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Navigating the 4th Industrial Revolution: Leadership Insights

Author: Stephen Wyatt

Bibliography: Wyatt, S., 2020. _Management and Leadership in the 4th Industrial Revolution: Capabilities to Achieve Superior Performance_. 1st edition. New York: Kogan Page.

The Big Idea

The general premise of the book is that leadership approaches need to adapt and become more fluid in the 4IR. Need to manage growth, talent and strategy.

Manage adaptive change, the trade-off between (135): Speed - is the priority on implementing changes and starting to achieve the outcome? Risk avoidance - is the focus on ensuring no breakdown in service or other operational risks? Engagement - is the priority to ensure everyone is highly engaged and optimistic about the changes?

What I took away from this book

I am looking to devise a strategy approach in the 4IR. The points on adaptive leadership link with the Heifetz work from The Practice of Adaptive Leadership and provide a valuable framework for thinking about how you manage change.

The triangle - risk, engagement, and speed helps think about calibrating change management.

Best Quote

"No one organizational model works all the time; rather, you think about a continuous pendulum, swinging at times more towards localization and other times more towards the central contract. The pendulum must keep swinging so that we remain fluid and adjusting" (Wyatt, 2020, p.128)

Key leadership lessons from the book

  1. Building dynamic 4IR capacity: Sense and make sense of change - in essence, be curious and take an experimental approach. Seize and replicate - have a sense of urgency that encourages rapid scale-up. Reposition and reconfigure - be adaptable, where possible, and reduce complexity.

  2. Drive audacious growth: Forward leaning - courageous and purpose-led approach to leadership. Ambidextrous leaders - solve problems and accept the complexity. Continuous evolution - never settle, provide means and connect to purpose.

  3. Win the 4IR talent race: Human-centred - authentic and empathetic leadership. Team-driven performance - empower others and provide challenge and support. Race to develop talent - talent catalyst, leader as a coach.


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