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Busi­ness Transformation

Is Your Com­pa­ny Agile, Resilient And Innovative?



Krish­na Paupamah

Founder/Group CEO

In 2020, uncer­tain­ty rip­pled through the world econ­o­my, caus­ing rad­i­cal shifts in the behav­iours of organ­i­sa­tions. New ways of work were imple­ment­ed overnight. Busi­ness mod­els were shred­ded and rebuilt. Lives were upend­ed – mine included.

Until 2020, as the CEO of a glob­al man­age­ment con­sul­tan­cy, my life was a hec­tic round of flights, meet­ings, hotel rooms and more flights. I was on a dif­fer­ent con­ti­nent every week!

Lock­downs changed that. I end­ed up stay­ing in Kuala Lumpur instead of return­ing to Lon­don when they started.

As a result, I have not been on a plane in the last 11 months and I have been run­ning the com­pa­ny from a lap­top in an apart­ment here.

Inter­est­ing­ly, I found that with­out the con­stant trav­el, I had more time to think and fig­ure strat­e­gy out, which I could only do in fits and starts before. It allowed me to take a deep look at the busi­ness to see how we can improve. As a result, the firm is on a mis­sion to trans­form itself. I am sure that if not for the lock­downs, this wouldn’t have occurred.

I believe many busi­ness­es had the same oppor­tu­ni­ty to reflect on how they can do things better.

For many com­pa­nies, the first step for sur­vival in 2020 was cash con­ser­va­tion. With no clear view of when the unpre­dictabil­i­ty would end, busi­ness­es cut their cap­i­tal expen­di­tures (CaPEX) to the bare min­i­mum. Expan­sion and growth plans were put on hold and costs were pared to the bone. Those were the first actions tak­en by most busi­ness­es glob­al­ly to man­age risk.

For­tu­nate­ly, a vac­cine is now avail­able and there’s hope that things will improve.  Once mass vac­ci­na­tion gets under­way, I believe there will be an enor­mous hunger for busi­ness­es to grow and transform.

The thirst to grow

In my con­ver­sa­tions with CEOs around the world, many realise that if they don’t change or accel­er­ate that change, they will be left behind.

I think there is pent up demand for CaPEX spend, expan­sion plan exe­cu­tion and over­all trans­for­ma­tion. The plans that were shelved in 2020 will be dust­ed off, which should result in the post-vaccinated world grow­ing at a higher-than-normal rate. I have seen this first-hand.

A client of mine, one of the world’s largest logis­tics com­pa­nies, put all their expan­sion plans on hold (they want­ed to build new infra­struc­ture and invest in new trans­port com­pa­nies) in 2020 because of the fear of the unknown. Now, they are back with a vengeance, tak­ing over infra­struc­ture and devel­op­ing oppor­tu­ni­ties rapid­ly to be ahead of the mar­ket as there is more clar­i­ty for the future.

This year, the chal­lenge for most com­pa­nies is to accel­er­ate trans­for­ma­tion and to imple­ment them suc­cess­ful­ly. Many com­pa­nies can make sig­nif­i­cant gains if they answer the fol­low­ing questions:

How effi­cient are our processes?

COVID-19 forced many com­pa­nies to oper­ate out of the box. As a result, many flaws sur­faced, some of which result­ed in lost business.

Scru­ti­nise inef­fi­cien­cies and fix them. Opti­mise your oper­a­tions and enhance pro­duc­tiv­i­ty, and you’d be able to opti­mal­ly use your resources to help your organ­i­sa­tion gain a com­pet­i­tive advantage.

Will our trans­for­ma­tion ini­tia­tives reap the right benefits?

In 2020, organ­i­sa­tions that suc­cess­ful­ly embraced trans­for­ma­tion (includ­ing the adop­tion of new dig­i­tal chan­nels) sprint­ed ahead and grabbed mar­ket share, leav­ing behind com­peti­tors who were scram­bling to adapt.

This year, trans­for­ma­tion efforts should con­tin­ue, but there’s a ris­ing urgency to imple­ment them suc­cess­ful­ly and quickly.

While the keys to suc­cess­ful imple­men­ta­tion lies in many fac­tors, com­pa­nies can begin the jour­ney by being clear on:

  • How the trans­for­ma­tion ini­tia­tive will ben­e­fit the company’s goals and vision
  • How to com­mu­ni­cate the why, when, what and how of the trans­for­ma­tion to the workforce

How can we refine our remote work­ing effi­cien­cy and productivity?

Remote work­ing will be around for some time, even after vac­ci­na­tions hap­pen. Accord­ing to a Gart­ner, Inc. sur­vey of 317 CFOs and finance lead­ers, 74% of com­pa­nies planned to per­ma­nent­ly shift to more remote work post COVID-19.

No doubt, many lessons were learned from work­ing remote­ly in 2020. This is a good oppor­tu­ni­ty to use these lessons to refine dig­i­talised process­es and work­flows to empow­er your dis­trib­uted work­force to work more effi­cient­ly remotely.

How do we estab­lish a cul­ture of con­tin­u­ous improve­ment in our organisation?

The abil­i­ty to trans­form as an organ­i­sa­tion quick­ly and effi­cient­ly will be one of the most valu­able capa­bil­i­ties a com­pa­ny can build this year.

I find that organ­i­sa­tions with a cul­ture of inno­va­tion have a proac­tive work­force that is unafraid of fail­ure. Instead, they view set­backs as a way to move towards a bet­ter direction.

Empow­er­ing your employ­ees to be unafraid of fail­ure and take cal­cu­lat­ed risks may sound, well, risky, but when work­ers realise that exper­i­ments are encour­aged and out-of-the-box think­ing is wel­comed, the organ­i­sa­tion will be bet­ter for it in the long run.

The way forward

As dif­fi­cult as 2020 was, there are many oppor­tu­ni­ties to be had in 2021. But com­pa­nies must be ready to grab them. The mis­sion for organ­i­sa­tions this year, if they want to suc­ceed, is to build back better.

I leave you with a ques­tion to pon­der on: How can your com­pa­ny be agile, resilient and inno­v­a­tive enough to gain the com­pet­i­tive edge in this ever-evolving world?

Krish­na Pau­pamah has worked with com­pa­nies glob­al­ly to trans­form their busi­ness for over 35 years. He is the Founder and Group CEO of Renoir Con­sult­ing. He can be reached at [email protected]

Source: https://www.businesstoday.com.my/2021/01/12/winning-2021/


Krish­na Paupamah

Founder/Group CEO

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