Leadership of new paradigms
After several months of quarantine and still undergoing the effects of the virus, I intend to open a conversation on a subject that has triggered many opinions, generally homogeneous, regarding the content of different proposals and the application of numerous recipes.
The Covid-19 impacted globally, shortening times in the changes in work and imposing a different socioeconomic reality that, even though it had been anticipated as a future possibility, it finally broke in generating various responses synthesized here:
1. Recipes and formulas in the fields of health and economics with interpretative biases in political decisions
2. Abundant webinars, articles, interviews, etc. with recommendations to face the crisis in personal, organizational, leadership, and social aspects, most of them aimed at gaining visibility
3. Information showing «what we are doing» with introductions of thanks or pride for the commitment made and honoring invitations
4. Plenty of stories showing those who adapted successfully to the new situation (by default the many who were not able do so are exposed)
5. General statements warning about the effects of accelerating socio-economic and health changes
All these actions put into practice, necessarily and healthily aimed at alleviating the general disorientation and uncertainty due to the immediate effects of the pandemic, the quarantine, the fall in activity and immediate emotional containment.
Facing these observations, I introduce Yuval Harari´s view (21 Lessons for the 21st Century). Reflecting on the ecological collapse and the challenges that the disruption of technological innovation opens, Harari poses 4 questions that society and its leaders should answer:
• What to do to avoid job loss?
• How to generate enough new jobs?
• What to do if the speed of generating new jobs is less than the loss?
• What to do with the large social groups, nations and regions that are unable to adjust to these challenges?
These questions, raised before the pandemic, today resonate more strongly and present a future that demands global responses and actions committed to purposes beyond the solutions of the present circumstances.
There is no possible solution if the big issues are not treated beyond simple statements, there is no possible solution if we only answer simple questions limited to isolated elements of the system without focusing on large ecosystems.
An article published by McKinsey Quarterly expresses: “… if a critical mass of CEOs embraces and extends what they learned during the pandemic, this moment of understanding may turn into a CEO movement, profoundly positive for the achievement of corporate potential , human and social ”.
In the same article, the authors say that the focus should turn towards the care of the stakeholders instead of the shareholders. This change would benefit all stakeholders in the long term by aligning the list of “to be” with the list of “to do” in daily management.
It is in the field of companies where talents, flexibility and the ability to act are more agile and can generate concrete solutions. In this sense,
corporate social responsibility (CSR) should be a constitutive part of management, overcoming the cosmetic view in the construction of brands committed to social issues.
As CEOs we have multiple ways of interacting, leading multidisciplinary groups and putting into practice solutions that do not remain in declarative spaces. We are in a position to promote agreements between society and politics that today operate by maintaining divergent and excluding interpretative biases.
We are going through a crisis that shakes the conceptions and paradigms of an «alleged normality» towards another «new normality». As leaders we run the risk of being caught in just a declarative position, undermining our capacity for action.
it is time for the benefit public corporation to occupy a relevant space leading the change
Reactivating economic activity and ordering the new reality urgently needs the commitment and leadership of private capital and its highest decision-making levels: shareholders and a high level of management influencing and generating new realities.
#coronavirus #publicbenefitcorp #leadership #empowering #newnormality #corporatesocialresponsibility