The World Economic Forum annual meeting 2019 in Davos Switzerland created an opportunity for leaders, citizens, and future thinkers to come together to change the world. Reporting from the event emphasized the need for the kind of thinking that must focus on the combination of WHAT needs to be done and HOW it needs to be done so that there are permanent solutions with authentic buy-in from society for long term results. Very few people talked about a “one and done” approach. To me, this translates into there is more than one dimension to problem-solving and it takes more than one effort by one person. Authentic and sustainable solutions need to come from the right sources at multiple levels of authority, power, and influence.
Ginny Rometty CEO of IBM, a participant at Davos, provided an accurate and insightful perspective when she answered the question about how to serve society’s shareholders to solve the challenges of the current Fourth Industrial Revolution. Her answer was that there is currently a “trust headwind and a skills crisis” and she explained it this way; “there is too much focus on technology (skills) and not enough on infrastructure for societal buy-in (trust).” She gave an example of an infrastructure shift that occurred in the previous industrial revolution, a high school for all citizens so that all citizens had access to preparation for the new focus of work and could share in its benefits. Sharing increases trust.
Like the previous industrial revolution, there needs to be a focus on societal buy-in from our leaders. Our new leaders, a majority are women, are addressing how to align work in this new industrial revolution so that there is no longer a disconnect between who we are and what we do. At FarVision, we address this by helping to create purpose-driven business cultures that produce a profit and use purpose driven profit as a resource for the advancement of the world.
Creating purpose driven cultures is the first step for business leaders to solve the trust headwind and skills crisis.