Paul Griffith

Professor Paul Griffith shares insights into why Strategic Leadership is needed to succeed in turbulent times. He also explains why executives should attend TEXEM UK’s forthcoming programme on Turning Organisational Challenges into Strategic Opportunities for Sustainable Success In Volatile Times. He would help deliver and is slated to hold between 1st -2nd of December in this interview.

To what extent can organisational challenges be turned into opportunities?
Every challenge provides the option to explore new approaches and create new solutions. This may help stimulate innovation and the development of a unique competitive advantage by creating different capabilities within the organisation or providing various types of solutions to customers. Essentially the challenge offers a fresh perspective and a driving force to re-examine what we take for granted. This forthcoming TEXEM programme on the 1st and 2nd of December at Wheatbaker, Ikoyi, Lagos would offer actionable insights that will equip you to turn challenges into opportunities.

What’s the relationship between strategic opportunities and sustainable success?
Great strategic opportunities provide for the creation of significant value for an organisation and its stakeholders. To maximise the potential value creation, we strive to make our strategic initiatives scaleable and sustainable – that is, we ensure they continue to be difficult to replicate by our competitors and continually offer valuable utility to our diverse stakeholders.

How can an organisation be successful in volatile times?
Volatile times provide a continuous stream of new market opportunities. Therefore new strategic options will continually open up. Successful organisations can understand and respond effectively to these opportunities. Identification of new opportunities, speed of response and flexibility are all foundations for organisations to maximise their potential in volatile times.

What is a competitive advantage, and how can an organisation leverage this in volatile markets?
Essentially competitive advantage is being able to meet the needs of customers better than your competition. The ability to meet these needs in a way that is really difficult to copy means that this advantage becomes sustainable. In the public sector, competitive advantage entails enhanced public services, reducing waste and improving efficiency. Examples of competitive advantages that are difficult to copy are the culture and brand of an organisation. In the public sector, an organisation could achieve a competitive advantage by innovation, which means adapting to social change through improvements.

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Can leadership quotient be enhanced in uncertain Volatile times?
Leadership is a multi-faceted capability. For an organisation, it covers not just ‘what’ it does but ‘how’ it does it. The combination of processes, values, culture, competencies, and skills in an organisation contributes to this leadership quotient. Responding strategically to the volatile and uncertain environment will force the organisation to examine and strengthen these aspects of its leadership. This forthcoming TEXEM programme, Turning Organizational Challenges Into Strategic Opportunities For Sustainable Success In Volatile Times, will equip executives with the requisite skillsets to enhance their strategic leadership in challenging times.

What can organisations do differently to attain sustainable success?
By being differentiated and making it challenging for others to imitate her, an organisation will help support sustainable success. Areas to explore are purpose, culture, relationship with stakeholders, brand, and the business model – or their ‘how’ – for the organisation. For example, distinctive business models and building long term value creation for the organisational stakeholders are hard to replicate.

Is there a correlation between an integrative corporate culture and sustainable success in organisations?
Distinctive and successful corporate culture – how do we do things around here – is difficult to copy and a key component of sustainable success. It is worth keeping in mind the popular phrase ‘culture eats strategy for breakfast’. Culture is also the engine room that drives innovation and organisational renewal.

What strategies are most relevant for organisational growth in tough times?
There is a range of strategies that can be explored in tough times, however, research has demonstrated that in previous economic crashes and other challenging environmental circumstances, those organisations that continue to focus on a clear purpose and to allocate resources to innovation have been better able to navigate the tricky waters and demonstrate the strongest growth. Also, a core competence in effectively engaging stakeholders (e.g. employees, regulators, suppliers, competitors, customers etc.) for symbiotic progress could be a source of profitable growth in turbulent times.

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What processes can be put in place to avert the dangers of business volatility?
Strategic processes such as ‘horizon scanning’, scenario planning and generating multiple options are all valuable tools in dealing with the volatile environment. Other specific insights would be shared during the forthcoming TEXEM programme.

How essential are executive development programmes for organisations in challenging times?
Organisations need to avoid being ‘blinkered’ – old solutions will not work in the future. Instead, executives need to learn to thrive in challenging times continually. Learning faster is key to survival. Development programs help executives see new possibilities, break out of outdated approaches, share new ideas, tools and concepts and are inspired to lead their organisation to sustained success.

Why should leaders attend this programme?
The operating context has never been as volatile and uncertain – we are all working in a fast-paced environment, and it will never be as slow as this again! Rather than survive, organisations with the right thinking and best practices create an excellent opportunity for thriving. Leave the competition behind; build strong, profitable growth and organisational core competence using the tools and techniques we will share on this programme.

Importantly, TEXEM’s approach of using a range of learning tools comprising discussion, role play, presentations, actionable short videos, and games improve; interpersonal skills, stakeholder engagement credentials, decision-making capabilities, communication, leadership quotient and team spirit. In addition, TEXEM’s tested and proven methodology comprising of case studies will be deployed during the programme to encourage participants to enhance their cognitive skills, improve their analytical rigour, evaluation skills, and assist them in managing ambiguity better. Indeed, you would steepen your learning curve, enhance your social capital via networking and enhance your professional trajectory for enduring success.

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Who is the programme for?

This TEXEM programme Turning organisational challenges into strategic opportunities is for leaders in government, oil and gas, telecommunication, banking, insurance, pension, manufacturing, and the third sector. This programme is for any leader who is looking to find solutions to the many challenges that they face, such as:

The negative consequences of the unprecedented worldwide pandemic occasioned by the novel coronavirus that has affected every country on earth. Likely fiscal and monetary policy change and the potential implications. The high level of insecurity and high level of inflation in the country. Some more include supply chain disruption, new cybersecurity threats, failing organisational models, and how to inspire a remote workforce effectively. The others are low national cohesion, dramatic forex fluctuations, negative GDP and, by extension, low customer demand, dwindling government and business revenue, higher costs, low morale of the citizen, diminishing productivity and high talent migration.

The TEXEM programme on Turning Organisational Challenges into Strategic Opportunities for Sustainable Success In Volatile Times is scheduled to hold face-to-face between 1st-2nd December at Wheatbaker, Ikoyi, Lagos and online.

Professor Paul Griffith is one of the world’s first Management Professor to lead a team that launched a rocket to space twenty years ago. As Professor of Practice at Ashridge Executive Education at Hult International Business School, Paul works with hundreds of executives and organisations in strategy, innovation, digital transformation and customer-centricity.

He has led a range of custom programmes for national and global organisations in the private (including aerospace, financial services, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, retail, technology, telecoms, energy sectors) and public sector. Before joining the Ashridge team, he held leadership roles in product management, marketing, business development and corporate strategy for global enterprises, start-up and turnaround businesses, including BT, FirstMark and was CMO at Datapoint.

In addition, Paul has extensive international experience leading cross-cultural teams and global programmes serving the enterprise and SME markets.

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