Leadership is about working together to shape the future. And that future will be defined by the Fourth Industrial Revolution, writes Lee Howell.

Read the full article at: www.weforum.org

Smart leaders know good ideas can come from anywhere.   And smart leaders will need all the good ideas they can get their hands on to figure out how to handle this one.

This one isn’t your mother’s industrial revolution.  It’s nothing like the first three – not like the impacts of the steam engine or electricity or even the internet. The Fourth Industrial Revolution is the big one – cyber-physical systems – according to the World Economic Forum.  It’s the convergence of human intelligence and artificial intelligence (driverless cars, genomics, synthetic biology, smart robotics) which blurs “the boundaries between the physical, digital and biological.” (And you thought technology was disruptive before?)

“…Now is the moment to challenge deeply ingrained assumptions that influence how society at large envisions the future. For example, have we accepted the notion that companies promoting your singularity are also pursuing massive scale, which relies on using your data? Do we trust governments to have the competency to address such regulatory challenges that require novel solutions? These are the leadership dilemmas of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.

“Today, pharmacology and genetic engineering promise powerful treatments that go far beyond therapy. What if human enhancements become essential to compete for top grades and top jobs? Gene editing technologies not only open the door to personalized medicine but are also an increasingly viable tool to resurrect extinct animals like the woolly mammoth or to eliminate dangerous pests like disease-carrying insects. What if human design replaces evolution?”

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is big, complex, scary and now.  “The speed, breadth and depth of the Fourth Industrial Revolution forces us to rethink how countries develop and how organizations create value…Rather than asking what technology will do to us, we need a shared vision of how it can better benefit economies, societies and each and every one of us.”

It will take leaders from all areas – government, business, science, technology, education – to create that shared vision and ensure the future benefits all people.

Contact us and we can help you and your teams grapple with these big picture ideas and explore ways to create value during times of change.