The biggest problem the world’s workforce faces is a classic management issue

A new world. Be humble.
A new world. Be humble.
Image: Reuters/Valentyn Ogirenko
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The world is in the midst of a fourth industrial revolution, as the greater adoption of complex technology—particularly artificial intelligence and automation—shapes company processes and recalibrates workforces.

The greatest challenge companies face is rolling out new tech while also making sure workers are prepared for the seismic changes. This is especially the case for the managers in charge of setting realistic deadlines for implementation as well are training employees for new ways of working.

“Any change you make needs to be going with your people, not against them,” said Moya Greene, CEO of Royal Mail, which is one of the largest companies in Britain, with 140,000 employees. She spoke at the CogX Festival of All Things AI conference in London this week.

“If I look back at my career, what I think managers have always been is overconfident. They are overconfident about how long it will take them to implement a change. They are overconfident about how quickly individual human beings can adapt to change,” she added.

Finding employees skilled enough in implementing and working alongside new technology within existing company structures or when adopting new roles is hard enough. And Greene emphasized that during this period of intense technological change it will “take a bit of humility on the part of managers and CEOs to say ‘look this has got to be done ethically.'”

You can watch the full interview here.