Accelerating agility and leadership in a rapidly changing business environment

What is the key to survival in a rapidly changing business environment? This was one of the discussion topics during Navigio’s CEO roundtable event in May. 12 CEO’s and chairmen of the board from some of Sweden’s largest companies as well as  some of our fastest growing companies met to discuss the human capital challenges they face to deliver on their strategies.

To no surprise, everyone around the table confirmed that the pace of change is faster than ever. Digitalization is rapidly changing the business environment. As new business opportunities emerge, organizations need to evolve in order to stay competitive. New kinds of competence and skills are sought by organizations that want to become the winners on the new playing field.

We discussed how organizations can develop strategies that enable them to cope with the accelerating pace in the market as well as with so far unanticipated challenges, potential crises and other events. Embracing change and using the kind of leadership that capitalizes on the disruptive, accelerating changes is a key success factor according to the CEO’s.

Constantly adapting in an ever changing business landscape

Human capital is at the center of the strategies to cope with this new environment. It is necessary to drive organizational change, get new competence in and to phase out competence and work methods that have become outdated. All this must be handled for a CEO to be successful.

Strengthening the digital competence is a key priority at many companies. Traditional industrialists need to work side by side with digital specialists to develop new products and services as well as interacting with the customers in new channels. Creative intellectuals are sought by for example manufacturers and change management becomes ever more important.

Large corporations seeks to be agile and innovative but are challenged by organizational structures that where not created to suit today’s business environment. Meanwhile, fast growing entrepreneurial companies must constantly evolve to get onboard the additional resources required in an efficient way.

Leadership challenges

The changing business environment also puts new challenges on leadership. One comment from the discussion was that it is not uncommon nowadays that employees have more information than their managers. The flexible workplace and “work anywhere” concept also makes it harder for managers to achieve a close, personal leadership.

Leaders need to foresee trends and define innovative strategies beforehand. Anticipating change, driving the strategic shift and leading in a way that maximizes the employees performance makes for excellent business results.

Today’s market place is dynamic and each level of a company needs to face their business challenges with good change management. The long-term advantage lies with organizations that are able to act fast and agile through leveraging on the right talent and a thought through strategy.

It really is all about developing people and organizations. Having the right structure, the right governance model and the right individuals in place will create a highly efficient organization.