In a digital age people still matter and connecting well to those that you lead certainly matters
A post by Jacqueline Bagnall
Even with the computing power to analyse huge datasets and the big data world of companies such as IBM, there is still the need for the human sense maker. The human ability to ask questions and make sense of the results, spotting inconsistencies and better defining the question at the core of the analysis. As automation takes hold and we see the diminished need for low skilled manual labour, this calls for a better understanding of how the human mind can add value to the organisation. What is it that creates the difference between competing organisations when the slick precision of a wholly automated function delivers product perfection?
“We stand on the brink of a revolution”, writes Klaus Schwab, Founder and Executive Chairman of the World Economic Forum. A revolution so profound, it will “fundamentally alter the way we live, work and relate to one another. In its scale, scope and complexity this transformation will be unlike anything humankind has ever experienced before.” It may seem like Schwab is overreaching at first, but Adam Lusby, lecturer and Circular Economy Research Fellow at the University of Exeter Business School, says that the Fourth Industrial Revolution is indeed characterised by how new technologies are fusing digital, physical and even biological worlds. “This disruption impacts all disciplines, economies and industries. It will challenge what it even means to be human,” he says.
In the intense, four-day module appropriately titled “Leading in the 4th Industrial Revolution,” Adam, the module’s creator and lead, covers everything from Artificial Intelligence, robotics, digital manufacturing, blockchain, cloud computing, mixed reality, augmented reality and much more. The standard model of a module was also flipped. Instead students have the preceding weeks to first immerse themselves into online content, watch videos, complete assignments and even produce videos of their own. Only at the end of a five week lead in, the cohort gathers for a four-day “living lab” of hacking and immersion in technology including Raspberry Pis, NodeRed, and BlueMix from IBM.
Accenture’s latest research shows that the new relationship between human and machine and its impact could boost productivity by as much as 40 per-cent, profoundly changing the very notion of how work is actually performed. In the United Kingdom alone Artificial Intelligence could add an additional $814 billion to the economy by 2035. The growth of 3D printing is also set to skyrocket. Gartner projects that 3D printing will grow from $1.6B in 2015 to some $13.4B by 2018. Some 67% of manufacturing is already using 3D printing, according to PwC, and it will only get faster, and cheaper.
The people are the heroes now
Behemoth pulls the peasants’ plough
Thus begins the first act of John Adams’s opera Nixon in China, with a chorus declaiming the victory of socialism: the people rule, and Behemoth – a mythical monster associated by Thomas Hobbes in Leviathan with the overweening power of the state – subservient and domesticated to the will of the people. It is the people who now lead.
It is all tosh, of course, with Adams and his lyricist Alice Goodman poking fun at the pretensions of the Maoist state; in reality, in Mao’s China, Behemoth was very much in control and the peasants did what they were told. The illusion of freedom and the reality of dictatorial rule were very much opposed.
But it is forty years since Mao died and the totalitarian edifice he created began to be dismantled, and the world has changed. After the political upheavals of 2016 we are entitled to ask: is it true? Have the people really taken charge of their own destiny, voting for the leadership they want rather than the leadership they are told they should want? And if so, what are the consequences for leadership? Do our old assumptions about what leadership is still stand up in this brave new world? Continue reading
When I took over the MBA at Exeter last December, one thing that struck me is how well supported MBA students are, and how critical our unique MBA Suite is in promoting the collaborative mindset that business leaders need to develop to run successful businesses.
Building One, the School’s flagship building, was designed in 2008 with our MBA in mind. Set over three floors, the building is home to our One Planet MBA Suite which occupies the first floor of the building. Here’s a guided tour of our unique facilities…
The School’s flagship building, Building One
Who needs an MBA to become an “administrator”?
While the letter “A” has historically stood for “administration”, at Exeter we’ve redefined the meaning of the MBA, where “A” stands for Action. It is that ability to implement and manage change that makes our MBA students stand out. At Exeter, our One Planet MBA embeds action in all aspects of the programme. By the end of the programme, our MBA graduates go and contribute to running successful, profitable ventures while making an impact in the world we live in. Continue reading