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What Skills Do 2018's Business Leaders Need?

Business woman on phone

If there’s anything that’s profoundly changing the world, it’s technology. And because technology changes so rapidly, it’s no surprise that business processes and systems are organically evolving as well.

As more and more businesses integrate automation, artificial intelligence, and robotics into their operations, it’s worth asking, “What critical business management skills should the leaders of tomorrow possess?”

Crucial Business Skills for 2018 and Beyond

Ability to Think Outside the Box

Building on existing processes to improve efficiency and, in turn, the organization’s bottom line is a laudable business administration skill, but in the face of a fast-changing technological environment, and therefore changing consumer needs and preferences, a business analyst must be willing to build new systems to leverage change and shape its impact, rather than merely react to it.

Related Article: 10 Careers Worth Going Back to School for and How to Get There

An Understanding of the Potential of Technology

Information technology is fast becoming a differentiating factor for many businesses, no matter the industry they’re in. Business management professionals need not dabble with code or be well-versed in nanotechnology, mechatronics, or biotechnology to be effective at their jobs, but they must possess a deep understanding of the applications, potential, and implications of emerging technologies on their operations, customers, and the industry in general.

Related Article: 10 Ways Technology is Impacting Learning in Higher Education

Ability to Thrive Amid Chaos

Agility is another indispensable business analyst skill. The leaders at McKinsey define “organizational agility” as the ability of a company to adapt, quickly change, renew itself, and emerge successful in a turbulent and ambiguous environment.

Processes that worked in the past will likely not work today. As such, modern leaders who embrace chaos as a result of the dismantling and reinventing of previously built systems are better equipped to handle the challenges and uncertainty of the future.

Remarkable Emotional Intelligence

Artificial intelligence, as you may have heard, is poised to rule the world, largely because computers have perfect recall, don’t make emotionally charged decisions, and never get tired. But one thing AI will have trouble replicating is humans’ emotional intelligence. Modern-day leaders inspire collaboration and accountability in their teams through authenticity, transparency, honesty, and fairness.

Related Article: Keys to Effective Organizational Leadership

Ability to Turn Followers into Leaders

While hierarchical or top-down decision-making has its uses, it will hamper an organization’s ability to quickly respond to evolving trends. One way business managers can empower their people to make sound decisions is by teaching them the elements of a proven problem-solving strategy called “design thinking.” Another way is through constant coaching and communication.

Ability to Harmoniously Work with Humans and Technology

Technology in business is here to stay. Business leaders who find emerging technologies exciting and as a way to optimize processes and make better use of their people’s capabilities will find more success than their counterparts who approach technology with trepidation.

What NCU’s Business Leadership Programs Can Do for You

Northcentral University offers online business degrees and organizational leadership programs that will hone your leadership, communication, problem-solving, and analytical skills. We are committed to offering only the most relevant courses and specializations to help you achieve your management and leadership goals.

For any questions or if you’re ready to get your business administration degree online, call us at 866-776-0331 and we will be happy to assist you. You may also fill out our online form below to request for information on the online business management degree or specialization of your choice.