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Steps established companies need to take to survive this disruptive age

As an Innovation Futurist and Advisor, Shivvy Jervis is called on by organizations across sectors to make
sense of the impact of the Fourth Industrial Revolution and its myriad, new-wave technologies. Read her four tips on how established companies should stay ahead of the curve.

Q: How should companies embrace tech across the whole organization? 

A: By avoiding the silo effect, which is the dangerous assumption that new tech and digital transformation is solely the remit of the IT department. While technical deployment of new technologies is typically handled by a seasoned CTO or IT Head, when it comes to the selection, adoption and everyday integration, C-Suite leadership must blueprint this across disciplines and business lines.

Q: With this powerful digital economy construct, are clear ethical responsibilities?

A: Yes. Balancing profit with purpose will continue to go a long way in the 4th Industrial Revolution (4IR) age.
Certainly, this will help leadership assemble a component essential to taking on 4IR - high-
caliber workforces of the future. Multiple studies reveal that next-gen talent are deeply drawn
to businesses with a social conscience.

Q: Should business leaders adopt aspects from the Lean Startup methodology?

A: Absolutely. This calls on them to move nimbly, pivot whenever needed, iterate frequently and take failure on the chin. Formalizing cultures of innovation will be critical for leaders, as will collaborating with external experts, the more radical thought leaders and the mavericks. Indeed, in my commonly quoted projection of job of the future that don’t exist now, Head of Organizational Disruption is a very real role with the person responsible for coming in and stirring things up constructively.

Q: How can workforces stay future proof in an AI-heavy, gig economy?

A: AI may threaten some roles but this may surprise you – less than 5% of jobs can actually be fully automated (source: McKinsey Global Institute (2017). A future that works: Automation, employment, and productivity). With most others, only 30% of our tasks can be taken on by an AI-powered algorithm which in
turn would boost productivity of the workforce, freeing up time for us to focus on key decision making and building rapports.

Read more: Six ways tech will reshape the way you live and work