BusinessDay

Building resilience for sustainable success in an age of disruption

 

John Peters, Former; Prisoner of War and Chair of Association of MBAs (that accredits Harvard, London Business School, IMD and Wharton), shares insights into how leaders can build resilient organisations irrespective of adversity and volatility. A documentary of John Peter’s life was nominated for a BAFTA and won the independent documentary of the year.
He also explains why executives should attend TEXEM UK’s forthcoming programme on Building Resilient organisations for sustainable success in this interview.

John Peters, himself, Ambassador Charles Crawford, and Professor Paul Griffith will help deliver the sessions of this programme, which is slated to hold between August 22nd and 25th in Birmingham, UK.

For an organisation to maintain firm ground in today’s increasingly disruptive and fast-paced dynamic world, they need a resilient culture. How did Amazon and Pixar build and maintain an innovative and resilient culture?

A resilient agile culture starts with your people: how things are done around here. Global shocks expose out-dated modus operandi and poor leadership. Here are 5 tips that build a culture that can survive and thrive despite the shocks.

Design from the heart … and the head. The hardest things can be the softest things. Resilient leaders are genuinely, sincerely empathetic, walking compassionately in the shoes of employees, customers, and their broader ecosystems.

Yet resilient leaders must simultaneously take a hard, rational line to protect financial performance from the invariable softness that accompanies such disruptions.

Put the mission first. Resilient leaders are skilled at triage, able to stabilize their organizations to meet the crisis at hand while finding opportunities amid difficult constraints.

Aim for speed over elegance. Resilient leaders take decisive action—with courage—based on imperfect information, knowing that expediency is essential.
Own the narrative.

Resilient leaders seize the narrative at the outset, being transparent about current realities—including what they don’t know—while also painting a compelling picture of the future that inspires others to persevere.

Embrace the long view. Resilient leaders stay focused on the horizon, anticipating the new business models that are likely to emerge and sparking the innovations that will define tomorrow.

To learn more, attend TEXEM, UK’s forthcoming Building Resilience For Sustainable Success In An Age Of Disruption
• How can organisations keep their stakeholders motivated in periods of volatility and economic turbulence?

Five behaviours can be identified that reorient their organizations toward long-term value creation rather than just short-term performance:

Invest sufficient capital and talent in large, risky initiatives to achieve a winning position.
Construct a portfolio of strategic initiatives that deliver returns exceeding the cost of capital.
Dynamically allocate capital and talent (through divestitures, if need be) to the businesses and initiatives that create the most value.
Generate value not only for shareholders but also for employees, customers, and other stakeholders.
Resist the temptation to take actions that boost short-term profits which compromise long value.

Global executives who choose to take these actions can, apart from gaining clear performance advantages for their organizations, resolve much of the perceived conflict between stakeholders’ interests and shareholders’ interests. In fact, the two sets of interests largely converge in the long run. Companies create long-term value for investors only when they satisfy customers, engage and motivate employees, and maintain good relations with communities and regulators across extended time horizons.

To challenge your assumptions and glean winning strategies on how to engage stakeholders for symbiotic success, attend TEXEM, UK’s forthcoming Building Resilience For Sustainable Success In An Age Of Disruption

• How best can an organization manage a remote team?
Strategic leaders excel in engaging remote teams do the following…
Schedule daily check-ins. This may seem like overkill, but for managers and teams new to remote working, this is key.
Over-communicate. Beyond the simple daily check-ins, over-communicating is imperative when it comes to the team’s tasks, duties, responsibilities and desired outcomes. It is not just about checking-up, (business) but more importantly checking-in (personal) with remote teams.
Establish rules of engagement. Remote work becomes more efficient and satisfying when managers set expectations for the frequency, means, and ideal timing of communication for their teams. Such as what media for which form of communication. Informal or formal etc. Establish expectations on the best times of day for team members to reach their manager (maybe that’s you) and the manager to reach each team member. And ensure peers are sharing information as needed.
Manage expectations. This is always an imperative but has become increasingly more important in this current environment. Set clear expectations and request feedback to ensure alignment. Don’t simply assume the team understands where they need to focus their energy.
Focus on outcomes, not activity. This is widely known as a best practice for increasing engagement and empowering employees. Clearly defining the goals and desired results, then allowing employees to develop a plan of execution enhances creativity and ownership. Oh wait, that’s a good thing, right?!
Each of the tips above fall into the category of simple but not easy. They each require time, attention, and consistency. To learn more actionable insights, attend TEXEM, UK’s forthcoming Building Resilience For Sustainable Success In An Age Of Disruption

• With the Russia-Ukraine crisis in mind, how severely can businesses operating in a political state with a large trade tie or dependence on Russia or Ukraine be affected, and how can they thrive despite the challenges?

As businesses looks to bounce back after the pandemic, the conflict has dampened its economic prospects. The Russian invasion of Ukraine is adding new troubles to the world’s already stressed supply chains, and this crisis has resulted in rising oil costs increasing transportation and manufacturing costs, exports, including natural gas, precious metals, and wheat, will negatively impact enterprises across a variety of sectors. This raises the risk of restricted trade and capital flows and could weigh on overall confidence and business conditions. In the longer term, the disagreements between Russia and NATO over security concerns will likely persist. The rising geopolitical risk can lead to broader ramifications
Four areas of focus in unpredictable situations, focus is essential. While each organization has its own priorities, in the short term pay attention to these areas:
Expand and accelerate scenario planning
Evaluate and mitigate operational risks
Put effective cost-control measures in place
Assess and implement divestment decisions.
Insights into how to thrive in spite of the volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous times will be shared by other faculties and I, we will be adopting TEXEM’s tested and proven methodology to pedagogy at the TEXEM, UK’s forthcoming Building Resilience For Sustainable Success In An Age Of Disruption

• For an organization struggling to survive in this unprecedented time, how do they balance and manage their focus or goal to remain relevant in?

McKinsey research revealed companies that fared better than others – they called them the Resilients. They prepared earlier, moved faster, and cut deeper when recessionary signs were emerging. The Resilients did three things to create this earnings advantage:
created flexibility—a safety buffer.
cut costs ahead of the curve.
In countercyclical sectors focused on growth, even if it meant incurring cost.

Current circumstances may provide business with less options, but they created a playbook to make the for such circumstances: R O B U S T.

Why should delegates attend this forthcoming programme on building resilience for sustainable success?
Leaders are navigating a tsunami of challenges in a post-Covid world, with the added crisis in Ukraine affecting the global markets. These imposes a broad range of interrelated issues that span from keeping their employees and customer safe, shoring-up cash and liquidity, reorienting operations and navigating their market. This programme is designed to help leaders to survive and thrive in these turbulent times to best position their business to be resilient in the future. It will provide practical tools and conversations that will help leaders do just that. To win, challenge assumptions, network and achieve success that endures join Ambassador Charles Crawford (winner of Oscars of Strategic Communication), Professor Paul Griffith (world’s first professor of management to lead a team to launch a rocket) and I at the TEXEM, UK’s forthcoming Building Resilience For Sustainable Success In An Age Of Disruption

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