Coping with change is an essential leadership trait. No organisation can stand still, however successful it is at present. Markets vary, technology advances and consumers move with the times. If you don’t change, your company becomes irrelevant, or you become irrelevant within your company.
If corporate performance is judged on EBIT - which isn’t the only measure of success - then companies may be judged to be performing poorly because of one or more of
- undefined or unclear strategy
- poor execution
- lack of resources and lack of human talent
- poor marketing and communication.
What separates high-performing companies from those with lower performance is their attitude to change.
If a change - and they come in many different forms - is seen as an inconvenience or a threat, or even overwhelming - then a low-performance company is likely to make a poorly considered response to that change imperative. High-performing organisations are up to 5 times more likely to positively embrace changing conditions, and turn them to advantage.
Those companies with informed leadership know that their job is to horizon scan and to respond to commercial and social events. The upheaval of the pandemic has brought that firmly front of mind. It may be that companies which lack the ability to face the change forced upon them will fail.
Members of the corporate leadership team should know that change is to be expected and is manageable, and, further, that accepting the opportunity presented provides a mandate for taking whatever actions are needed to protect company revenue and market position, and to drive the change agenda.
Once the inevitability that change will happen is accepted, then the strong leader can act to break down functional silos within the firm and instil a collaborative, inclusive spirit across the workforce. Helping people to connect, shifting talent to where it is needed, encouraging intelligent risk taking and nurturing that shared sense of purpose to build a customer-centric company.
You may like to read more on how a command-and-control structure can no longer work in a customer-centric organisation. Agile leadership is required.