Technological change in the Fourth Industrial Revolution (4IR) is transforming the global business landscape on an unprecedented scale. Increased competition, shifting customer preferences, the globalisation of markets, and changing demographic trends are drastically altering how companies operate throughout the world. As such, business schools need to tailor their educational experiences to enable leaders to thrive in this era.
In this time of complexity and uncertainty, bold and visionary leadership is required from both business and government alike. The business environment in Africa, in particular, requires a fresh and innovative approach, one that is contextually relevant and mindful of socio-economic dynamics and culture beyond conventional business acumen.Spending on technology in the Middle East and Africa will reach US$374.2 million by the end of the year, surpassing previous estimates of US$310.3 millon. South Africa is estimated to account for 20.5 percent of spending on artificial intelligence (AI) in this region. Gaining and maintaining a competitive advantage by harnessing the power of technology is crucial to the longevity and profitability of companies across all sectors but, in recent years, has only been developed in the banking sector.
Understanding the dynamic force of Industry 4.0 is critical, however, developing enterprising leaders to participate meaningfully in the business sector is paramount. The integration of critical human skills needed to succeed in the context of Industry 4.0 is weaved into Johannesburg Business School’s (JBS) teaching philosophy. An immersive experience is proven to facilitate impactful learning through its transformative teaching methodology. Successful African strategies cannot be developed in the boardroom only. The value of an immersive experience allows the student to be exposed to new perspectives on leadership and organisational effectiveness and, at the same time, incorporate these into executable strategies. As such, JBS’s signature programmes use immersive learning experiences that incorporate practical deep-learning methods to create immediate impact in organisations. In 2020, JBS has two Signature Executive Education programmes starting: Business in Industry 4.0 and the Woman Entrepreneurship and Leadership in Africa (WELA) programme.
The Business in Industry 4.0 programme, which is jointly accredited with UC Berkeley, provides senior leaders and entrepreneurs with a comprehensive and practical understanding of Industry 4.0 and its impact on business strategy and leadership. Through learning engagements with world-class faculty and leading global firms at the forefront of 4IR, and an interactive learning experience where delegates visit Silicon Valley, California, participants will harness the essential skills to be future fit for the business world.
The WELA programme, run in partnership with China Europe International Business School (CEIBS), is designed specifically for female entrepreneurs and is focused on enabling them to identify business opportunities as well as maintain viable and sustainable enterprises by examining the issues, challenges, and opportunities women face in creating, managing, and leading companies in Africa. Study blocks are delivered in Johannesburg, South Africa, and Shanghai, China, and affords participants with the opportunity to learn from each other while extending their professional and personal networks across the globe.
Leonardo Snyman is the Head: Marketing and Online Programme Strategy at JBS. Article first appeared in Fast Company SA’s October/November edition. Read more in our print issue.