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Where leaders should focus their energy in 2021 

by Jackson B

By David Williams, CEO & Founder of Impact 

This has been a turbulent year like no other, with organisations required to shift and pivot at speed. As businesses embrace ‘the new normal’, now is a crucial time for leaders to consider their priorities for the future.

Impact’s CEO Business Leadership Survey 2020 shows nearly two thirds (63%) of business leaders say their organisation will have to change significantly in light of the Covid-19 crisis. The survey revealed more than 8 out 10 (83%) say they need to invest more in changing or transforming their organisation ahead. Yet, given the shifting sands we find ourselves working on right now, how do effective leaders best navigate these uncertain times to ensure businesses can firstly even survive, but also thrive?

Focus on liberating human potential:  

People have never been more important in making or breaking an organisation. Successful teams are those that are upping the ante in preparing their teams for future disruptions that require an increased level of leadership agility.

In practice this means continuing to invest in training and upskilling, but also requires leaders to devolve decision making to empower workers to make decisions in real time – an essential step for organisational agility to be effective.

Think about the long term: 

Dispersed ownership will become much more of the norm so it’s important for companies are thinking about where they’re going to be in 20 years’ time.

With this in mind, it is also important to point out that any organisation that isn’t factoring in climate change, loss of biodiversity and equality in their strategic planning will not be around much longer.

Let recent learnings act as a catalyst for change:  

Businesses need to look at developing levels of sustainability that will appeal to existing and emerging customers/ markets who are now more discerning in their choices (i.e. millennials tend to avoid organisations and products that are actively damaging the world we live in, so on the long run businesses with ethical standards are more profitable and successful).

During the Covid-19 pandemic we shifted our face to face worlds to virtual almost overnight. As we all decided to stay home and connect online, the world quickly saw a host of environmental benefits such as cleaner air. Now it’s time to use that agility for good in the long term – it saves businesses money and it could save the planet.

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