5 Tips to Better Prepare Your C-Suite for Industry 4.0

By John Hodge, Managing Partner, Americas, Miramar Global

Connected Enterprise is changing the way companies are doing business, with C-Suites racing to keep up with Industry 4.0 technology that’s making communication and operations more effective through enhanced data collection and machine learning.  Improved design, productivity and equipment maintenance are driving new solutions to old product and distribution problems that long siloed leadership. The opportunity for expanded data gathering and analytics will impact what company leadership knows about the way they do business and also how they should focus their future goals.  This bigger picture approach is also shifting the paradigm of executive skills, making Industry 4.0 success dependent on leadership’s ability to stay nimble for digital age transformation while still upholding the company’s mission and values.  

Industry 4.0 is the future, and in attempting successful adoption, many companies are looking to bring on a new executive with a disruptive mindset for the Connected Enterprise.  Yet, the most sustainable companies will take a purposeful look at their own needs to hire an extraordinary talent ready to drive their specific preparations for the future. Identifying the best candidate available for the C-Suite means selecting someone who is not only the most talented in their individual skillset, but the best fit to stay with the company through the next transformation as well.  These leaders demonstrate vision and adaptability, and are ready to embrace company culture while infusing it with their own ideas about technology and data initiatives. For the transformation to Industry 4.0, companies’ executive hiring plans also need to account for the human element that determines optimal utilization. Effective leaders motivate others to take ownership of progress too.  

Companies in science, engineering and technology industries tend to be at the forefront of innovation with their products, now’s the time for their C-Suites to be leading this industrial revolution as well.  If current leaders are not right for the company’s growth goals, executive search can identify candidates who will be able to drive the company, and its bottom line, forward. The right executive team for your technological transformation ensures that changes made to capitalize on Industry 4.0 are successful and sustainable. 

Preparing for Industry 4.0 requires a strategy based on the existing C-Suite and company culture and intended growth determined by the established mission.  Before hiring any new team members, technology and personnel plans are critical. These 5 steps allow companies to determine what is necessary for current and future executives to lead a successful technological transition: 

  • Perform an in-house assessment of your company’s values and objectives.  Many of the executives we work with are surprised to learn that some of the people on their team have dramatically different ideas about how to define the company’s mission.  When it’s time to hire a new member of the C-Suite, gauging priorities across the company will help focus the strategy and determine the essential elements of a candidate profile.  
  • Define your data goals to build an effective Connected Enterprise.  It’s one thing to try to keep up with the Joneses as new technology becomes available, but it’s another to utilize the latest advances to address your company’s specific needs for greater efficiency and productivity.  Your C-Suite will see better ROI when your Industry 4.0 efforts are purposeful and rooted in your company’s mission.  
  • Invest in Industry 4.0 initiatives and give them time to take effect.  Risk is a significant obstacle when asking most C-Suites to consider moving their company in a new direction.  Yet, if they’ve taken an honest look at the company culture and operations, these changes to data, technology and communication are part of the critical collaborative effort taking companies into the future.  The transformation will not happen in its final form overnight, but that doesn’t mean it’s not creating a positive impact for the company.  
  • Make the transition a cohesive effort.  Everyone in your C-Suite should understand the intent of new Industry 4.0 initiatives and also be able to communicate this reasoning to incoming members of the team.  Potential hires are likely to have their own plan for growth, but if it’s not a match with yours, you’ll struggle to implement either set of ideas. A sustainable switch happens when the entire organization is on board with fostering success together.   
  • Change your reward mentality.  Newly available data and its applications will likely have an impact on KPIs, meaning employees and those who manage them could be personally affected by a transformation that’s critical for your company.  Clarifying expectations during the transition, and goals for growth beyond, will help new executives become better leaders who can address this growth with confidence.  

While growth mindset may be a hiring buzzword, C-Suites must embrace the concept in order to take advantage of the data and communication benefits arising with Connected Enterprise.  If leadership is playing catch up with technological changes in operations and communication, progress will plateau. Having a focused strategy and the right people leading the decision-making will not only put companies on the cutting edge today, but will help ensure your executives have the tools to adapt for the next transformation as well.   

About Miramar Global

Miramar Global Executive Search was founded in 2009 in London, England to provide CEO and C-Suite leadership for national and global enterprises in the science, engineering, industrial and technology sectors.  Distinguished by its technological innovation in executive search, the company conducts management analyses, executive search, on-boarding and other services.

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