The world is moving quickly into a new era known as Industrial Revolution 4.0 and business brands will have to adapt. This will be our biggest challenge “after coronavirus”.
We have already seen Tata Consulting Services (TCS) shake the world of work by announcing a target of 75% or its 450,000 workers operating from home or remotely by 2025. Others will have to follow.
The fourth industrial revolution sees at least ten major changes, each reinforcing the other so that how we do business and how we work will be totally transformed. The first three industrial revolutions were each about only one change – steam, electricity and computers.
Companies will need to be nimble and honest about the status of their brand – the immediate future can either build or destroy your brand credibility. Here are my 7 tips for thriving as a brand in Industry 4.0:
- Show your company can continue to learn
Having a “we want to keep learning” brand is highly desirable for the market, clients and future employees. Audit your brand communication – does it show the organisation is curious, reading and listening widely, entering staff and customers into discussion groups and a genuine “learning organisation”.
- SECOND – Demonstrate wisdom and common sense
Your clients look for more than knowledge from you – they want a brand that demonstrates common sense. The best way to describe the difference is through the humble tomato – knowledge tells you a tomato is a fruit (not a vegetable) – but common sense prevents you adding the tomato to a fruit salad. Making sure your senior people have mentors can help their levels of common sense.
- THREE – Gain good collaboration and friendship skills
Industrial 4.0 will make collaboration easy and instant with anyone, anywhere and anytime – and the change will benefit those businesses that have the skills to reach out, make friends, work across the globe and build collaboration. It is worthwhile evaluating how much you are seen as a collaborative partner.
- FOUR – Build cross-border understanding and skills
Already our lives in one country are intersecting with lives of other countries, and Industrial 4.0 will make the globe an even smaller place. Those who have travelled, who have acquired both knowledge and experience of other cultures will be in high demand, simply because almost every job will have global aspects. Prepare your employees via cross cultural training and global exposure.
- FIVE – Make everyone an outstanding communicator
Traditional “soft skills” training will not prepare your team for the fast future – outstanding communication skills for Industrial 4.0 will include rapid pitching, ability to support points in a way which moves others, skills to relate directly and closely with those above and below you. The irony is that as the technology impacts even more, it is the brands that communicate well who will succeed.
- SIX – Be known as team-based problem solvers
More work will be team-based, and a powerful brand characteristic is being “team-based problem solvers”. Do your problem-solving teams include members from other companies? Should you offer clients and customers a role?
- SEVEN – Build self-reliance and resilience
With the pace of change, your people will need to be more self-reliant and resilient. Life will present challenges almost constantly. Make sure your people can cope, because that reflects in your brand being a steady and trusted delivery sources. When staff lose resilience, your brand is also diminished.
Stephen Manallack is the author of four books, including one published in India (“Soft Skills for a Flat World”, Tata McGraw-Hill India), a speaker on communication and is delivering a series of webinars on Industry 4.0 for Indian and Australian universities. He is a blogger at Into India and regular visitor to India. EMAIL firstname.lastname@example.org