First, the industrial Internet of Things (Industry 4.0 or #Industry40) business environment includes processes, software interfaces, equipment and machinery and people. Next, each of these critical components are required to communicate and collaborate with each other. Seamlessly. Interoperably.
In my work with clients who are wrestling with digital transformation for business growth, the machinery and software collaborate far better than their human co-workers. Why?
Because collaboration and communication are perceived as “nice to have” soft skills. Something everyone tries to do, every now and then. However, most of the time, these skills are ignored.
And let’s face it. Mandatory assignment to a team is not the equivalent of communication and collaboration. How many team assignments are “magic”? Then again, how many teams that you and I have worked on are dysfunctional at best and toxic at worst?
These 3 Industry40 soft skills are mandatory skills for personal development and leadership success in Today’s and Tomorrow’s evolving, complex business ecosystem.
The first of these Industry40 soft skills is deprogramming ourselves from our obsession with professional labels. These titles are not translational and dynamic. At all. However, developing the ability to describe “what we do,” succinctly and briefly, establishes both an emotional as well as an intellectual connection between us and the person we are speaking with. When people do not understand the meaning of “what we do,” they cannot understand how we can help them.
Do you know how to have a more productive type of conversation?
The second of these Industry40 soft skills takes the “what do we do” conversation and propels it into a “how does what we do help me do what I do” dialogue. As a result, we become more aware of how our typical professional conversations actually are collaboration killers. When people do not understand what we are saying to them, we turn them off. They tune us out.
These legacy, organizational dynamics keep people and processes firmly stuck where they are Today. Instead, isn’t it time to develop the leadership soft skills for Tomorrow and the Future?
The third of these Industry40 soft skills develops a common set of terms and principles for collaboration and communication. Otherwise, discipline specific terminology reinforces that one set of workers are smarter than other sets of workers. Whether due to educational pedigree, knowledge-based or manual employment status or pay grade. When that happens, everyone remains very busy. Working full time. At only half the capacity of what is possible.
Perpetuating these dynamics reinforces risk aversion, rather than opportunity identification. However, the pace and cadence of Change in Industry40 environments rapidly outdates software interfaces, processes and equipment. Why continue to face these challenges with Yesterday’s soft skills?
There is nothing “soft” about the Industry40 soft skills required to catalyze personal development and productive and profitable leadership.
The upcoming changes in the ISO 9001:2015 standard for Quality Management Systems mandate a more holistic perspective of how we work. Even if we do not work within a regulated environment or our excuse is that we own a small business, isn’t it time to stop holding ourselves back from moving one millimeter forward? Beyond our current personal development and leadership comfort levels?
There is zero value in continuing to reinforce professional biases and habits which impede how everyone solves problems, in order to better serve customers. Then again, we intuitively – and comfortably – already know that. However, “knowing” and “doing” are two different actions, aren’t they?
Instead of continuing to fix things yourself, take action! Move one millimeter beyond what is comfortable, towards what is Possible. Today. How?
- Hire me to speak or conduct a workshop at your next corporate or association event.
- Contact me. Let’s create a One Millimeter Mindset™ program that fits your needs.
- Subscribe to my blog. Share your email address in the red box in the right column. Never miss another insightful post.
Babette Ten Haken leverages purpose-driven storytelling for professional innovation, cross-functional leadership and trust-based client retention. She serves organizations and associations wrestling with the impact of the 4th industrial technology revolution on 3rd industrial revolution business and hiring models. Her One Millimeter Mindset™ programs translate across communication disconnects between people and professional disciplines. Lead teams and clients co-invested in the strategic business and human capital value you bring to the table together, one millimeter at a time. Her playbook of cross-functional collaboration, Do YOU Mean Business? is available on Amazon.com. Contact Babette here.
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