Leadership in Industry 4.0 is now a hot topic in our everyday life. Technology is determining the most relevant transformations, influencing the sectors and modifying most of the professions.
We are in it, as reported by the International Business Report (IBR) of Grant Thornton of 2019 – global research carried out on managers of mid-market companies.
Advancement in the digital world will give the most influential change factor according to 42% of respondents. Shortly afterwards artificial intelligence and big data (40%) and greater use of automation and robotics (35%).
Therefore it becomes necessary for the leadership in Industry 4.0 to reformulate their business models and equip themselves with new skills that can be consistent with the use of intelligent tools. We will have much more efficient machines, they will enhance the human work and sometimes they will replace it.
The leaders of the future will have to know perfectly what they mean terms such as artificial intelligence, machine learning, the Internet of Things, cloud infrastructures that become commonplace. The challenge is to re-stock their teams, favoring a more flexible and open to new corporate culture.
According to IBR data, 20% of current global executives in the mid-market believe that the ability to be innovative will be the most important feature for business leaders in 2030 while 16% believe it is already today. At the same time, 18% say that knowing how to adapt to change will be essential in the future.
These are the main challenges of leadership in Industry 4.0.
Innovation, adaptation and flexibility will be the key points of successful strategies, but the real competitive advantage of 4.0 companies will be people.
Along with the numerous skills required, leaders will also need to train their teams, making them as ready as possible to face the challenges of change and to take up opportunities that will arise from new challenges.
A clear vision and a shared direction will remain the winning cards for tomorrow’s leadership, which will have to commit itself to spreading a participatory culture, experimenting with different and sometimes risky solutions.
The real strength will lie in the heterogeneity of the groups, in the diversity and in the inclusion.
A study conducted by Forbes recently showed that inclusive teams make better decisions in 87% of cases, while heterogeneous teams deliver better results in 60% of the occasions.