While profitability is an imperative, getting there at any cost is old world ideology and today’s CEO needs to be ahead of the curve in order to lead the business of the future
“You can lead the change or be a victim of change,” said Denise M Morrison, who recently stepped down from her role as President and CEO of Campbell Soup Company.
While the company has been through turbulent times of late, her words still hold firm for CEOs of all (business) shapes and sizes.
From top line down to grassroots level, change is ongoing; so here are three thoughts for today we believe every CEO needs to know.
IT’S TIME TO REVIEW YOUR HUMAN CAPITAL
We’re not suggesting that a mass cull is in the offing, but it is important to make time to thoroughly review the different strata of talent that make your business tick, from human capital through to those all-important (but oft forgotten) recruitment and development policies and procedures.
A review of your leadership and talent structure to ensure that there is a top-down ‘hire smart’ approach can open up a can of worms (talent deficits/make-dos) or highlight a wealth of untapped opportunity (talent gaps).
In leveraging diversity in the workplace, you’re turning on the creativity tap, which, in turn enhances innovation by around 20%. It also enables better risk identification – and reduces it by as much as 30%, according to Deloitte research. The ever-practical CEO will ensure her or his team is both cognitively (education and function) and demographically diverse.
IGNORE HR TRENDS AT YOUR PERIL
Financial performance and product quality isn’t the only way in which companies are being judged today. There is a third contributing factor: the impact of what you do on internal and external communities, and society at large, has been a trending topic for some time.
If you agree with the findings contained in the 2018 Edelman Trust Barometer, which reported that people worldwide place 52% trust in business “to do what is right,” versus just 43% in government, the trending rise of the social enterprise can’t be ignored. Global citizens are now looking to business to plug the gap on critical issues such as income inequality, health care and diversity.
HR has a key role to play here, working in tandem with the CEO and senior leadership team to jigsaw this into a company’s people processes, from assessment through to competency frameworks, in order to properly develop existing and incoming talent.
Get this right and your stock will only grow, both externally as well as with your employees, for whom being part of a progressive world-class organisation, and having an ‘appreciated voice’, supports the viability of sustained business success.
INCLUSION IS A GIVEN
So, you’ve evaluated your team from the top down and diversity is no longer a buzzword, but are you really living and breathing inclusivity?
A culture reset is a challenge, especially when, historically, ego and testosterone have defined the business environment, but the boys club mentality has to change.
Deloitte research revealed that 71% of global organisations aspire to have an inclusive culture in the future, but maturity levels remain low.
Key to making this a reality, CEOs need to lead from the top and make themselves accessible to everyone equally, to a point where team members feel free to challenge, give feedback and provide input – all in the name of inclusivity in action.
Research also shows that leader behaviours can drive up to 70 percentage points of difference between the proportion of employees who feel highly included and those who don’t; and this is amped up even further for minorities. This boosts overall team performance by up to 17%, decision making quality by 20% and collaboration by 29%.
In creating and cultivating connective (and collective) purpose in a workplace environment where everyone has a voice, and every person is accountable, you’re already part of the new world order.