Overcoming Barriers to Success in Industry 4.0 [Report]

Man with tablet observing industrial robotic arms in action

It’s no mystery: Great leadership is contagious. Openness, enthusiasm, and a clear vision from company leadership are essential for forming a cohesive, collaborative, and adaptable team — especially as Industry 4.0 continues to alter the manufacturing and industrial sphere.

In a recent survey from Deloitte Insights, industry leaders from a range of different sectors shared some of the key characteristics that they believe have positioned their teams and companies for success. These leaders share a commitment to making a positive impact and have a clear vision for the future. They approach technological investments and workforce development with pragmatism and have confidence in their ability to remain competitive in today’s ever-shifting landscape.

Four Key Leadership Personalities

These survey respondents’ organizations saw faster growth than their competitors. So, what exactly makes a successful leader, and how can you benefit from these insights?

The Deloitte report broke down these leaders into four distinct personalities:

Social Supers

Social Supers aim to make a positive impact in social, environmental, and community circles. These leaders commit to doing good through their work and use this ethics-driven mentality to generate new revenue streams and offer consumers more eco-friendly or socially conscious products and services.

Social Supers see their sustainability and social initiatives as moving hand-in-hand with potential profitability and show rigor in decision-making processes. Finally, these conscientious leaders believe that their employees are well-prepared for Industry 4.0.

Data-Driven Decisives

Industry 4.0 delivers data at rates we’ve never seen before. Executives who have developed decision-making policies built on data, or who have utilized data-driven insights in workplace processes and operations, were nearly twice as likely as Deloitte’s other respondents to claim ownership in leading their organizations to seize the opportunities offered by Industry 4.0.

These leaders focus on training their current employees in new skills, invest in disruptive technologies, and carefully consider the most appropriate and ethical uses of new technologies.

Disruption Drivers

These are the real tech enthusiasts. In the survey, Disruption Drivers reported making strategic investments in technology to stay ahead of the curve in their given markets and outpace competitors. These leaders also made tech investments that returned at or beyond initial expectations.

Disruption Drivers tend to embrace holistic, confident decision-making practices and demonstrate a sense of well-prepared leadership. Disruption Drivers are also confident that their companies can benefit from the opportunities presented by Industry 4.0.

Talent Champions

Leaders who rose to the top as Talent Champions focused on people above all. These leaders embrace continuous training, and take responsibility for fully preparing their staff for the challenges — and opportunities — presented by Industry 4.0.

Two-thirds of these respondents, versus half of all the other respondents, reported generating new revenue via socially driven initiatives and demonstrated great confidence in knowing which the skill sets their companies needed most. Talent Champions believe that their workforce and teams are optimally composed.

Looking Ahead

Advanced technologies, innovative tools, and new forms of communication are all on the table with the rise of Industry 4.0, and for many, it’s a lot to take in. It can be tempting for leaders to simply try to protect their own positions, rather than charging forward and embracing new technologies and talent, which can seem like threats. But this survey has shown that leaders who embrace change are the best positioned to remain competitive and relevant in today’s ever-shifting industrial landscape.

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