March 21, 2012

Executives of the new world …

laptop displaying analytics

As a corporate coach, and particularly as an executive coach in London and other commercial-centric cities, I’m beginning to ask myself whether business change isn’t occurring faster that ever before in history.

What makes a leadership team, and by extension an entire company, equipped to manage such significant changes as:

  • outsourcing production to global hubs
  • launching new brands when the traditional ones are clearly in decline
  • embracing new business models without damaging present essential revenue streams
  • attracting talented staff who’ll contribute immensely whilst putting home-life first. They have no interested in working overtime or ‘mad’ hours
  • letting go of a company culture that thrived through the past 2 decades but will fold in the next one unless flexibility, meritocracy, transparency and diversity are fully embraced
  • keeping ahead of technological advancements, shifts in product delivery and customer sophistication

There are incredible opportunities opening up for small & medium businesses and for the corporate giants too. These are the strategies I’m noticing the front runners utilising:

  • Active investment in the personal & professional development of a company’s c-levels, directors and executives – it keeps them on form and permanently innovating – and when they’re convinced, they’re convincing
  • Do less – that is, get supremely focussed on the specific activities required to get results. Everything else is a non-priority
  • Keep alert: just because a product or promotion worked last year, there are no guarantees that the same results can be achieved by repeating it 12  months later. Re-review product, market and process, and tweak where necessary
  • Create a clear succession plan for top talent, and purposefully open doors for high performers to progress. Retaining great employees takes know how and active expectation management
  • Buy knowledge & expertise where they’re not already present within the organisation. An external provider is often exposed to a spectrum of examples that can’t be seen from within a culture

There will come a point where the speed of change reaches maximum velocity. At that time the heart of what individuals and tribes want will return to basics: simplicity, community & meaning. There are glimpses of those values already in expansion across the globe. We’re not there yet though, so to all you leaders sensing the stretch – breathe deeply, get resourced and enjoy the ride.

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