Published on October 29, 2023, 9:36 pm

  • Business leaders in Asia need to transform their organizations to thrive in the new normal. The pandemic has changed leadership roles and priorities, with challenges now including inflation, talent shortages, slowing growth, and high costs. Digitalization may be slower due to cost pressures and uncertainty, but investments in cybersecurity, business model innovation, and cloud adoption are expected to grow. Important factors guiding decision-making include revenue protection, customer experience improvement, and employee productivity enhancement. Leaders should adopt hybrid work arrangements while managing risks like cybersecurity and privacy. Trust is now influenced by individual perceptions rather than credit ratings. Well-planned strategies encompassing digitalization, technology adoption, management concepts, and work practices are essential for businesses to navigate uncertainties and drive growth.

Asia is on the brink of economic recovery after facing multiple crises and challenges over the past two years. In light of this, it is essential to examine whether business leaders have successfully transformed their organizations to thrive in the new normal.

During the recent C-Engage Convention, discussions revolved around how leadership has evolved since 2020. Shivaji Das, partner and managing director for Asia Pacific at Frost & Sullivan, presented on the topic of C-Suite’s Masterplan for Post-Digitalization in 2023. According to Das, there have been significant changes in leadership roles and priorities since the pandemic.

In the midst of the crisis, leaders were primarily focused on maintaining supply chains, deliveries, and factory operations while ensuring employee health. However, today’s challenges include high inflation, talent shortages, slowing growth, and high costs. Leaders must now develop strategies to overcome uncertainties and identify opportunities to stay ahead of competitors.

When asked about digitalization in the years ahead, Das believes that it may be slower compared to previous years due to cost pressures and economic uncertainties. Nevertheless, investments in cybersecurity, business model innovation, and cloud adoption can deliver long-term cost savings. As a result, these areas are expected to continue growing steadily.

Frost & Sullivan surveyed 500 organizations worldwide and identified three influential factors guiding leaders’ decision-making in planning for the future: revenue and margin protection, improving customer experience, and enhancing employee productivity. These factors will shape investments made by management teams.

Addressing dissatisfaction around data management and protection investments with limited results, Das advises setting realistic goals tailored to each unique business. It is crucial to ensure that organizations have the right talent pool equipped with knowledge about new technologies’ benefits through education programs and trials before making significant investments.

With regards to the future workplace model post-pandemic hybrid work arrangements are emerging as preferred options among employees—especially among younger generations who value flexibility and remote work opportunities. Instead of reverting to pre-pandemic practices, leaders should find ways to foster a sense of culture and belonging that align with the organization’s needs.

However, the hybrid operating model comes with new risks such as cybersecurity and privacy concerns. Leadership training, timely intervention, increased engagement, breaking silos, and creating a sense of belonging are essential steps in managing these risks effectively.

The concept of distributed trust has transformed how individuals perceive trust in employees, customers, and vendors. Previously, credit ratings provided assurance. However, today’s trust is influenced by perceptions held by individuals, consumers, or thought leaders about an individual or organization.

To tap into distributed trust, organizations need to understand this shift and adapt their strategies accordingly. Ultimately, it is crucial for businesses to have well-planned strategies encompassing digitalization, technology adoption, management concepts, and work practices that enable them to navigate uncertainties and drive growth.

To gain additional insights into Das’ C-Suite’s masterplan for post-digitalization in 2023, you can listen to the PodChats episode available on FutureCIO’s website.

In conclusion, as Asia embarks on its economic recovery journey following a period of volatility and challenges, business leaders must embrace transformational changes in order to thrive in the new normal. By focusing on key priorities such as revenue protection, customer experience improvement, and employee productivity enhancement while adapting to evolving workplace dynamics and leveraging distributed trust mechanisms effectively—organizations can position themselves for success in the years ahead.

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