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Brave Leadership in a post COVID World: Future of GCC Business
This article was contributed by Ronan Coyle PhD, Partner - Middle East Practice at Page Executive, in May 2020
Bravery in leadership is more important now than ever before. It is imperative that chairmen, owners and board directors of family groups, and the leaders of other corporate and government organisations, surround themselves with business leaders who have the courage of their convictions for this is the only way that real business and organisational change can come to pass.
The global economic crisis brought about by the COVID 19 pandemic will have deep and far reaching economic consequences and will transform the business landscape for the foreseeable future. In the GCC, family groups, corporates and other government affiliated organisations, some of whom were on unsteady financial ground before the onset of this crisis, will now require real and radical change both in terms of financial and operational restructuring, but also organisational design and talent deployment. Because the business landscape that comes after Covid 19 will be very different to what went before.
It is critical that these organisations act swiftly to address immediate issues related to debt, cash flow and balance sheet. It is also important that they begin to examine their talent agenda to ensure that they have the type of leadership profiles that will allow them to survive in the medium terms and thrive in the long-term. Whether its recruiting a restructuring specialist to address the former or retaining a human capital adviser for the latter, there is one commonality in approach that is vital – business owners and leaders must not tend towards “yes men” (or women as the case may be). The senior leadership team must consist of people who are independent thinkers, confident communicators and who are not afraid to speak truth to power in a constructive way. Equally business owners must foster and environment where their leadership teams are encouraged to challenge each other and the status quo. This allows for an environment that is both solution and change focused.
Bearing the costs of leadership change and redesign is probably not appealing to businesses right now, but it has never been more important because those organisations who act swiftly and decisively now can emerge into a post-COVID world in a much stronger position and will stand to increase their market share and revenues. Those who do not, or wait too long, will find it increasingly difficult to survive.
GCC economies and the businesses that drive them are no strangers to reinvention and this is by no means the first big challenge that they have had to face (though it may be the biggest). There are many success stories and many examples of the seemingly impossible made possible. This crisis however is likely to be the sternest test yet.
So who has the courage and vision to embrace the new future?
To learn more about Page Executive's dedicated business turnaround and restructuring offering, and for a confidential discussion about the most relevant senior talent in the market, please contact Ronan directly on 056 687 9519 or email [email protected]