There’s a new buzzword on the block and its name is: Leadership 4.0. As the noise amplifies around Industry 4.0, rather than add to the chatter, Leadership 4.0 seems to be a very sensible approach to change in what can be an overwhelming transition for employees and managers alike.
What is Leadership 4.0?
Leadership 4.0, a strategy and concept increasingly referred to by academic institutions and global consultants with regards to a new style of leadership for the fourth industrial revolution. It’s an approach that is gaining ground within manufacturing and industry as it tackles the issues surrounding people: the most important element for successful Industry 4.0 integration, alongside the technology itself.
Industry 4.0 is often spoken in terms of the digital technology, rather than the employees. In fact, it is the tech of Industry 4.0 that many employees fear will replace their jobs. And that’s where leadership 4.0 can play a big and important part of how Industry 4.0 is integrated into a new working life.
The Strengths of a Digital Leader
Leadership 4.0 is about appointing digital leaders who can take responsibility of the people-side of this massive change, with clear direction and management in an open, employee-centric environment.
The fourth revolution is about agility. Workforces, especially the technical, digital and engineering teams, will need to be able to analyse data and respond fast with their predictions and decisions across the business. Teams won’t be fixed but instead formed from the skills required for that cross-functional project. This will require exceptional organisational and delegation skills from digital leaders who understand where those talents are and how to distribute tasks according to competence.
A Transparent, Innovative Work Place
4.0 leaders foster a transparent, creative culture that can bend and move as change and situations dictate. This new work environment will be a big and possibly uncomfortable move for many who are used to closed and rigid project management within traditional manufacturing environments.
These new digital leaders will need to be a new breed, leading in a way that organisations haven’t seen before, prepared to embrace a very different way of working – just as their employees will be encouraged to develop their skills to become cross-functional in the way they work for their own personal needs and the common goal of the organisation.
Effective digital leaders in industry will be responsible for the continuously changing interaction between technologies, machines and people, whilst nurturing ongoing knowledge-share, skills development, collaboration and innovation.
Leadership will need to mirror the technology of Industry 4.0 and IoT in that connectivity is at its core. Some call is Connected Leadership for that very reason.
There’s no doubt that Industry 4.0 is bringing exciting technological change but we’re equally interested to see the effect it has on how people work and interact with the tech and each other in the future.
If you would like to read more about employing people for Industry 4.0, you may find these articles useful: