Digitalisation, artificial intelligence, and machine learning are the challenges.


(Gillian Tett, Jonas Prising,

Digitalisation, artificial intelligence and machine learning are the challenges. Digital leadership and hi-tech expertise the possible solutions. ManpowerGroup decided to present these issues at the World Economic Forum 2018 in Davos.

After a close analysis of the criticalities connected with the technological revolution, the Group focused on overcoming the problems in the knowledge that innovation can act as an impetus for businesses and the working world, looking at the digital leaders of the future. In fact, a recent survey highlighted how companies that introduce new business models are 26% more profitable than traditional competitors.

How to find tomorrow’s leaders

“What got you here won’t get you there – explained Jonas Prising, Chairman & CEO of ManpowerGroup -. In the digital era today’s and tomorrow’s leaders must be open to change and take calculated risks. That doesn’t mean replacing traditional leadership: perseverance and adaptability will remain key aspects. However, we will have to work to free talent and to guide businesses with courage, sometimes even failing. And all of this with the aim of accelerating performances.”

Who is ready for the technology challenges?

According to Prising the first step is that of training employees and management by applying the P3 model (People, Purpose, Performance). To map the requirements of professionals ManpowerGroup carried out a study entitled “From C-Suite to Digital Suite How to Lead Through Digital Transformation”. An analysis of the impact of digital technology on the lives of workers. The most worrying finding was that 9 out of 10 HR managers do not think they are ready for the technology challenge.

Digital leaders

This is why the multinational believes it is strategic to bring digital leaders into companies. Talented people that must have four key qualities: they must be adaptable, able to inspire, able to lead and resistant. In short, Prising’s simplified goal remains that of “developing human talent and then pairing it with technology”.

The Digital Room and the Leadership Quotient

ManpowerGroup’s most recent innovation, the Digital Room presented at Davos, takes steps in this direction. Created using AI instruments, the digital room analyses the future capacity of a candidate to take a leading role. Interfacing with the Zara avatar, people are assessed on the basis of their answers to a series of questions on their view of the world. One of the most interesting features of the machine is that it is not just limited to recording words – it is also able to interpret body language and facial expressions.

By combining the collected data the Digital Room provides a result and compares it with the profiles of international leaders. A profiling process that is complemented by the DigiQuotient, the other innovation presented in the last few days by the Group. This 34-question test to be taken online seeks to ascertain the strengths and weaknesses of leaders. “We are delighted to test the new technologies at Davos, the best possible opportunity to meet the world’s leaders. We want to help businesses to consolidate their ability to react to the changes of the digital era”, concludes Prising.

Changes that will also take place in Italy where, according to President of Northern Europe, Mediterranean & Eastern Europe of ManpowerGroup Stefano Scabbio, present at the World Economic Forum, “the revolution of expertise, dictated by the digital economy, continues at an unprecedented rate and we all need to work together – governments, businesses and professionals – to reduce the amount of time required to update people or teach them the necessary skills”.


Diana Cavalcoli

Diana Cavalcoli Laureata in Lettere, si specializza in Cultura e storia del sistema editoriale all’Università degli studi di Milano. Frequenta il Master in giornalismo Walter Tobagi ed è iscritta all’Ordine dei Giornalisti dal 2015. Ha lavorato per Adnkronos a Milano e attualmente scrive per il Corriere della Sera occupandosi di lavoro, startup e innovazione

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