Fourth Industrial Revolution trends are disrupting long-established business models. Growing demand for customized products. Shifts and skill mismatches in production value chains. Digitization across every dimension of manufacturing. A volatile socioeconomic climate marked by protectionism and populism. These trends are transforming the production landscape, and leadership is no exception.
The scale, complexity and urgency of today’s challenges are significant. How do leaders balance delivering short-term results while being stewards to their people? What takes primacy: shareholder and market priorities or long-term impacts on people, families and communities? How do leaders navigate their own personal transformations while simultaneously guiding their people in uncharted territory? The common denominator across all these questions: How do we put people at the centre? This question guided our project work in 2018. Taking a field-based approach, we explored the authentic experiences of production constituents who are managing this complexity on the ground, along with the advice of external leadership experts, to examine a new leadership paradigm. Starting with the six dimensions of the World Economic Forum’s Leadership Transformation Map, a refreshed set of supporting behaviours emerged that help leaders navigate today’s disruption to influence tomorrow’s success – by putting people at the centre.