Leadership in a Changing Business Environment
Sometimes, building a culture of innovation may result in companies re-defining their entire business.
The Greek philosopher, Heraclitus said change is the only constant. This is particularly appropriate in today’s day and age where technology and market dynamics are driving a swift pace of change. Meaningful leadership has to be able to adapt and harness this, while maintaining a clear sense of direction and values. There are many aspects that are important to leaders of the future, in this article I would like to focus on three of them.
Fostering and inspiring innovation
Leaders often have to walk a tightrope between innovation and focusing on their core business. Building a culture of innovation requires a leader to welcome diversity of thought and be willing to take calculated risks. When done well, this can invigorate the culture of a company and open up new markets and opportunities. Often this requires a leap of faith . Tata Tea did this in 1985, pioneering a revolution in packaging with the poly pack and in 1989, Tetley broke the mould with the introduction of the round tea bag. More recently, we are focusing on value-added offerings such as Tetley Super teas- a range of functional teas with added vitamins for proven health benefits.
Sometimes, building a culture of innovation may result in companies re-defining their entire business. Fostering innovation could also mean creating new structures, processes, and systems- for example, working with people as well as technology in a way that gets the best out of both.
Making the digital wave work for your business
Digital technology is more than just a tool to improve efficiency. Given its potential to change the business landscape, leaders need to integrate it into organizational strategy. This can lead to new platforms, collaborative partnerships and stronger consumer connect for the business. Used right, digital technology can act as a powerful catalyst in driving innovation and enabling change.
Adopting digital transformation often involves changes and ripple effects across the organization. It could involve integration and collaboration among technologies ranging from analytics to social and mobile, to transform the way different parts of the business work. Leaders who effectively champion this can help their companies succeed on many fronts. A successful transformation process can lead to benefits such as addressing consumer needs in new ways, big data leading to the identification of new revenue streams, more agility and a faster learning curve for the organization.
Focusing on sustainability - building for the long-term
A sustainable business is a better business. It is key to building long-term growth and stakeholder value. At Tata Global Beverages, we have identified five core sustainability pillars which are integrated with our business strategy- ethical sourcing, climate change, water management, waste management and community development.
Leaders need to recognize that embracing sustainability enables a company to tap deeper into its own potential and challenge itself to think of new ways of doing business and enriching the community around it. Sustainability leadership calls for a keen awareness of environmental and social trends and the ways in which they can impact a business, opening up risks, challenges, and opportunities.
The benefits of building a sustainable business extend across all stakeholders-Consumers feel positive buying products and services which they know have been produced sustainably. Employees and business partners experience pride and engage better when working with a business that makes ethical choices. Investors recognise that such businesses generate healthier long-term returns. Communities are supportive when businesses co-exist in harmony and also support development.