Focusing primarily on business profit and growth is increasingly acknowledged to be the path to extinction.
Articles in this month’s issue of Agility Update summarise thoughts and advice from business leaders and organisations on actions to take now to secure your success.
We present an agenda of opportunities from the Boston Consulting Group and four ‘must have’ skills for the CEO of the future, followed by two case studies — Haier’s organisational revolution for digital transformation, and Coca Cola’s use of big data and artificial intelligence.
Rising inequality and populism around the world have prompted the Boston Consulting Group (BCG) to advise corporate leaders to adopt an agenda to secure the future of their global business. The actions to attack the root causes, including sustaining an inclusive model of economic growth, will entail making unfamiliar and uncomfortable choices, warns BCG. Business leaders must balance two apparently conflicting objectives — secure the prosperity of their own companies and the conditions for sustained prosperity. This will entail focusing on seven areas of opportunity:
For case study examples of these opportunities, click here to read the article.
CEOs of the future need four essential skills says Reid Hoffman, founder of LinkedIn; Arianna Huffington, founder of The Huffington Post and Thrive Global; Bill George, long-time CEO of Medtronic and currently a leadership professor at Harvard Business School; and Ryan Holmes, CEO of HootSuite. These are:
Purpose can be built and nurtured throughout an organisation so that everyone within the company has internalised what the company stands for beyond profits and growth. Research also shows that purpose-driven organisations outperform other organisations.
To attract and keep talent with their high expectations beyond salary and perks, CEOs need to make their organisations the best possible launch pad for amazing careers to build their employer brand, avoid stagnation and lead to lifelong relationships with those talents.
To adapt to constant change, business leaders need to become lifelong learners to make themselves more adaptable.
CEOs should make an effort to be on the communication channel where employees, customers, competitors, investors, partners and stakeholders are all spending their time. Active engagement in social media will also help achieve the first two skills.
Read the Fast Company article These are the four essential skills CEOs of the future have to have and the original post here.
‘Transforming for digital’ can sometimes be more lip service than action. However, at China’s white goods giant Haier Group Corp, CEO Zhang Ruimin upended the traditional corporate model. First, he blew up much of the administrative structure by eliminating 10,000 management jobs. Next, he reshaped the global manufacturing enterprise into a network of entrepreneurial ventures run by employees, whose compensation is based on the success of their products in the market. In this MIT Sloan Review interview, Zhang shares his beliefs on why the traditional corporate model has to be disrupted to survive in the internet era; and on the need in the Internet of Things (IoT) age for direct interaction with users and a focus on creating the best user experience. In essence, he has turned Haier into a platform for entrepreneurs. That platform is also accessible to entrepreneurial projects from outside Haier, and today there are more than 3,000 microenterprises operating on it. Read Leading to become Obsolete to learn how Zhang makes his Rendanheyi management model work.
Click here to learn more about the 68-year-old executive who received the Legend in Leadership Award from the Yale School of Management’s Chief Executive Leadership Institute in 2016, and who has been named to a number of “most admired” and “top thinker” lists.
There is no ignoring big data. However, many organisations are still coming to grips with issues around gathering, analysing, extracting value and privacy. Meanwhile, The Coca Cola Company has been using big data analysis and artificial intelligence to drive strategy and is already in a decade-long journey to ensure that culturally specific sensitivities of different societies are respected.
As the world consumes more that 1.9 billion servings of its beverages every single day, Coca Cola has been combining the petabytes of data generated from production and distribution to sales and customer feedback with a technology toolset to change their approach to IT. Moving from a decentralised approach to a centralised approach allows the data to be combined centrally and made available via the shared platforms across the organisation. For example, Cocoa Cola linked all vending machines on a wireless network in a 2002 pilot to gather point of sale data. By analysing the data gathered, Coca Cola was able to forecast demand more accurately, quickly identify problems, increase sales by 10 percent and cut overtime and other costs by 46 percent.
Other examples of big data and AI use at Coca Cola include: using a sophisticated Black Book algorithm to ensure a consistent taste for its orange juice; launching new pre-mixed beverages based on customer choices at self-service mix-your-own soft drink fountains; developing an AI virtual assistant that will reside in vending machines to allow greater drink personalisation; collecting point of sale data to create centralised iPad reporting across the company to enable collaborative planning, forecasting and replenishment processes within their supply chain using all data at hand.
To read more, click on Forbes’ The amazing ways Coca Cola uses artificial intelligence and big data to drive success and Datafloq’s Coca Cola takes a refreshing approach to big data.
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