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With an estimated two thirds of jobs in South Africa at risk of automation, it would be naïve for organisational leaders and managers to think their positions are immune, says leadership and executive search expert, Debbie Goodman-Bhyat, CEO of Jack Hammer.

A 2016 World Bank Development report, cited in a study from the University of Oxford, found that more than 60% of South African jobs were at high risk of digitization. And while most concern regarding Artificial Intelligence and its impact on employment has focused on the threat to low-skill and menial jobs, leaders in organisations need to understand that unless they work hard at remaining relevant, their jobs may very well also be taken out by robots in future.

Now, more than ever before, leaders need to become adaptive and innovative, and move outside of their old frameworks of operating.

A recent Accenture survey of 1770 frontline, mid-level and executive managers from 14 countries found that managers spent a whopping 54% of their time on administrative coordination and control tasks. Solving problems and collaborating got a 30% share of their efforts, strategy and innovation a measly 10%, and developing people and engaging with stakeholders got relegated to a mere 7% of time.

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