'it's time to adapt,' says grant thornton

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Global business is facing a wave of disruptive influences that could spark the ‘fourth industrial revolution’, research by Grant Thornton has revealed.

‘The future of leadership: anticipating 2030’ insight draws on data from the leading audit and accountancy firm’s 2019 International Business Report (IBR), which gathers responses biannually from senior leaders in mid-market businesses around the world.

The report explores the ways professional work is evolving, the leadership skills that will be needed within the dynamic mid-market to thrive, and how organisations can stay competitive in the war for talent and customers in 2030.

The IBR findings suggest the biggest disruptors will come from technology, with the rise of the digitally connected world the greatest change, cited by 42% of respondents. This is closely followed by other technological advances, including artificial intelligence (AI) and big data at 40%; and increasing use of automation and robotics (35%).

There are forces beyond technology which are also set to impact the world of work. Some 32% of IBR respondents highlighted the globalisation of resources such as finance, intellectual property and people, while 30% pointed to demographic changes.

To remain competitive and take advantage of new opportunities within the changing landscape, Grant Thornton says that business leaders need to adapt their skills. According to the IBR data, the three most important attributes for business leaders of 2030 will be to be ‘innovative’, ‘adaptive to change’ and ‘collaborative across business’.

Local Director at Grant Thornton Isle of Man, Richard Ratcliffe, said: ‘The business world is arguably on the cusp of the greatest transformation since the industrial revolution. As to be expected, these changes present both challenges and opportunities, which could see organisations with the right leadership skills take advantage of new trends and emerge as leading players in their sectors.

‘However, it’s not just business leaders that need to adapt. It’s also essential to build up your surrounding workforce to enable you to meet the challenges of tomorrow. Otherwise, how can you expect your business to evolve successfully? It’s about robust training, enabling personal development, effective recruitment processes and creating an environment that embraces change.

‘Not only that, but diverse teams and inclusive cultures are vital for future business success. A study by Forbes found that inclusive teams make better business decisions 87% of the time, with diverse teams delivering 60% better results. Something to think of when it comes to recruiting new talent. 

‘The challenges organisations and leaders face over the coming years are considerable, and will likely require fundamental changes to both leadership behaviours and business operating models. In order to remain competitive, Isle of Man-based firms need to be aware of what’s to come and be ready to adapt, engage and evolve.’


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