CRMC- 2019 was a Rich Exploration of Management 4.0: Readiness and Strategy

The Institute of Chartered Professional Managers of Sri Lanka (CPM Sri Lanka) concluded the CPM Regional Management Conference 2019 (CRMC 2019) in a grand style in collaboration with the Association of Management Development Institutions in South Asia (AMDISA) at the Marin Beach Hotel, Colombo on 30th October 2019. Participants represented from the AMDISA member countries in the South Asian Region and the CRMC 2019 was represented by leading management development institutions from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Maldives, Bhutan and Afghanistan. The theme of the international forum was “Management 4.0: Readiness and Strategy”.

The conference was organized as a half day deliberation and Hon. Karu Jayasuriya, Speaker of the Parliament of Sri Lanka and Patron of CPM Sri Lanka made a special speech at the forum. President of CPM Sri Lanka, Prof. Lakshman R. Watawala and the President of AMDISA Prof. Nisar Ahmed Siddiqui, Vice Chancellor of Sukkur IBA University, Pakistan gave opening remarks. Dr Samantha Rathnayake, Governing Council Member of CPM Sri Lanka and Faculty Member from Postgraduate Institute of Management of University of Sri Jayewardenepura, Sri Lanka has played the role of technical design of the conference and the summing up.

Management 4.0 strives for exploring what the Fourth Industrial Revolution means to the management profession. What new competencies we need to be adapting and sharing both existing and future leaders. This revolution is attributed by the fusion of technologies such as Internet of Things, Artificial Intelligence, Big Data, Cloud Computing, 3D-Printing, Extended Reality, Autonomous Robots, Sensors, Mobile Smart Devices, etc. In this context, as management competencies and best practices are vital in improving the organizational performance and quality of work by closing the effectiveness, efficiency and productivity gaps, it is paramount important to seek the meaning of readiness and strategy in management 4.0.

Session I: Readiness to Respond – Organizations should ready to adjust more rapidly and more extensively to new situations and shifting market parameters and boundaries. Management 4.0 offers multiple technology solutions and techniques. This truly becomes a “revolution” when entire value chains, whether it is in the public sector or the private sector, are ready to change. In order to remain competitively viable in the long term, it is imperative to ask a question, are the organizational structures as well as decision-making processes open to adapt the new circumstances.

Session II: Transformational Leadership Strategy in Management 4.0 – Management 4.0 is pronounced in terms of the digital technology, rather than the employees.  In fact, many employees feel fear as this may replace their jobs. And this is where transformational leadership and strategic move can play a huge and an important role of understanding as to how management 4.0 is integrated into a new working life. In this backdrop, strategy is referred as a new way of finding and making things happen for the fourth industrial revolution.  It’s an approach that is gaining ground as it tackles the issues surrounding people alongside the technology itself.

Two keynote speakers and veteran panellists representing key institutions both from the public and private sector in the region expressed their opinions in line with the conference theme. Leaders need to exhibit and foster creativity and innovation in the workplace to succeed in today’s competitive, unstable and volatile climate. This dynamic panel discussion brought top of their real life experiences in respective domains. It was summed up how Industry 1.0 – the first industrial revolution, steam power and water power; Industry 2.0 – the second industrial revolution, better known as the technological revolution is the period between 1870 and 1914; Industry 3.0 The third industrial revolution or occurred in the late 20th century; and Industry 4.0 – fourth industrial revolution have created a number of unprecedented challenges and changes to human lives.

The conference discussions were based on insights derived from Delloitt Shift Report (2015), McKensey Report (2016), McKensey Global Institute Report (2017), and World Economic Forum Reports (2016-2017 & 2018). It was extensively deliberated the facts and insights derived from McKensey Global Institute Report (2017) in terms of automation and it was stressed as automation is not happening overnight, and five key factors will influence the pace and extent of its adoption;

  1. First is technical feasibility, since the technology has to be invented, integrated and adapted into solutions that automate specific activities.
  2. Second is the cost of developing and deploying solutions, which affects the business case for adoption.
  3. Third are labor market dynamics, including the supply, demand, and costs of human labor as an alternative to automation.
  4. Fourth are economic benefits, which could include higher throughput and increased quality, as well as labor cost savings.
  5. Finally, regulatory and social acceptance can affect the rate of adoption even when deployment makes business sense.

Further, it was discussed the fact that transportation, office administration, production, feed preparation etc. has relatively higher potential for technical automation due to their activity sets being primarily based on predictable physical activities as well as data administration where as occupations such as management, personal care and sales whose activity sets mostly involve managing and developing people, applying expertise to decision making, planning, and creative tasks, interfacing with stakeholders, performing physical activities with operating machinery in unpredictable environments have lower potential for technical automation.

It was with our sincere thanks to all who attended the conference in Colombo and having enjoyable stay here in Sri Lanka. The CPM would like to extend sincere appreciation and willing to continue the friendly spirit and request to join hand with future conferences in the region. All in all, it is about using the concepts that have been put across at this conference to make the region more vibrant for all management professionals.

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