Euro zone crisis deepening, US recovery tentative, the Rupee in a free fall, declining industrial production and high retail inflation, - all this makes for an alarming business scenario. The recent release of GDP growth rate for 2011-12 at 6.5% (and a 9 year low of Q4 growth rate at 5.3%) adds to the downturn indicators.
In response to this environment, business leaders are reshaping their strategies and relooking at opportunities. To understand today’s leadership challenge and the impact of this volatile environment on organizations’ people strategy, we spoke to leaders from different industries to learn how the leadership context and people expectations have changed. All leaders we spoke to agreed that the times are challenging and the environment is taxing in many ways. But the common themes that emerged from these conversations - the importance of honest communication to align people to emerging realities, the opportunity during a downturn to build capabilities and invest in people, the need to make decisions under extreme uncertainty while also empowering others - define new trends in leadership in today’s environment.
Business leaders believe that putting their faith in developing the skills and abilities of their workforce is the best way to reduce an organization’s exposure to the risk of recession, according to a global survey conducted by McKinney Rogers this year. In this survey, 78% of respondents cited the development of their workforce as the key tool for reducing the organization’s exposure to the risk of recession, followed by diversification of business and location.
The ultimate measure of effectiveness for leaders is their ability to sustain high performance over an extended period of time. Long-term view and investment in aligning, nurturing and empowering employees, to excel in serving customers will continue to be the key to outperform competition.
In this issue, we have also included a special in HR Technology. As we do every year, People Matters spoke to over 27 professionals, including buyers and service providers, to get their views on what lies ahead: need for integrated HR systems that are SMAC - the acronym for Social, Mobility, Analytics and Cloud. This special on HR Technology also carries a buyers’ reference guide of service providers in this space.
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