“We built our own barriers as we did not ask executives to challenge the models. We were happy to accept good results without question. When a Black Swan event took place, we were frustrated no one had ideas; but that was the cultures we developed”
As has been well recorded, there is a new recognition for the need for senior executives to possess a growth mindset and desire to learn. It is something that many feel was absent for long periods since the Great Financial Crash of 2008/9 when the focus became dominated by models and internal process.
Why is this important? Many leaders during the last year have felt frustrated by the genuine narrowness of thinking within their own businesses and the lack of accountability below board level. It is easy to criticise people but the reality is that many have developed structures which have not asked senior talent to think innovatively or outside of the box. It is, therefore, a natural result that when a crisis came that many would struggle to adapt in their thinking.
It is all a natural consequence and has been well documented. Back in 2019, it was reported that 40% of executives’ days were spent in internal meetings and then a further 3 hours on emails. The average executive spent less than one hour with external clients. Of course, this would create its own problems.
One senior executive noted: “We built our own barriers as we did not ask executives to challenge the models. We were happy to accept good results without question. When a Black Swan event – or a White Rhino event – took place, we were frustrated no one had ideas; but that was the culture we developed. We asked no one to be innovative so, of course, no one could think differently when a crisis hit.
It will take time to change this. To do so, we need to place more emphasis on education and learning; be more open to listening to others. Of course, to make it all worse the education system is not strong enough as it stands and many have been taught not to listen. It is not a great starting place.”
Our objective has always been to bring people together, to share knowledge and ideas. Today this is more important than ever.
It has never been any different. Knowledge and learning create the confidence for executives to be able to be bold, to challenge and to generate change. This is needed today more than ever.
Even now, many companies are struggling with developing alternative plans, observing the market and its trends and creating effective strategies which can be implemented in different scenarios. Scenario planning has suddenly become of importance after being half ignored for many years.
If the pandemic has illustrated one thing, it is the need for companies to once again possess strong business planning as well as have an ability to objectively observe the market.
EP has run over 150 events during the pandemic which has attracted over 3,500 unique attendees from across the global industry. Our objective has always been to bring people together, to share knowledge and ideas. Today this is more important than ever.
As we go into 2022, EP will be running a range of forums focused on the key agendas of the day from sustainability to Carbon zero planning to modern L&D to the importance of service to digital innovation. Leading experts from across the disciplines will be joining to share their thinking.
It has never been more important to come together and be collaborative.
Welcome to 2022, a year which will ask new questions of us all.