What makes a Future Manager?

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Author: Future Manager Research Center

The term Management 4.0 indicates the new style of leadership that is arising from the 4.0 Industrial Revolution.

The 4.0 industry requires the integration and connection between machines, people and information systems, to create agile work environments where the workforce is able to respond fast with their predictions and decisions across the business.

This new environment will require a new type of manager: the 4.0 Manager. These leaders will be surrounded by a digital environment that will shape their leading skills in a way that many organizations haven’t seen before combining technology and the human factor, whilst nurturing further innovation.

The 4.0 manager will give great importance to the soft skills, as he must be communicative, fostering collaboration and team spirit, endowing emotional intelligence that puts the employee at the center. Moreover, he must have good coaching skills, helping to reveal the potential of his team.

The most important features are:

Critical thinking: the ability to understand and anticipate the market’s direction comprehending the context and linking different information and concepts. The analysis of situations and experiences will help to recognize the factors that influence the market’s development.

Awareness: self-analysis and ability to accept errors and mistakes as a continuous process which is a fundamental trait when exploring new paths.

Empathy and emotional intelligence: knowing how to listen, paying attention to the human sphere of employees. In general, making a context pervaded by technology still human.

Co-operative orientation: the company’s functions are interconnected, creating a community where communication is not only vertical and everybody can contribute for the company’s goal.

Communication: stable relationships no longer focused on control and a rigid hierarchical scale, but on the principle of respect, trust, responsibility and autonomy.

These managers will take the responsibility of the people-side of this massive change, managing a transparent, creative and flexible environment that can transform as change and situations dictate and teams will be formed based on the skills required for that specific cross-functional project.  This will be challenging for those who are used to closed and rigid project management within traditional manufacturing environments.

The leader will be in charge to organize and delegate tasks according to competence rather than pre-fixed roles and titles and leave collaborators a large degree of freedom for an autonomous management of the work.

The 4.0 leader is characterized by its great interaction with the employees, welcoming their opinions and actively listening to them because innovation and progress can arise from anyone in the organization.

Employees will be encouraged to develop their skills to become cross-functional in the way they work for their own personal needs and the common goal of the organization.