With so many businesses struggling to survive during the great lockdowns of the pandemic, the value of strategic leadership is now back on the table for discussion.
No longer can senior leadership teams rely on strong economic indicators to buttress weaknesses in their supply and value chains.
In the past decade, discussions around leadership were focused on “thought leaders” and how these gifted CEO visionaries could see into the future. Unfortunately, not one of these purported “thought leaders” that I followed predicted this great economic disruption that we find ourselves in today. So, going forward I’ve decided I’m going to look elsewhere for ideas that can bring about business success through the use of information-based planning, communication, and strategic HR.
Today, all bets are off. Businesses that want to survive and prosper in the coming months, let alone the next few years had better set their sights on creating leadership teams that are focused on organizational communication.
Look no further to the historic and ongoing success of IKEA. IKEA’s founder, Ingvar Kamprad, was obsessed with getting information from the frontlines back into the C-Suite so that spending and organization decisions could be made with real-time information. Ingvar was legendary for spending the day bagging customer purchases with the cashiers each time he visited an IKEA store. He listened carefully to what the customers said to the cashiers about the products they were purchasing, what they liked or didn’t like about the merchandise in the store, and even their comments about the size of the bags provided.
Today, some educational institutions proclaim that the key to success in the coming years will be to provide training to the Gen Y’s and Gen Z’s to ensure they have better communication skills.
To this, I would say, that educators and businesses who think barriers to profitability lies in fixing the people rather than systems and processes are probably going to miss out on flourishing in the new economy.
Yes, it is ideal to have great communicators in your organization. But I argue that it’s more important for organizations to create cultures of communication where both strong and weak communicators are able to share valuable information with the C-Suite executives in a timely manner.
Stay tuned for more blogs where I’ll explore “Leadership in a Post-Pandemic World”.
Elaine Allan, BA, MBA
Technology & Business Blogger