Bridging Australias skills gap not just a business problem, its a leadership problem

Optus Business research flags major ingenuity gaps between CEOs/Board Members and their executive leaders

Optus Business today released Bridging Australias Knowledge Economy Gap in Industry 4.0, the latest report in Optus Business Enterprise 4.0 series of research. The Report identified significant differences between the perceptions of CEOs/Board Members and other executives when rating enterprises cultural, capability and operational ability to succeed in Industry 4.0.

Rocky Scopelliti, Director for Optus Businesss Centre for Industry 4.0 and the author of the Report, said:

The research found that the most significant gaps were in how CEOs and board members rate their enterprises readiness for Industry 4.0 compared to other C-level roles, were the cultural attributes, said Mr Scopelliti. For example, the greatest gap – 26 per cent – was found to be in the primary operating structure; CEOs and Board Members believe their workforces arrange themselves into small multi-disciplinary, networked, and self-organising teams; they do not.

Mr Scopelliti says the Report findings stress the importance of a culture, capability and operational-centric approach for organisations looking to leverage the advantages of new technology for their workforce.

Fortunately, technologies can now blend machine learning with workforce data to predict the impact of emerging technologies on any role, workforce, company, industry, location and the broader economy. A case study in the report on Faethm, a fast-growing Australian company accredited by the World Economic Forums Centre for the 4th Industrial Revolution, demonstrates the impact of five key-technology types (Social AI, Process AI, Mobile Robotics, Fixed Robotics and Advanced Materials) on the Financial Services Sector.

But transforming employee experiences through existing technologies delivers a major cultural payload. For example, IAG is harnessing digital technology to cultivate a connected and collaborative culture that delivers long-lasting success, said Rocky.

IAG, which is Australias largest general insurer, features as a case study in the report. The insurer recently consolidated a number of its offices in Sydney to a new location in Darling Park. The new site is designed to promote openness and transparency through activity-based working, as well as increasing the number of cloud-based digital services and video conferencing rooms to enable teams to collaborate differently both in-person and virtually.

IAG Group Executive – People, Performance & Reputation, Jacki Johnson said: Modern collaboration technologies allow our employees to easily work from anywhere. Its helping us increase the speed of decision making across the organisation, and encouraging accountability which helps transform old hierarchical structures.

This also supports flexible working and ensures that those who work regularly from home or other locations are able to easily connect with their teams through technologies such as video conferencing, which allows us to create an inclusive workplace, she said.

Optus Business has had a long-standing strategic relationship with IAG, providing managed services and a range of network solutions for the insurer.

Greg Miller, Faethms Executive Director, discusses how companies should be preparing their workforces with Mr Scopelliti on the Optus Business podcast, Enterprise 4.0 On Point, available for download here:

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