Business Leaders have always been identified by their ability to lead people and businesses. They display a great passion for leading others as expected by not only their people but their customers, shareholders, and the general public. These leader’s capacity for thinking conceptually, imaginatively, systematically, and opportunistically with regards to the attainment of success in the future has always been unquestionable. You would always hear them in corridors and gatherings talk about their ability to take a long term view of the business, look at the organization and its competitive environments, and how they are able to consider how these fit together. They show a great understanding of strategic concepts, the levels of strategy, formulation of strategy vs implementation, and how important these elements are in strategic thinking. If you asked them these questions they will be able to answer in a blink of an eye:
- Where is your organization now?
- Where does it want to be?
- What changes are among competitors?
- What courses of action will help their businesses achieve their goals?
Because they are generally good at defining the overall direction for the business’s grand strategy they never struggle with these questions.
Fast forward to 2020, more and more organizations are learning that past experience is not always the best basis for developing future strategies. Through strategic thinking, many business leaders have mastered the planning process that applies innovation, strategic planning, and operational planning to develop business strategies that have a greater chance for success yet COVID-19 has flipped these processes on their heads. At the center of every strategy, there are people, they account for EVERY REALITY concerning the attainment of the strategy. Yes, being able to account for economic realities, market forces and available resources is critical but now that the very existence of humanity has been threatened by the global pandemic, the biggest reality is people. No longer can people be grouped under resources only to be forgotten along the way because leaders are focusing on the attainment of success.
It is time for a different kind of business leader, one that is not just concerned about the attainment of success but one that is led by a mind that THINKS DEEP, BIG, AND IN TIME about people. Intentionality about people is the new strategic imperative.
Who is leading your organization?
Author: Mandisa Makubalo, Founder & MD (Unlimited Experiences SA), Cape Town, South Africa