with each other, especially during stressful times or periods of change. Open communication helps build relationships and trust, which are essential for weathering tough times together.
Foster a sense of community. Help your team members feel like they are part of something larger than themselves. Involve them in creating opportunities to give back to the community or promote a positive and supportive work environment.
By focusing on these five areas, you can help build a future-ready team that will serve your business and survive no matter what the future holds.
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