Leading the company, inspiring people, mentoring, managing business results, customer focus, shareholders, accountability to board are some of the well articulated responsibilities for a CEO.
Just like a product carries an embedded quality and service, and is bundled assuming minimal failure rates, the responsibilities mentioned above for a CEO have now become a given.
Ever wondered that businesses have changed but these responsibilities have somewhat remained static?
Yes! New responsibilities are getting added, like leading transformational change to stay relevant for the future, or leading the company in times of PR crisis.
Easy to state but managing it is tough in reality.
There is published information that in the past 50 years, only 30 or so companies retain the place in Fortune 500 and the remainder have either gone bankrupt, acquired or are struggling.
The entire concept of ‘built to last’ raises one question multiple times over.
What went wrong ? What changed? How could these cash rich powerhouses disappear or get dislodged?
Something dramatic happened, and we are not talking on why and how so many Chinese companies found their way into the Fortune 500 list. We are talking about transformational change that has been led by entrepreneurs and CEO’s in the last 2 decade which has been instrumental for creating this new canvas.
The fortune list carries many companies who were able to predict and embrace the changing consumer patterns, and more importantly had the appetite to take risks despite being put against odds.
One thing is for sure, many companies that had deep pockets lacked transformational leadership capability or it was sheer arrogance that they did not invest in the right technologies or business models or maybe infallibility took roots. Oh! and how can we forget that some of these new age fortune companies. They actually went to large corporate and were turned down because of on reason or another. Did the boards of these companies even understand the business model of new world?
The times of relevant CEO has arrived. They will power on with:
- The ability to take risks
- ‘Fail often, but fail fast and fail cheap’ culture driven in organization
- Measure sustainable goals as consumers get more aware
- Reading trends and patterns critical to lead transformational change
- Shut businesses where necessary, merge to leverage strengths or just buy a start up to bridge the capability gap.
- Digital transformation is a passé, it is about ‘Digital company’
When the traditional automotive industry was struggling with hybrids, Tesla created it grounds up, Simple. Yes, there are examples where large companies transformed themselves, like the few leaders on cloud computing. They aligned themselves, and from an era of skepticism in late 2000’s, they have had exponential increase in cloud revenues.
Transformative leadership is required to be relevant for the future.