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New research by Deloitte offers insights for leading Industry 4.0 change and transformation

Global survey of C-suite leaders shows societal impact and talent development top list of leader priorities.

Wellington, New Zealand - 22 January, 2019 — Deloitte’s second annual Fourth Industrial Revolution (Industry 4.0) Readiness Report, Success Personified in the Fourth Industrial Revolution, was released this week in conjunction with the World Economic Forum meeting in Davos, Switzerland.

With Industry 4.0 re-shaping how the world lives and works, business leaders are facing the pressures of preparing their companies and their workforces for this new era. Deloitte New Zealand CEO Thomas Pippos says the report, informed by a survey of more than 2,000 C-suite executives across 19 countries, identifies the traits that set apart the most effective leaders in addressing this shift.

Deloitte New Zealand CEO Thomas Pippos says last year’s survey report showed a significant gap between business leaders’ optimism around the possibilities presented by Industry 4.0 and their companies’ actual readiness to influence and harness those opportunities.

“A year later, business leaders are more realistic about what it will take to succeed, and they appear particularly focused on societal impact and workforce development as two critical components of their future success,” says Mr Pippos.

This year’s survey revealed that societal impact (34 percent) is the most important factor business leaders use to gauge success—totaling that of financial performance (17 percent) and employee satisfaction (17 percent) combined. Additionally, more than half of global executives surveyed (53 percent) noted their societal impact efforts resulted in new revenue streams—proving purpose and profit can coexist in Industry 4.0.

Global leaders appear to understand the new skills required by Industry 4.0 jobs, however, the fear of technology and automation isn’t necessarily causing executives to increase efforts to train their workforce. While 55 percent of leaders highlighted a significant mismatch between current skill sets and those needed in the future, 25 percent still prefer hiring new employees over retraining their current workforces. Furthermore, 57 percent believe the education system is inadequately preparing incoming workers—up from 35 percent last year.

“While there is no one recipe for success in how to deal with rapid industrial transformation, it can be helpful to understand how certain leaders are approaching this ever-changing environment. Our research identifies four ‘leadership personas’ that are more likely to thrive in Industry 4.0,” says Mr Pippos.

Success personified: Four leadership personas for an era of change and uncertainty

  • The “Social Supers” – These leaders consider societal initiatives fundamental to their businesses. They have demonstrated success in “doing well by doing good” by generating new revenue streams through socially or environmentally conscious products or services. “Social Supers” are more confident in their ability to handle the workforce challenges of Industry 4.0—they are 12 percent more likely to cite that their workforce composition is prepared for digital transformation and show far greater willingness to train workers (54 percent vs. 37 percent).
  • The “Data-Driven Decisives” – These leaders overcome strategic obstacles through a methodical, data-focused approach and are bolder in their decisions. They are confident in comparison to other leaders, with sixty-two percent strongly agreeing that they are prepared to lead their organisations in capitalising on the opportunities associated with Industry 4.0—almost twice as many as other leaders (32 percent) surveyed.
  • The “Disruption Drivers” – These leaders understand that investment in new innovations is required for growth and they invest in technologies with a concerted focus on upending their markets. These bold decisions have paid off—their technology investments have achieved or exceeded their intended business outcomes. “Disruption Drivers” are more likely to say they feel ready to lead in the Industry 4.0 era (45 percent versus 32 percent) and are more assured that their organisations are prepared to capitalise on the opportunities associated with Industry 4.0.
  • The “Talent Champions” – These leaders know what skill sets their companies need and believe they currently have the correct workforce composition. They are aggressively preparing their companies for digital transformation, and embrace their responsibilities to train their employees for the future of work (51 percent versus 41 percent for all other respondents). Talent Champions also are more likely to invest in technologies to disrupt competitors (42 percent versus 32 percent).

“What these leaders have in common is that they are achieving greater revenue growth than their counterparts, in part, because they have conquered at least one, and sometimes more, of the dimensions required for success. For other leaders seeking to prepare for the challenges of this new era, these personas offer insights that can be used to shape their own strategies for success,” concludes Mr Pippos.

For more information and to view the full research results, read the report here.


This research is based on a survey of 2,042 global executives conducted by Forbes Insights in June-August 2018. Survey respondents represented 19 countries from the Americas, Asia and Europe, and came from all major industry sectors. All survey respondents were C-level executives, including CEOs/presidents, COOs, CFOs, CMOs, CIOs and CTOs. All executives represented organizations with revenue of $1 billion or more, with half (50.1 percent) coming from organizations with more than $5 billion in revenue. Additionally, Forbes Insights and Deloitte Global conducted one-on-one interviews with global industry leaders and academics.

About the Deloitte Societal Impact Commitment

Addressing the complex challenges society faces today has become a mandate for business, and one that requires a new mindset for action. Deloitte is taking action through WorldClass, a societal impact initiative to empower 50 million futures by 2030. Our ambition is to create pathways for people to fulfill their aspirations and find meaningful work in the new economy. The Deloitte network is also empowering women around the globe, promoting environmental sustainability, investing in new insights and methodologies, and serving clients to fulfill their purpose. Deloitte is committed to responsible business practices, serving the public interest, and making an impact on society. Learn more about our commitments here.

About Deloitte in New Zealand

Deloitte New Zealand brings together more than 1300 specialist professionals providing audit, tax, technology and systems, cloud and innovation, strategy and performance improvement, risk management, corporate finance, business recovery, forensic and accounting services. Our people are based in Auckland, Hamilton, Rotorua, Wellington, Christchurch, Dunedin and Queenstown; serving clients that range from New Zealand’s largest companies and public sector organisations to smaller businesses with ambition to grow. For more information about Deloitte in New Zealand, go to our website

About Deloitte

Deloitte refers to one or more of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited, a UK private company limited by guarantee (“DTTL”), its network of member firms, and their related entities. DTTL (also referred to as “Deloitte Global”) and each of its member firms are legally separate and independent entities. DTTL does not provide services to clients. Please see to learn more about our global network of member firms.

Deloitte provides audit & assurance, consulting, financial advisory, risk advisory, tax and related services to public and private clients spanning multiple industries. Deloitte serves four out of five Fortune Global 500® companies through a globally connected network of member firms in more than 150 countries and territories bringing world-class capabilities, insights and service to address clients’ most complex business challenges. To learn more about how Deloitte’s approximately 264,000 professionals make an impact that matters, please connect with us on FacebookLinkedIn or Twitter.

Media Contact:

Alexandra Grace
Communications Manager
Deloitte New Zealand
04 470 3770

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