Possible Futures


The sector has played a key role in the global response to the crisis. But what does the future hold for manufacturers?

Get in touch
Bridge in Hong Kong and Container Cargo freight ship
Industry Overview

From crisis mode to future gazing: what's next for manufacturers?

With a crucial influence on GDP and global productivity, the manufacturing sector represents one of the pillars for economic growth and prosperity.

While the sector was faced with increased pressure during the pandemic, the crisis has helped the world see manufacturing in a completely different way: the sector has played a key role in the global response to the crisis – from PPE to ventilators to medical supplies, it would be not possible to deal with the pandemic without manufacturers.

The fact that much of the sector has remained operational throughout the crisis puts it in a unique position of leadership. As nations slowly emerge from lockdowns, organisations from other sectors will be looking at manufacturers for guidance on standards, health and safety procedures, hybrid work modeling and the best way to support people’s mental health.

When we look at the future of manufacturing, the sector also stands out when it comes to the development and adoption of technology and innovation. From automation to co-bots, to virtual and augmented reality, manufactures are often in the vanguard of embracing new technologies. Yet, with any technology, the challenge often lies in creating the right culture of innovation and adaptability.

From a sustainability perspective, manufactures are increasingly expected to develop their own path towards carbon neutrality – which has a major impact on supply chains, people, products, processes, and profitability. There are, however, two ways executives can look at this: they can see it as a challenge that needs to be navigated, or they can embrace it as an opportunity that can be seized.

The change, naturally, starts with mindsets, and therefore investing in organisational development becomes vital in this process.

How we can help

Understanding the Impact of Change

Every business is different. Every business feels the impact of change differently.

At Headspring, we help organisations leverage the power of their people to create a positive economic, social, and environmental impact. We partner with our clients to co-create transformative learning experiences that empower their leaders to make responsible decisions, and achieve better outcomes for all stakeholders.

Industrial and Advanced Manufacturers

Cutting-edge industries such as aerospace and medical appliance makers are leading the charge towards a more sustainable future. What role do their leaders play?

Explore our Virtual Leadership Program →

Consumer Goods

As consumers' awareness of their impact on the world increases, their new buying habits create challenges and opportunities for manufacturers. How can they create a more sustainable culture?

Explore our Sustainable Growth Program →

Automotive Industry

Autonomous vehicles, hybrid and electric technology, car-sharing economy - automakers rarely find themselves on the brink of such a profound transformation. How can they create a culture of innovation?

Explore our Innovation and Leadership Program →
Special FT Report

Rethinking Supply Chains

Supply chains are simply vital to manufacturing and to the world’s economy. Recent development have put the global supply chain firmly in the spotlight. How is the business of trade adapting in a changing world? Read the FT special report.

Financial Times Logo

Read on the FT
Client Stories - Industrial Goods

APTAR: Setting the future of manufacturing

How Aptar partnered with Headspring to gain an outside-in perspective and prepare for the future of consumer goods manufacturing.

Read Case Study Listen to Podcast
Client Stories - Consumer Goods

Arla Foods: Innovation-Driven Expansion

Renowned for its innovative consumer brands, the company wanted to expand and enter new markets worldwide with ‘healthy, natural, responsible and natural products’. To achieve its ambitious goals, it realised it had to encourage collaboration and new thinking and build a more unified business — ‘One Arla’.

Read the case study to learn how we helped Arla to think more creatively and work more collaboratively.

Client Stories: Supply Chain

CMA CGM: Developing Leaders in Supply Chain

CMA CGM, a global shipping group operating in 160 countries worldwide, had recently acquired NOL, Singapore’s largest listed shipping company. CMA CGM wanted to share best practices as part of normal post-merger integration. But the company soon realised that there were bigger issues at stake.

Read the case study ->  | Watch the Video Interview ->

FT Insights

Trends, insights and analysis from the FT

A closer look at the issues making waves in the global markets. Insights from the FT into topics from innovation to robotics to the businesses helping to build a sustainable future.
FT Logo

Cracking the plastic crisis?

Only 9% of the plastic used around the world is recycled. Now an emerging industry promises to turn plastic waste into a valuable resource.

Read on →

A new pathway to greener aluminium?

Aluminium is lightweight, durable, and 100% recyclable. It’s also a key input for numerous industries. The London Metal Exchange is planning to encourage more sustainable production.

Read on →

In charts: Asia’s manufacturing dominance

Semiconductor and automotive supply chains have shifted east, particularly to China

Read on →

What the pandemic means for retail supply chains — in charts

Companies must contend with new consumer habits that are likely to outlast the pandemic.

Read on →

Now is the time to invest in self-care

The coronavirus pandemic has led millions of people to focus more closely on their health – and the science of everyday health is here to help.

Read on →

From the Romans to Covid-19: the rise and fall of trade (Video)

Senior FT trade writer Alan Beattie explores the forces behind the surge and collapse of globalisation, from the Roman and Mongol empires to Donald Trump and Covid-19

Watch now →
IE Insights

5 Principles for Manufacturers to Survive and Thrive in the 4th Industrial Revolution

Professor Maruan El Mahgiub analyzes how these companies can use software, services, and cooperation to make the move into exponential revenues.

IE Logo

Read IE Insights
Online Learning Solutions

Discover our Customisable Online Programs

Discover our online programs and understand how they can be the right corporate learning solution for your business.

Virtual Leadership Program

The role of leaders is being completely reshaped. While setting a clear business vision is essential, it is no longer enough

Discover & Enquire → →
Mature businesswoman standing against a wooden wall in office

Sustainable Growth Program

Designed to help leaders understand the fast-changing environmental, social and governance (ESG) context in which they operate.

Discover & Enquire → →
digital transformation leader

Digital Transformation & Leadership Program

Transform from within. Embrace digital change to serve your customers, staff and business goals. A program for leaders in the digital world

Discover & Enquire → →
purpose and profit

Commercial Transformation Programme

Help your sales team embrace a mindset of constant development, combined with self-reflection and practical training to help sales leaders and their teams to navigate change and transformation.

Discover & Enquire → →

Inclusive Leadership Program

A customisable online program for teams and business leaders who need to understand how to build and lead an inclusive, diverse and innovate team.

Discover & Enquire → →
Building better organisations,

Corporate Governance Advisory

A forward-looking approach to governance in a volatile world. Developed by global business leaders and supported by some of the most influential Financial Times journalists.

Discover & Enquire → →

Ready for the next step? We are.

Tell us what you need