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Industry 5.0 and Europe is at the Forefront

“There is a human-centric core to Industry 5.0, which thrives on people-focused, empathetic leadership, in turn driving change and inspiring teams. In an era defined by geopolitical risk, economic volatility and rising costs, our research shows that maximising the digital skills and capabilities of boards, executives and teams is an on-going priority to drive business forward.”

Boyden, a premier leadership and talent advisory firm with more than 75 offices in over 45 countries, reports on its annual global executive talent research. Findings show European respondents focusing on key elements of Industry 5.0, striving for growth through (i) innovation, (ii) digital transformation and (iii) human capital.

The global study, Strengthening the human-centric core of Industry 5.0[1], How can organisations thrive in a complex world of risk? explores perspectives on risk among CEOs, boards and other senior leaders, alongside executive talent trends, priorities and investment.

Nick Robeson, CEO of Boyden UK & Ireland says of the findings, “There is a human-centric core to Industry 5.0, which thrives on people-focused, empathetic leadership, in turn driving change and inspiring teams.

In an era defined by geopolitical risk, economic volatility and rising costs, our research shows that maximising the digital skills and capabilities of boards, executives and teams is an on-going priority to drive business forward.”

Findings that show how European organisations are well positioned for Industry 5.0:

  • Exceptionally high confidence among respondents in the technology sector, with 94 percent very confident/confident in their organisation’s growth potential, while concerned externally about (i) geopolitical risk, (ii) industry competition and (iii) national economic volatility;
  • Structural change driven by digital advances and competing for the right talent, identified by 43 percent and 33 percent of respondents respectively;
  • A stronger focus than other regions on strengthening tech/cloud/cybersecurity and digital skills in 2022, consistent with 2021 findings. Europeans’ top area for strengthening executive skills is digital (robotics, AI, machine learning), with 81% identifying these skills;
  • Culture shifts driven by organisational agility and innovation, identified by 44 percent and 40 percent of respondents respectively;
  • Overall confidence in organisational growth potential (where there is the greatest element of control) at 80% very confident/confident;
  • Greater investment in leadership development of high potentials through 2023.

Mark Soden, Managing Partner at Boyden UK and member of the global technology practice adds, “Despite the economic and geopolitical headwinds, it is no surprise that the technology sector continues to remain confident; customer demand is strong and there is still plenty of investor appetite. While some areas of technology may face a challenging 2023 there will be pockets of the sector that continue to thrive.”

Ed Macnair, CEO of Censornet – the leading autonomous cloud cybersecurity solutions provider – and one of the participants in Boyden’s global survey, comments:

“Business leaders in Europe have shown their ability to protect, adapt and innovate in the face of global challenges over the past year. Cyber-attacks especially are among the greatest risk posed to businesses and can have a devastating impact, so leaders are right to be concerned and looking for solutions. Boyden’s annual survey is a lightning rod for checking the temperature of the C-Suite, and guiding how leaders can future-proof their businesses.”

An increase in senior-level recruitment is expected through 2023, up from 35 percent of respondents in the 2021 study to 52 percent in 2022, correlating with human capital as the third top driver of growth. Recruitment challenges are expected by 64 percent compared with 48 percent in 2021, with an expected increase in the use of interim managers; 36 percent of respondents are extremely likely/likely to bring in interim executives in Europe, up from 22 percent in 2021. Financial services is the sector most likely to increase engagement of interims.

Lourdes Lopez, Partner at Boyden Spain shares senior recruitment advice, “Top talent in the technology and tech-driven sectors will be attracted to human-centric companies offering innovation, creativity and a strong strategy for facing new challenges. This is a key moment for reinforcing leadership teams. Top executives are more open to disruptive projects and will do proper due-diligence before joining. So transparent and clear communication from the early stages is essential, as well as a good understanding of candidates’ main motivations.”

Europe Regional Analysis: Strengthening the human-centric core of Industry 5.0

[1] The Fifth Industrial Revolution, also known as Industry 5.0, is a new phase of industrialisation, whereby humans work alongside advanced technologies and AI-powered robots to enhance processes within the workplace.

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