Leadership, as we move into the future, is transforming in some massive ways, and we’re going to start seeing a whole new paradigm around leadership and leadership development in the corporate sector. The very role of leadership will shift to encompass more than the traditional capabilities of resource and people management, financial literacy and strategic thinking – they will require us to become more inspirational, better stewards of a vision, and more focused on integrating human and machine intelligence. Organizations will ironically become hubs of humanism as they are confronted with greater levels of automation – as we strive to hold on to the best of ourselves.”
Sloan went on to share her thoughts related to three areas of transformation at work that require compassion
1. AI. Artificial Intelligence will become commonplace. How do we lead and manage when it’s not even a person anymore? Decision making will become more dependent upon providing the right inputs to AI and getting logical decisions on the table. Integration of AI into every aspect of business will require a new level of sensitivity and thoughtfulness as people are pushed out of their traditional roles.
Where compassion plays a role: It’s threatening for people to imagine they are replaceable, let alone that they are inferior to machine intelligence. We need to have compassion for the people we work within the face of great change. That care and connection support better working relationships but also nourishes our best qualities and our confidence.
2. Dependence on Innovation – What is beyond the realm of machines? Well, currently we humans still think more creatively. Human beings are hard-wired for innovation and creation. Harnessing that requires working with new paradigms like Design Thinking, which has been taking hold in innovative organizations globally.
Where compassion plays a role: In Design Thinking, empathy is one of the core elements. How do the end users of your products or services feel and think? Do you empathize with their situation? Do you seek to truly understand them on a level beyond demographics and buying power? Compassion and empathy are synonymous, but compassion also goes deeper – the search for understanding not just feeling along with someone.
3.Purpose Driven Workplaces. Leaders of the future will drive purpose and meaning at work. How do we cultivate inspiring leadership? We focus on the larger picture, on contribution to something larger and more important than our own self-gain.
Where compassion plays a role: In order to have people follow you, you need to inspire them through something that transcends the day-to-day. We know up and coming generations make decisions on where to work and how engaged they are based on purpose, meaning, and values. Compassion is at the heart of a values-based workplace, as it taps our humanity and our ability to give and contribute to our greater world.
“Personally, I am inspired by the quest for compassion at work, for compassionate leadership. The greatest impact on the world is created not just by heroic individuals, but by groups and teams that care deeply about what they do and why they do it. They are people who connect back to what’s important – to decency and empathy and stewardship.”