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Success personified in the Fourth Industrial Revolution

Four leadership personas for an era of change and uncertainty

Leaders emerge

As Industry 4.0 continues to reshape the world in which we live and work, business leaders are adapting to the changes it is causing. In Deloitte Global’s second annual survey assessing business and government readiness for the Fourth Industrial Revolution, leaders appear more knowledgeable about Industry 4.0 and its implications for their organisations. But with that knowledge comes a greater awareness of how quickly things are changing and how companies must act today to remain successful into the future. The 2018 inaugural report, which assessed more than 2,000 C-suite executives globally and their organisations’ readiness for Industry 4.0, observed a “tension between hope and ambiguity.” While executives understood the changes being brought about by Industry 4.0 and were confident they were ready, their actions (or lack thereof) demonstrated they were less prepared and less able than they thought to fully harness and benefit from those changes. In this year’s survey, we aimed to uncover how leaders are moving forward, where they are making the most progress, and what sets apart the most effective leaders.

Of the many insights uncovered in the report one seems to stand out: The number of respondents who insisted they are doing “all they could” to prepare their workforces for Industry 4.0 fell by nearly half. Knowing that business leaders are loath to take their collective foot off the pedal, this likely means that many executives are gaining a much deeper understanding of Industry 4.0, are increasingly aware of the challenges before them, and are viewing the actions needed to succeed in Industry 4.0 more realistically.

From an Irish perspective:

Leaders are becoming more knowledgeable about the Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) and with this, they no longer have a sense of “fear of the unknown” and now see it as an opportunity to further foster growth and agility in their organisations. Those leaders that take a proactive approach towards tackling the challenges are best placed to make the most progress – this is true of both the global and the Irish space.

Commenting from an Irish perspective, Valarie Daunt, Head of Human Capital, Deloitte Ireland said: “It is interesting that societal impact is one of the top priorities for C-level executives, particularly in light of Deloitte’s 2018 Millennial survey, which outlined millennials’ strong preference for organisations to help solve society’s economic, environmental and social challenges. In fact, here in Ireland, less than one third of Irish millennials (31%) agree that business leaders are committed to helping improve society, while two thirds (64%) believe that businesses have no ambition beyond just wanting to make money. The findings from this Readiness Report may indicate that companies are becoming more in sync with the expectations of an increasingly millennial workforce.”

With the rise of AI & Robotics, Irish organisations are uncertain about the skillset they will require from their workforce a year or two into the future. It is important to remember that AI and robotics will not serve to replace humans but rather complete repetitive and manual administrative tasks, allowing the workforce to focus on more value add activities. Organisations can rest assured that inherently human skills such as empathy, critical thinking and softer skills will always be required in the workplace.

It is interesting to see a sharp decrease from 2018 to 2019 (a drop from 86% to 47%) in organisation’s confidence that they are doing all they can to build a workforce ready for Industry 4.0. Organisations are becoming less confident in their ability to attract and retain talent. Changing demographics and rising expectations of millennials (who now compose almost 50% of the workforce) may contribute towards explaining increased competition for talent and also high levels of turnover in organisations.

In summary, a commitment to doing the right thing, coupled with empowering your workforce to work optimally alongside emerging technologies, are solid steps Irish organisations can take towards enabling themselves to prepare themselves for Industry 4.0, and the opportunities and challenges that it brings”.

For more information explore the full Success personified in the Fourth Industrial Revolution Global report.

Fourth Industrial Revolution

Industry 4.0 Readiness

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