Written by: Wayne Elsey, Executive Contributor
Executive Contributors at Brainz Magazine are handpicked and invited to contribute because of their knowledge and valuable insight within their area of expertise.
In a world of immense complexity, business leaders face unique challenges to drive growth. For instance, they must continually optimize operations and stay compliant with social, legal, and fiscal obligations. Moreover, it’s happening at an unprecedented pace with redefined customer and team expectations. Organizations that can navigate business sustainability challenges will thrive in the modern business landscape.
So, how can leaders ensure business sustainability and grow profitability? How can organizations succeed in this highly complex environment? And how should they structure their businesses to succeed? Having been doing it globally for years, I'd like to share some of the characteristics of the modern business place. And I’d offer some insights to leverage growth, strategy, and build a sustainable organization.
What Is Today's Business Environment?
We live in a new business environment where strategy and execution are more critical to success than ever. However, many leaders find modern business too complex with rapid-fire business decisions and increased competition. In short, they’re overwhelmed. Further, they can’t think long-term, precisely when they need to do it.
Business strategy is fundamental to any business, which takes long-term thinking. It's the blueprint that explains how a company intends to achieve its goals. It’s an umbrella concept that encompasses critical elements. For instance, it considers market definition, positioning, value proposition, and more.
Further, a solid business strategy gets developed in response to these factors. As a result, leading business strategies shape the competitive landscape and customer expectations. In reality, it doesn't matter what products you sell; the digital transformation dramatically changed the needs and expectations of customers. This transformation led to an unprecedented increase in the complexity of business strategy and execution.
Strategy and Execution Amid Rapid-Fire Decisions
If you're a leader who feels overwhelmed, then this is the moment to pause. The fact is that your long-term business strategy has to be at the organizational agenda's forefront. So, even as you wonder how you can predict the future, you have to pause and reset your business strategy. For one, you could look beyond the immediate trends and keep an eye on identifying mid-market and long-term trends that could impact your industry.
Companies are under pressure to make decisions on every scale, from big-picture strategic decisions to operational decisions. In addition to these operational decisions, business leaders are also under pressure to make decisions around digital transformation. In many cases, non-tech leaders make decisions about the evolution of their infrastructure, infrastructure management, and adopting new technologies.
Leveraging an Agile Business Strategy
Agility is one of the most vital abilities of any leader, team, or company. Sure, you've seen plenty of articles about agility. However, there's a reason for it. Rigidity at a time when technology, such as ChatGPT, is forcing so much consequential change is a massive risk for your company. I’ll share that within my companies, these are topics for discussion every day.
The reality is that an agile strategy enables your company to navigate the increasingly complex business landscape. Moreover, it allows your business to get a leg up on the competition. If you feel like too much is happening, so does your competition. So, creating an agile and flexible business strategy is half the battle. Again, strategy is the overarching concept that provides direction and guidance.
How do you create an agile strategy to ensure business sustainability? One critical thing you want to ensure you remember is that what may be good for one area of your business may not make sense for the whole of it. Therefore, at the enterprise level, you need to build agility with people who deeply understand the company as a whole. Once you keep to the big-picture view, you can create the elements that will make your company more agile.
Driving Growth and Profitability
Sooner rather than later, businesses must transform themselves to meet the new demands of customers and beat the competition. The transformation, however, is not necessarily a one-way street. Companies that assume there’s only one way forward can find themselves diverting resources from core business priorities without realizing any increase in profitability. Moreover, transformation is often a complicated process that is resisted internally.
Successfully driving transformation and integrating innovation into the core business model, businesses must ensure the transformation process doesn’t distract or divert resources from core priorities. Successful transformation requires an organization to change some of its core attitudes, beliefs, and behaviors to adapt to the new reality. Further, businesses must resist the temptation to become more process-driven, risk-averse, or less customer-oriented. This resistance can debilitate an organization's growth, profitability, and business sustainability.
Final Word: Sustainability and Business
This constant pressure to make short-term decisions in a short time frame easily leads to decision fatigue. Regardless, business leaders must lead their teams and companies past the overwhelm and exhaustion. Companies can ensure their business sustainability by becoming customer-centric, adapting to changes in the sales model, and leveraging digital transformation.
In sum, the modern business environment has been in constant flux for decades. Candidly, it’s not anything new. What is new, however, is the speed. It’s resulted in an increasingly complex business environment driven by businesses seeking to maintain a competitive edge—sometimes to their detriment. Still, today's successful business leaders can effectively execute an agile business strategy and drive growth by keeping an eye beyond the short-term and regrouping if necessary.
Wayne Elsey, Executive Contributor Brainz Magazine
Wayne Elsey is the founder and CEO of Elsey Enterprises. Among his independent brands, he is also the founder and CEO of Funds2Orgs. This social enterprise helps nonprofits, schools, churches, civic groups, individuals, and others raise funds while helping to support micro-enterprise (small business) opportunities in developing nations and the environment.