Leaders and organization must adapt to a crisis

Generally when a crisis looms, a leader needs to quickly understand the situation, risks or problems and reassure key stakeholders that the organizations is taking the right steps to address them. He / she also needs to ensure that the organization is prepared for any fallout continues to remain viable and relevant to its key stakeholders and can emerge stronger to take advantage of post crisis opportunities.

In a crisis, many leaders experience fear like everyone else. A focus on short term results is often the way for leaders to ensure their own survival. Such behaviors are also fed and reinforced by the growing demand for quarterly and monthly results and the short three to five year tenures of chief executives. This is where real leaders stand out from the flock who are focused on short term gains and fattening individual payouts.

For a long time; the world has looked to the west for leadership. However, as the US and Europe face a period of economic weakness, the world is looking towards Asia to drive expansion to be sources of consumption, investment, confidence and leadership in the global economy Asia will account for about one third of the world’s trade and money quartered of the world’s gross domestic product by 2020. By 2040, three of the world’s largest countries will be Asia, with the largest being China and India and Japan in the top four.

During a recession, leaders tend to go into protective mode, hunker down and hope over time that the crisis will abate and the situation will go back to normal. Leaders should be prepared to face the crisis and take advantage of uncertainties that are thrown up. Many a times, the best opportunities arise in times of crisis.

Leaders should adapt their strategies to the new reality and not rely solely on what worked in the past. This may mean reinventing themselves and promoting growth and new business in a weak economic climate. This recession is very much a crisis of capitalism and failed leadership especially those of Wall Street leadership seduced by money and recognition. The post-recession business environment needs transformational leaders who can create value over the long term for shareholders, employees and customers.

Organizations have to adapt to the changing business environment in order to excel. Fresh talent hired into the organization is a good source of new ideas and energy. Firms need to have structured ways to imbibe best practices to hone their skills. At the same time, one should not deviate too much from the core policies and practices that are integral to the organization striking a balance is of utmost importance.

In a competitive world, the concept of a futuristic organization cannot be achieved if the foundation itself is built on historic policies and processes that are redundant today. The changing environment and the competitive scenario make it mandatory to continually re-look at policies and processes to achieve desired results from its employees.

Robust policies and practices are recognized as essential components of internal control. It should be made according to the nature or line of business and should be adhered to religiously. Policies and practices are macro terminologies and should be formulated once, for all, but if the dynamics or compositions of businesses keep changing, there is no harm in amending the same to keep pace with the evolving times.

Organizations have to continuously re-look at their processes and policies and bring in innovative policies to retain talent. It becomes all the more important in case of dealing with a generation that wants to grow in their careers at a rapid pace.