Leadership of Industry 5.0 and ‘New Quality 5.0’ – A Paradigm Shift

Dr Anthony Kenneson-Adams DBA. FIoL.  Head of Learning and Knowledge Transfer Project7 Consultancy

Posted 5/21/2024

From the Practice of Many to the Expectation of All

Industry 5.0 represents a significant leap beyond its predecessor, Industry 4.0. While Industry 4.0 focused on automation, data exchange, and smart manufacturing, Industry 5.0 introduces a human-centric and ethical approach that will be new to many. In short 5.0 is putting new demands on leaders that they put ethical leadership of people at the centre of all we do, and whilst this has been the practice of many, it is now the expectation for all.  

This change also impacts us in many subtle but transformative ways that means we need to adapt and think differently in how we think about issues and how we express ourselves. For example we used to say, “Treat people like you would want to be treated,”  Now we our focus must change to “Treat people as they expect to be treated.”

So what are the demands of 5.0 and what do leaders and teams need to consider in order to nurture people on the 5.0 journey, particularly in line with the expectation of our post millennial teams and the exponential rise in technology? How do we adapt to harness what is now available in people and process for the consistent performance of quality? Here are some ideas:

Industry 5.0 follows that people and processes equal good performance.

  1. Human-Machine Collaboration: Industry 5.0 emphasises collaboration between humans and machines. It recognises that technology alone cannot solve complex challenges; human creativity, intuition, and empathy are equally crucial.  Essentially it is people who solve complex problems, which aligns nicely with our Project7 model of People + Processes = Performance.
  2. Customisation and Personalisation: In Industry 5.0, production processes are tailored to individual needs. Mass customisation becomes feasible when leadership is open to new possibilities, allowing manufacturers to create unique products efficiently.  This use of the skills and intellect of our people is also at the centre of Operational Excellence which seeks to remove the 8 wastes recognised in the mnemonics of TIMWOODS or WORMPIIT.
  3. Decentralisation: Unlike centralised production lines, Industry 5.0 promotes decentralised, flexible manufacturing cells along the lines of Kaisen Tieon. These cells can adapt swiftly to changing demands whilst improving quality and profitability. Time and again I have seen the power of Kaison Tieon when leaders focus  on ensuring everyone understands the vision and then actively puts in the effort to remove the barriers.  

Quality 5.0: The Next Phase of Quality Management

Quality 5.0 emerges alongside Industry 5.0, redefining how organisations approach quality. For those willing to take on this considerable challenge, here’s what is needed:

  1. Proactive Quality Control: Quality 5.0 shifts from reactive to proactive quality management. It integrates advanced technologies (such as AI, IoT, and big data) with human-centred approaches. The goal is to identify issues before they impact product quality.  In my experience taking at least some of the responsibility away from the quality lab and putting it squarely in the hands of production with the right training and tools has a major impact on quality. In one plant where I facilitated this change, we saw a 60% drop in customer quality complaints in just 8 months, so I know this approach works.  
  2. Collaborative Quality Systems: Quality 5.0 encourages collaboration across departments. Quality professionals collaborate closely with engineers, designers, and production teams as Integrated Project Teams (IPTs). Together, they ensure quality at every stage of the product lifecycle.  Key to this is ensuring all departments are part of an initiative-taking monthly quality review and engagement with the RCPS process.  
  3. Data-Driven Decision-Making: Quality 5.0 leverages data analytics and AI to make informed decisions. Real-time monitoring, predictive maintenance, and continuous improvement are essential components. Again a key factor here is the involvement of people to interpret the data and make the tools proactive and relevant creating the behaviours that make and sustain the difference.

Industry 5.0

Leading Quality Systems in the New Paradigm

Leaders must now navigate and nurture ever more transformative landscapes. In doing that, I consider the following strategies:

  1. Holistic Thinking: Embrace a holistic view of quality. Understand how human factors, technology, and processes intersect. Encourage cross-functional teams to collaborate and share insights. Quality does not start and end with manufacturing. Quality starts from concept, through design, to manufacturing, delivery, and all steps in between. So it is important that all users are a part of the entire process so there are no surprises when the product is passed from one cell or department to another.  
  2. Agile Adaptation: Quality systems must be agile. Regularly assess and adjust processes to align with changing requirements. Be open for and encourage the team’s experimentation and learning. ‘Good change’ does not have to be huge, it the small, sustained changes that make the difference.
  3. Empowering People: Empower your team to embrace Quality 5.0 principles and purposefully look for and remove their barriers so you become the champion of their success. Find opportunities to encourage their creativity, curiosity, and a growth mindset. Provide training on emerging technologies so the team becomes leaders of change, rather than victims of change. Remember that empowerment is not knowing ‘who to blame’ when this go wrong, its who to ‘praise’ as they engage with improving the business.
  4. Data Literacy: Develop data literacy across the organisation. Quality leaders should understand data analytics and use insights gained from data and from the shop floor to drive improvements.
  5. Ethical Considerations: As Industry 5.0 integrates AI and automation, address ethical concerns. Ensure transparency, fairness, and accountability in quality practices. Ethical leadership and transparency along with self-awareness and balanced processing are the four pillars of truly authentic leadership.

Summary Industry 5.0

Industry 5.0 and Quality 5.0 present exciting opportunities and challenges. By fostering collaboration, empowerment, embracing technology, and embodying ethical leadership whilst leading with purpose, quality professionals, manufacturing leaders and their teams can thrive in this new paradigm. 

Remember, the journey toward Industry and Quality 5.0 is not just about tools; it’s about people. It is people who engage with the maximization of performance, through innovation, process, and continuous holistic evolution that then drives business success. In the final analysis, it will always be People + Process = Performance.


Dr Anthony Kenneson-Adams

Dr. Anthony Kenneson-Adams had a 30-year career in the Royal Air Force, becoming a Senior Engineering Officer, Project Manager and Engineering Authority responsible for multiple fast jets and large-body aircraft in peace and war operations. On retiring from the Royal Air Force, he became a Corporate Operational Excellence Consultant in the Paper Manufacturing and Packaging Industries and is now the Head of Learning and Knowledge Transfer for the international Project 7 Consultancy.  You can contact Anthony at www.project7consultancy.com or [email protected]

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