Leader-Ship to Leader-Shift: 'Create a Cause not a Business'
Underlining the role of a leader in shaping an organisation, Suresh Kumar, Founder of KUE Management Services and Founder & Mentor of ROSAKUE Hospitality, highlights how the pandemic has changed the core value, belief and culture of organisations.
Culture has been considered as one of the most ‘crucial factors’ in defining an organisation. In a more simplistic manner, it can be stated as “the way we do business around here”. Most often it translates into the components that have a major influence on the outcome of the business objective.
Organisations have traditionally been led and defined by the culture that prevailed consisting of shared values and beliefs and then communicated and reinforced through various methods, ultimately shaping and impacting everything from People to Performance.
There are corporates who also adopt values and belief systems as part of the culture and therefore appropriately train attitudes with the hope of producing profits. Yet there are also companies that continue to operate with minimum risk, respect for chain of command and support and meet the targets/budgets.
The Novel Corona Virus or Covid-19 pandemic, however, came in like a hurricane and did not just rattle the immediate environment but has also altered the world, exposing kinks in armours and has shaken the core foundation, asset, values and beliefs of organisations.
The famous quote by Mario Andretti, Italian-American Automobile racing legend, “If everything seems under control, you're just not going fast enough”, can probably be paraphrased as the most relevant statement and sentiment for the present uncertain times, “If things seem under control, you are not doing enough”.
Therefore, what we need to collectively address going forward is not the Leadership of the past but Leader-Shift to create a ‘New Era of Experiences’.
‘Experiences are as distinct from services as services are from goods.’ – B Joseph Pine II
The term service in itself, is one word that is used very frequently to describe the offering to the customer and also industries as a whole. It is my belief however that there are no such things as ‘service industries’. There are only industries whose service components are greater or less than those of other industries. Service, however, is addition of the ‘people’ component to the product.
‘Are you processing your customer or are you serving them?’ We need to create a ‘Cause’ not a Business.
Hospitality industry, most often the front runner in setting the culture, values and beliefs has borne a large brunt in these times, thus highlighting the need for redefining of roles and priorities in organisations. The ladies and gentlemen in the field were ‘front warriors’ in the face of adversity and uncertainties like never before. Armed with culture, belief and values that have been the hallmark of many companies, the events of past year have shown signs of misalignment of culture with the actions and approach adopted thus exposing the fundamental core of the organisations credibility.
With businesses being shunted into WFH (Work From Home) or Remote Working and with no certainty on when or in many cases if they would return to office, the immediate impact has been on the culture which consisted of values and beliefs.
The pandemic has not only exposed the real underbelly of the core but also demonstrated the fragility of the behaviour and much thought of leadership traits. It is in such times that people are seeking from the leadership the strength of character, guidance and transparency in communication on the effect of slowdown and threat of job losses.
The dilemma therefore is whether ‘Self comes first or Self comes last.’
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