Article: Strategy to come down from boardroom to workshop

Strategic HR

Strategy to come down from boardroom to workshop

In conversation with Prof Gregory P. Prastacos, Professor of Mangement Science, Rector, Athens

Strategy to come down from boardroom to workshop


How will you define the next generation enterprise?
The next generation enterprise will include both a global and a virtual component and there will be no conventional geographic or time constraints. Talent and skills will be utilized from around the world effectively thus making competition in the workforce even more competitive. Employees will also have the capability to work on projects around the globe from their home office and a culture of sharing and openness will be the new order. As competition grows, companies will be much more cost sensitive. Companies will be focused on home (or on specific) markets and will offer more-customized products at lower prices. Technology will enable the streamlining of many processes, will enhance the communication with target segments and will facilitate innovation. The next generation enterprise will also be greener. It has taken long for Western companies to understand the business hazards of being polluting, both directly and indirectly through badly optimized processes, supply chains and energy consumption models. Companies in emerging markets enter into a context where awareness of environmental friendliness and energy efficiency is high and will thus have to develop these imperatives in a more integrated way.

What strategic components will constitute the DNA of tomorrow’s organizations?
In order to compete in the landscape discussed above, the DNA of tomorrow’s organizations must integrate elements that are not always easy to make compatible. Technology is of paramount importance. Related here is the ability to use the new social media, to achieve better communication and penetration to market segments. Similarly, innovation will be of key importance as the ability to innovate will determine to a large extent the organizations that will succeed in tomorrow’s landscape. The importance of having correct data and possessing the intelligence to analyze data to get knowledge and to be transformed to flexibility will be important. Sense of mission and purpose must prevail among employees to be able to achieve the organization’s strategy, so the ability to mobilize the energy and motivation required to keep up with the turbulent context will gain prominence. People issues – competency, but also care for employees – will be essential elements to underpin the fast moving global company. Reward and compensation systems that are based on value of contribution and expertise will be important to have. Given the increasing involvement of the government in the private sector, the ability to “converse” and networking with the government agencies, as well as the ability to “translate” government policies into action will become vital.

What aspects of crafting and implementing business strategy do you foresee in the next orbit?
First and foremost, strategy will have to come down from the boardroom level and hit the ‘workshop’ floor so that it becomes a practical guide for employees. “Strategy as incubation” means that strategy must provide each employee with clear guidelines on how to act in various situations. It must be a roadmap to decision-making and a driver of motivation. Secondly, there will have to be usage of business intelligence and collective knowledge for competitive advantage. Companies or services that will be the first to aggregate interesting and useful data and analyze them to get important business knowledge will establish a clear leadership position and a high barrier to entry for competition. The main concern of Human Resource Management will be harnessing the collective knowledge of its people and moulding and developing them into world beaters. Thirdly, the focus will be on injecting flexibility in business models. Business models will need to be agile, nimble, quick, and collaborative; enabling work will have to be done with speed to market and speed to adoption in mind. Fourthly, the usage of web as a major enabling platform will emerge on a large scale. With the web becoming the primary location for applications and data and with a global audience of over one billion people, the potential to innovate appears to grow massively. At the same time, the ability of mobile devices to connect to the web at high speed and the large number of such phones (smart phones) holds tremendous potential for growth that companies need to consider.

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Topics: Strategic HR, C-Suite, #ExpertViews

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