What capabilities do you need in a robotic age?

AI Robots compressed.jpg
Technology and robotics are advancing and will reduce the need for workers in the future.
— Jan C. Ting

The B2B world is changing, and the skills and capabilities of staff need to change to match this. Is your company prepared? Have you started to build your capabilities for an unsure and volatile future? Creativity, critical thinking and tech capability are becoming essential skills for leaders.

Big shifts in how work is done means managers and leaders must acquire a new suite of capabilities. Working teams are no longer just full-time employees. With an increasingly diverse and transitionary makeup, teams are an essential yet inconsistent part of B2B working life. Cisco's chief technology officer, Kevin Bloch describes getting the best out of new workforce teams by harnessing the capabilities of hot bodies (full-time employees), warm bodies (the contractor community) and cold bodies (cobots).

One of the big mistakes we make in Australia is we’re pushing STEM very, very hard, but it’s really about STEM+C, which is about the creative part. We’ve got to teach the difference between what computers can do and what you as a person can do. The people who really derive value from data, plus soft-skills, will be magic ingredients.
— Kevin Bloch

So, how do you manage the hard and soft skills of your people to make sure that trends and issues are not missed but used to your advantage? Is problem-solving part of your culture or is your company still only rewarding success? Your people need to feel comfortable coming forward with problems and issues they identify, so you can collaboratively find solutions and turn these into competitive advantages.

Collaborative working with people inside and outside your industry is becoming an integral part of the B2B world. As reliance on data and use of robotics takes the mundane tasks out of jobs, people will be free to spend more time critically and creatively problem-solving for continuous improvement. Your competitive edge is becoming dependent on your ability to efficiently identify and solve issues that affect your business.

Leaders must ensure staff have the best collaborative tools to work with the one-third of workers who are going to be freelancers, as well as figuring out how to communicate their organisation’s values across the whole of the workforce.
— Nick Wailes, Associate Dean (Digital & Innovation), AGSM

While robotics and artificial intelligence will save man-hours and full-time employees (FTE) in your companies, they are useless in isolation. Susan Nicholson, a business psychologist says, "Emotional intelligence, which is unique to people, remains a critical part of effective decision-making." So, you need to find a way to build the capabilities of your people to manage the information flow in and out of your business. 

In the disruptive B2B workplace, you must hone your creativity and critical thinking, accept change and build capabilities in your company that can evolve in an uncertain future. What other challenges do you face delivering sustainable results? Download the ebook: Delivering Sustainable Results: In complex B2B environments.