British ambassador Crawford to inspire winning strategies for sustainable success

The University of Oxford-trained Ambassador Charles Crawford is one of TEXEM UK faculties for its Aug. 22 – Aug. 25 executive leadership development programme in Birmingham, UK.

According to TEXEM’s website, the faculties are expected to share insights into how leaders can build resilient organisations irrespective of the headwinds.

Apart from Crawford, other faculties expected at the programme on “Building Resilience For Sustainable Success In An Age Of Disruption” are Prof. Paul Griffith and John Peters, all of whom will help deliver the sessions.

Speaking during an online interview, Crawford said for leaders to thrive in increasingly fast-paced and disruptive times, they should optimise their capability to manage change successfully.

He spoke of the need for organisations to maintain loyalty and the trust of its stakeholders as one of the strategies for survival.

Crawford said it was difficult for leaders to optimise their capability to manage change because over 70 per cent of change initiatives recorded failure.

He said that trust and credibility were critical to successfully implementing transformation but were particularly essential for success in turbulent times.

“The best way to maintain trust and credibility with your team, customers and the wider public is to be consistently honest about current difficulties and how you plan to tackle them.

“Nothing is more annoying for customers than a business partner who makes false promises or runs into unforeseeable delays but pretends that everything will be delivered on time when he or she knows that that can’t happen,” Crawford said.

He said that with a gradual and progressive return to the workplace after the COVID-19 pandemic, organisations could help their stakeholders by being honest in their transactions.

“Honesty is difficult. It needs a trustworthy team who feel they can give corporate leaders bad news,” Crawford said.

He said that honesty often required more transparency than a company might typically feel was comfortable.

Crawford added that honesty relied on ruthless accuracy about what was going wrong and what it might take to fix it.

He said another thing to think about was leaders presenting themselves as people who would do more than necessary.

“Don’t make current difficulties an excuse to deliver poor performance.

“Show that your whole aim is to crash through those difficulties and get the job done for the customer, even if that means extra work and some extra expense for yourself.

“Your best business hopes may come from customers who know that you delivered what they expected despite plenty of difficulties and so are pleased to recommend you to others,” Crawford said.

He said TEXEM’s executive development programme would address more insights about utilising values to unlock scarce resources for sustainable success during uncertain times.

Crawford further spoke on ideologies that a post-pandemic organisation should be rooted in to thrive in the present age of disruption.

“One ‘ideology’ that’s worth considering is how your organisation deals with mistakes.

“Do you have a company policy on this, and how is it communicated downwards through your teams and outwards to customers and the wider public?

“Mistakes come in all shapes and sizes and are hard to manage because they are typically unpredictable,” he said.

Crawford asserted that different behaviours caused different sorts of mistakes.

“Laziness, carelessness, negligence, recklessness, and simple stupidity each have implications for tackling the ensuing problems and then taking smart steps to make sure that the behaviour concerned is not repeated.

“Mistakes could cost a business its existence if it makes a company complacent and ignores the customers’ needs.

“Blackberry is an excellent example of a successful company that made costly mistakes by not listening to customers and living in denial,” he said.

He said Blackberry insisted on producing phones with full keyboards — despite consumers’ preference for touchscreens.

Crawford added that the mistake resulted in the loss of market leadership and the ultimate death of the company.

“One fundamental corporate culture that can be actively encouraged is getting your people quickly, to be honest when a mistake has happened, and not trying to cover it up or assign the blame to someone else.

“The damage caused by mistake is often manageable if the error is tackled promptly,” he said.

Speaking on why executives should attend the forthcoming TEXEM programme, he said it is a very topical programme that every organisation and their leaders need.

“Second, the quality of faculties, such as Professor Paul Griffith, the world’s first professor of management to lead a team to launch a rocket.

“There is John Peters (Former Prisoner of War and Chair of AMBA, accreditors of Harvard and INSEAD). Both of them will share valuable insights and challenge assumptions.

“Also, the TEXEM methodology, which comprises games, simulation, group discussion, role-play, observation, case studies, panels, and self-reflection, makes learning personal, fun, interactive, and a thought-provoking experience,” Crawford added.

He said the programme would help leaders and their organisations develop winning strategies.

Crawford stressed that it would enhance organisations’ ability to turn challenges into opportunities and help organisations, through stakeholders, to increase their capacity to manage
disruptive situations.

“It would help leaders enhance their capability to unlock scarce profitable growth opportunities for your organisation.

“Leaders will develop the capacity to motivate their team to remain productive in turbulent times.

“It would help your organisation be many steps ahead of competitors in envisaging business-related occurrences and adequately preparing for uncertainties,” he said.

Crawford said it would help leaders develop a resilient team that sees volatility only as an opportunity to experience uncommon growth and build long-term success.

“It will help your organisation develop strategies for creating profitable growth opportunities despite a complex operating context,” he said. Crawford is an adviser to many world leaders in the public and private sectors. He said, “I will be leveraging TEXEM’s tested and proven methodology which makes pedagogy fun, relatable and impactful to inspire leaders to develop actionable winning strategies to win”

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