Business Strategy This Summer

GCC companies must reorganise their activities rather than hibernate during summer, writes leadership expert, Tommy Weir.

With Summertime in the GCC being marked by Ramadan and vacation season, it seems that many people press the “pause” button and operate as if it’s a hiatus period. In reality they keep the doors open and business alive, but listening to the comments of “wait until after Eid” sends the message of hibernation.

With this being the summer rhythm, it made me contemplate, “What should leaders be doing in the summer months?”

Handling this summer like every one else is not the wise thing to do. Pending the outcomes of the Euro negotiations and the oil barrel price, the GCC has potential to continue its recent path of growth. Many businesses have had a fantastic, better than planned, first half of 2012 and if the opportunity to continue this growth remains, organisations better be prepared.

This means a focus on the following dimensions of leadership, which show how to deliver success in times of rapid growth:

  • Cost Leadership to Value Creation
  • Motivation (helping people deliver results) to Inspiration (people delivering results on their own)
  • Operational Leadership (through process) to Scalable Leadership (through people)
  • Staffing Positions to Creating Surplus Value
  • Replicating Quality to Accelerating Improvement
  • Team Work to Winning Together

Prepare Leaders for Future Growth

The best way to prepare this summer for the coming rapid growth is to build your leaders’ growth capabilities.

There are many businesses across the GCC that have a history of growth and success. Even if a business is content with prior results, they cannot keep doing the same thing, as the market is different now – including the environment, market conditions, pricing strategies, product/labour costs, and competition.
While most of the organisations in the GCC do not have structured leadership programmes, this reality does not lessen the value of it. Leadership needs to be the priority of our times, as this investment will yield the greatest dividends.

Strategic leadership development needs to be championed by an organisation’s executives, and seen as a business need (rather than an HR action).

It has to be integrated and aligned with P&L metrics (or a business scorecard), and usually involves the support of leadership experts. Contrary to “training” programmes, strategic leadership development begins with corporate strategy and is very focused on determining precisely what leaders need to do better to deliver on strategy. This approach is scientifically accurate and comprehensive in reach.

The decision to be made now is: “What can be done to prepare leaders and the business for future growth?” There needs to be an immediate bias for action because the primary business challenges can be summarised in two words: rapid growth.