Ready to take off? Study Leadership and Industry 4.0 – Part One

Ready to take off? Study Leadership and Industry 4.0 – Part One

May 3, 2019

According to the recently published study “Success personified in the fourth industrial revolution” by consulting firm Deloitte, the context between leadership and industry 4.0 is explored. Companies feel only moderately prepared for the fourth industrial revolution. The study surveyed more than 2000 C-level executives globally, 130 of them were executives of German companies.

Topics were the four key areas:

  • Societal impact
  • Strategy
  • Technology
  • Talent

What are the opportunities and challenges of Industry 4.0?

Compared to last year’s study, managers at C-Level have gained more in-depth knowledge of the challenges of Industry 4.0 and feel better prepared in dealing with the tasks. What should be clear to everyone – Industry 4.0 not only affects companies, but also the entire work environment and thus our society. It is a transformation process that even conservative companies that adhere to old, proven patterns have to deal with now.

This makes the findings of the recently published Deloitte study even more interesting.

What distinguishes leaders who have made the most progress from others?

  • Increased investment in disruptive technologies
  • Often data-based decisions
  • Employees are more frequently trained and educated according to future workforces
  • Ethical aspects play a role in the use of industry 4.0 technologies

Based on these results, Deloitte creates 4 personas as possible role models for C-level managers:

  1. Social Supers
  2. Data driven Decisives
  3. Disruption Drivers
  4. Talent Champions

Leadership Persona: Social Supers

Do good and be good at it!


The first persona developed by Deloitte is “Social Supers”.

Our fictional persona: Lars, 48, CEO of an international energy company. He attaches great importance to the fact that the company is socially committed and manufactures sustainable products. In addition to renewable energies, Lars is committed to producing conventional energy as sustainably as possible in order to reduce CO² emissions.

Managers like Lars have realized that the social perception of the company has a high priority for the entire organization. However, many find it difficult to combine positive social developments with profit. So what is it that makes these leaders good at doing good on the one hand and making profits on the other?

Social Supers have recognized that social initiatives are fundamental to the business model in the industry 4.0. They create new revenue through social or sustainable products and services. Behind this is the deeply rooted belief that social initiatives contribute to a company’s growth.

Investment in disruptive technologies

In addition, Social Supers are more open to new ideas: 42% of them invest in disruptive technologies and are confident that they can prepare their organization for the opportunities of industry 4.0 (39% vs. an average of 31%). They are also confident that they have prepared their organization for a working environment that is industry 4.0 capable. In the process, they are willing to train and educate their employees accordingly. The ethical use of industry 4.0 also plays a decisive role in this persona in all considerations on this topic.
While one always keeps the “big picture” in mind, the decisions are primarily data-based. When making decisions, the direct input of relevant stakeholders is also sought.

Leadership Persona: Data-Driven Decisives

Reaching goals with a systematic-analytical approach


Samir, 39 years old, CFO of an international pharmaceutical company, doesn’t do things by halves: He allows himself to be guided in his decisions by data. A well-founded decision is only possible with solidly researched business analyses and insights. Old patterns do not have to be retained if the analyses reveal a different picture.

With their systematic-analytical approach, the data-driven decisives are quite successful: 46% of them had annual sales growth of more than 5%. In addition, a very high effort to train employees extensively on the requirements for industry 4.0 is noticeable (69% vs. 41%).

Would you like to know which additional personas are being described? Then read part two of our article!

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