People of the Dialogue: Brigette Hyacinth
This week we present Brigette Hyacinth in our People of the Dialogue series. She is a bestselling author and a speaker on the topics of Leadership and Digital Transformation. She spoke about how leadership is changing at the 21st World Business Dialogue. Today she will share what makes the World Business Dialogue special and how careers might change in times of Platformation. To join the 23rd World Business Dialogue, apply until November 15th!
What is the most profound impression you have of your World Business Dialogue experience?
I love the diversity. There were so many individuals from different countries. In this age of AI and automation, more than ever there is a need for cognitive diversity. We need individuals from different backgrounds and cultures to join the discussion, and this approach you have embraced is remarkable.
“We need individuals from different backgrounds and cultures to join the discussion, and this approach you have embraced is remarkable.“
What have you been up to since your time at the Dialogue in 2018? Are there new insights in your field that you would like to share?
I have been traveling the globe and focusing on starting my own leadership academy.
The landscape of the workplace is changing at a rapid rate. Companies are moving away from the one size fits all, and we are seeing more personalization and incorporation of digital technology in the workforce to improve training and increase employee engagement levels. The same personalized experiences we are having in our consumer lives will eventually be adopted in all workplaces.
“The landscape of the workplace is changing at a rapid rate.”
Our current Dialogue topic is centred on platform economies. Do you believe that digitalized business models such as platforms flatten company hierarchy?
Yes. While hierarchical ladder structures were a good fit for industrial age corporations, success in the digital age requires collaboration, flexibility, and agility. As organizations adopt more agile policies and processes to speed up decision making and adapt to change, this can only be effective by simultaneously creating flatter structures and incorporating virtual team working practices.
What do you believe is the most important role company executives should take on in the time of Big Data?
Leaders need to balance the technological side as well as the human side. Big data will help leaders to make more informed decisions and serve customers better, but the focus must not be overly on numbers. When we only focus on the data points, we lose sight of a company’s most important asset which is their people. To be successful in this AI economy, leaders need to stay engaged. Data processing will be relegated to computers, leaving interpersonal engagement to executives. Their most important role will be inspiring, coaching and engaging the workforce.
Considering the growing domination of monopolistic platform models, how do the responsibilities of executives change in regard to their employees and clients?
Today we need technology that works with us, that amplifies our voices and improves the human condition. Our leadership crisis is due to overestimating the importance of competencies and technology, and discounting the critical importance of relational and ethical leadership. The focus needs to be on ethical advocacy. The financial crisis of 2007-2008 revealed there is a greater need for ethical leaders and transparency in business processes. Leaders must be willing to embrace their civic duty — the actions of an individual must benefit society as a whole.
“Leaders must be willing to embrace their civic duty — the actions of an individual must benefit society as a whole.”
Do you have any advice for future delegates of the dialogue?
There are 3 pieces of advice I would give:
1. In a world where AI is going to tell you how to live eat, behave and vote. I urge you to always think independently and ask more questions. Develop self-awareness, patience and resilience as this will help you to overcome challenges that may come your way.
2. Good listening skills is fast becoming an endangered species due to information overload and shortened attention span. The four foundational skills of language learning are listening, speaking, reading and writing, in that order. We get extensive training on the last three in school, but listening which is the most important is often overlooked. You can’t build relationships, get a complete understanding of situations or even learn or grow as a person, if you do not take the time to listen. Listen with the intent to hear and understand.
3. As more jobs become obsolete, new jobs are being created. It’s important to be a continuous learner. Develop skills that machines cannot easily automate and don’t be afraid to take risks.
Author: Brigette Hyacinth
Brigette Hyacinth is a bestselling author and a keynote speaker. She uses her large platform, especially on LinkedIn, to talk about Leadership, Management, HR, Digital Transformation and Artificial Intelligence. She is also the founder of MBA Caribbean Organisation.