Leadership in the Industry 4.0 era

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The Fourth Industrial Revolution brings opportunities across nearly every segment of the economy, from medical to energy, logistics and beyond. While leaders begin to recognize the many dimensions involved, many seniors executives are not completely prepared for Industry 4.0. A survey conducted by Deloitte reveals what sets apart the most effective leaders.

Deloitte`s survey, which covered more than 2.000 C-suite executives across 19 countries, shows how leaders move forward in The Fourth Industrial Revolution, and where they are making the most progress.

In the last couple of years, the interest in social impact raised and it became, in many cases, a buzzword. The good news is that the survey mentions that leaders rated “societal impact” as the most important factor when evaluating their organizations’ annual performance, ahead of financial performance and customer or employee satisfaction. Even so, only half of the respondents believe that this type of initiative can generate profit.

Another key point in preparing for Industry 4.0 is to develop effective strategies. Most of the executives admit that they struggle to do so, especially since the markets are changing faster than ever. According to the survey, their abilities to develop and share knowledge to determine effective strategies are limited. Also, the survey shows they focus on protecting their positions rather than make bold investments to drive disruption.

Through the many dimensions that the Fourth Industrial Revolution brings we can include social implication, clear vision, and collaborative organizations, investing in technology for the short term, and addressing the talent gap. The research shows four types of leaders that are making the most progress and identified what sets them apart.

Social Supers

This type of leadership is based on social initiatives. Some leaders have figured out how to generate revenue by doing good and changing products and services to be more socially or environmentally conscious. “Social Supers believe societal initiatives, more often than not, contribute to profitability and those initiatives are fundamental to their business models. Social Supers also exhibit greater rigor around decision-making and believe their workforces are ready for the Fourth Industrial Revolution”, is shown in the survey.

Data-Driven Decisives

Some executives are far more likely to lead their organizations in capitalizing on the opportunities associated with The Fourth Revolution Industry. “Data-Driven Decisives are also more likely to invest in disruptive technologies, to be concerned about the ethical use of new tech, and to train their current employees to access the skills required for Industry 4.0”, according to Deloitte.
Disruption Drivers
The Disruption Drivers are the ones who invest in technologies to upend their markets and competitors, but also invest in technology that has achieved or exceeded their intended business outcomes. “These leaders are more confident they can lead in the Industry 4.0 era (45 percent versus 32 percent) and more assured their organizations are prepared to capitalize on the opportunities associated with Industry 4.0, and they take a more holistic approach to decision-making”.

Talent Champions

As suggested by the title, this type of leadership refers to executives that are more prepared for the future than the rest of the field. They have the proper workforce, they train their employees for the future of work, and know which skill sets their companies needs. “About two-thirds have been able to generate new revenue streams through socially driven initiatives, versus half of all others surveyed”.
This research shows that leaders with these characteristics stand apart from the crowd. They are sharing a commitment to doing good, with a clear vision of the path forward. According to Deloitte, the good part is that these type of leaders are contagious, so we can expect that the number of executives with such behaviors will grow.

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