BRC shares what leadership looks like as the general election approaches – Retail Technology Innovation Hub

Be authentic

Authenticity, according to Dickinson, is the most important leadership skill because it makes it okay to say “you know what I don’t know.” Let’s talk to the team and develop a solution to this challenge – whatever it is.

“If you are curious and open, with a diverse team made up of many different skills and experiences, you can find answers,” she said.

General election

One specific change in Britain is likely to come later this year, when a Labor government is widely expected to come to power after fourteen years of ruling the Conservative Party.

“Whoever it is that comes in, we want a different relationship with greater corporate involvement in long-term planning,” Dickinson said, calling for less short-term thinking going forward, rather than chasing headlines.

Diversity and recruitment

Another topic covered during the leadership debate in the Headline Theater at RTS 2024, during the Q&A section, was how AI – much discussed during the show – could threaten diversity in recruitment, planning , customer service, and so on.

“I worry about AI bias,” Dickinson said, arguing that good leadership could negate any negative impact. “We would be lying to ourselves if we said there wasn’t already bias in the hiring processes, so the same leadership skills are required when using AI to find staff.”

“The key is the overlay and how the technology is used. Obviously you cannot transfer all responsibility to an AI application with a large language model (LLM).”

Regardless, the industry needs to do a better job at recruiting, Dickinson added, worrying that valuable data scientists might not see retail as the industry for them in today’s tough economic times versus the appeal of a high-paying Bank.

“Even though there are probably already more data scientists in retail than in any other sector in Britain,” she noted.

Diversity could again be a force here in attracting sometimes ignored people who nevertheless have valuable skills to contribute.