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Insights by Andy: How to Create a Leadership Team Ready for Industry 4.0

Examples of how leaders across different industries adapted to the increased speed of change during the pandemic.

Welcome to this month’s edition of Insights By Andy. I am joined today with special guest Sonia Allinson Penny, who is not only a fantastic Human Resources consultant but also a respected practitioner of Talent Management.

And that is the theme of today’s topic – Talent Management, and the ways it has changed leadership approaches dramatically over the last 12 months. During this episode, Sonia and I discuss how the volatility and ambiguity that the pandemic brought to business forced leaders to exponentially increase their speed to adapt to change.

Over the last few years, change has become a constant underlying force in most organizations leading to, what Sonia and I call in this episode, Industry 4.0.

The pandemic required organizations to change and reprioritize strategy faster than any other major challenges, but we see this as a precursor for what is to come in the near future. The pace of innovation and change will continue to drive transformation at a breakneck speed.

In some ways, the pandemic has brought an opportunity to learn what it will really take to survive and thrive as Industry 4.0 kicks up. It is no secret that people are the most important piece to the puzzle when it comes to quickly adapting to the demands of innovation. Do we have the right skills (technical and soft) to meet the needs of the shifting landscape? Are people in the organization motivated, engaged, and agile enough to keep up with the constant changes?

Underlying all of these questions and considerations are leaders. Over the last 12 months, we have seen companies rise and fall based on how their leaders performed in developing and caring for their teams. This was seen from line managers all the way to top C-suite executives.

Believe me, it has never been more difficult to be a leader, but leaders have a 75% impact on culture and culture has a 35% impact on profit and revenue. So, mobilizing a high-potential leadership team has never been more important.

The skills that leaders had to demonstrate during the pandemic are going to pick up more and more as the digital revolution in industry escalates. Savvy leaders have been planning for this for years by upskilling their teams and investing in technology that they also learn how to use.

But those are the technical aspects of leading within an agile framework. This year we have also faced challenges that involved shifting an entire workforce to a remote format, addressing the incredible need for diversity and inclusion, and finally the massive swings from reducing the workforce to increasing it dramatically within the span of a few months. All of these required empathy and humanity in order to do it well.

During this episode, Sonia and I expand on these thoughts above and also give a couple of real-world examples of how leaders have responded to these obstacles. At the end of the day, really great leaders are born during times like these, when the pressure is on.

Please contact us to learn how SHL can help you grow a diverse, agile, and innovative leadership team that is ready for any opportunity or challenge.

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Andy Bradshaw

Andy has spent over 25 years in technology and services businesses, over half of which has been in Human Capital Management (HCM). His career started performing a variety of roles for Hewlett-Packard and Microsoft, including running industry teams and building new customer segments. More recently taking senior leadership positions in mid-market organizations undergoing transformation. These included IT security, assessment and employee benefits segments. He returned as CEO of SHL 2 years ago, working with CEB and Gartner to establish SHL as an independent business. Andy is passionate about using people insight to improve business and individual performance.

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