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Two Ways to Make It Easy to Engage a Global Workforce

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Two Ways to Make It Easy to Engage a Global Workforce

I attempt to blend scholarly concepts with real-world applications. I place a great deal of emphasis on the literature of information technology and corporate strategy as two significant indicators for financial success. This article adds to a relatively small body of literature but pays homage to the scholarly contributions. I highlight the direct impact of these organizational internal resources factors on financial performance.

Executives will also see that I expand upon the subject matter of a firm’s internal resources. Insufficient consideration of the impacts of these internal resources on financial performance has been exposed and I attempt to address this concern. This article can portray a more detailed picture of the effects of information technology and corporate strategy on financial performance that have been not placed in a model in the past.

Information Technology

Information technology encourages employees to embark on technological facilities, such as shared electronic workspaces, to provide new ideas and possible solutions for solving organizational problems. Information technology plays a critical role in creating a competitive advantage and is therefore aligned with the resource-based theory.  Information technology is necessary to build high-performing companies and also may be necessary as global market demands are increasingly difficult to adapt and sustain profitability.

Financial performance in global markets is dependent on continuous learning. Corporate learning plays a critical role and is a strategic prerequisite for increasing sales and market share in today’s knowledge-based economy. Effective corporate learning can enable companies to actively respond to environmental changes and customer needs and organizational members’ growth needs. Thus, information technology is a key factor that should be embraced at the senior level of organizations to enable financial performance in globalized markets by building a learning climate and empowering organizational members. In the absence of effective information technology management, companies cannot implement successful plans in order to adapt to today’s global business environment.

Information technology is a key factor to improve financial performance for companies. Earlier studies clearly indicate that effective IT implementation significantly contributes to a company’s’ financial performance. These researches acknowledge that information technology is an important enabler to effectively manage business processes. Information technology can reduce paper-based transactions for companies that can potentially decrease costs and subsequently improve profitability for companies.

Furthermore, it can be seen that information technology enables companies to effectively identify opportunities in an external business environment that leads to identifying the best opportunities for investment that potentially improves financial performance in terms of return on investment. Information technology can also help companies to effectively create more innovative solutions for their organizational problems. More innovative solutions and better ideas can improve the quality of products and services, which in turn increases sales and market share for companies.

Business success for companies in today’s global business environment can be, therefore, achieved when information technology is effectively applied and widely used to achieve a higher degree of financial performance. When information technology can create a learning workplace and inspiring vision for future expansion into global markets, companies will secure a foothold in the ever-expansive global marketplace. Thus, I recommend that executives should consider information technology as a key driver for improving financial performance in today’s hypercompetitive environment.

 Corporate Strategy

Executives view organizational strategy is a sum of objectives, plans, and procedures designed to efficiently and effectively upgrade organizational capabilities and interact with their environment more effectively. In particular, strategy defines a pattern to deploy organizational capabilities and interact with both the internal and the external environment. Executives, therefore, manage their knowledge assets to create new ideas and knowledge aimed at achieving commercial objectives. First and foremost, just as one organization is holding knowledge back from competitors they are following suit. Knowledge could be the most important component of success in this ever-changing technological environment of today. Thus, the organizational strategy is an organizational internal resource affecting knowledge and in most cases, knowledge is the most strategic factor of competitive advantage.

Executives are aware that corporate strategy mainly encompasses four aspects: analysis, pro-activeness, defensiveness, and futurity. Analysis strategy is regarded as the tendency to search for problems and their root causes and generates better alternatives to solve them. Analysis strategy, an academic term that is very applicable to the executive span of control is also concurrently aired in the academic circles of higher education. For instance, the analysis strategy is highly related to firms’ capacity to generate new ideas and knowledge and plays a crucial role in acquiring knowledge. Therefore, I appeal to executives across the globe that analysis strategy could improve the quality of products and services, which can in turn enhance profitability and market share.

I also feel that as executives use the pro-activeness strategy which refers to finding new opportunities and proactively responding to current challenges in external environments, they are also enhancing their span of control. Therefore, the pro-activeness strategy can provide a higher degree of knowledge through developing interactions with external environments. As executives effectively use knowledge management for projects and organizational investments they require a continuous investigation from external business environments. The pro-activeness strategy enables companies to identify changes in external environments and accordingly help them to actively respond to these emerging rapid changes.

Some executives feel that a defensive strategy, while necessary, sets a negative connotation on their span of control. However, it is believed that a defensiveness strategic approach enhances efficiency through cutting costs which in turn increases organizational revenue and company’s financial performance.

Futurity strategy can also enhance financial performance by providing a series of clear guidelines for companies to track future trends in the business environment, and accordingly, conduct “what-if” analysis and allocate organizational resources. My explanation of this is clearly within the executive span of control and potentially limits operational risk. My conclusion for executives is that organizational strategy has a positive association with financial performance. Therefore, I suggest that a firm’s ability to enhance financial performance can be highly affected when executives develop and implement an effective corporate strategy.

In Conclusion

This article may be the answer executives need but may also lack the fundamental fortitude necessary to be an all-encompassing model to predict financial performance. Executives can contribute to meet dynamic market needs, through reshaping a firm’s internal resources (i.e. information technology and corporate) to meet the needs of customers in the marketplace. This article has been focusing on thus far is the needs of companies for enhancing financial success. This article also presents executives with organizational internal resources that can be effectively manipulated to improve financial performance and become more profitable.

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Mostafa Sayyadi works with senior business leaders to effectively develop innovation in companies and helps companies—from start-ups to the Fortune 100—succeed by improving the effectiveness of their leaders. He is a business book author and a long-time contributor to business publications and his work has been featured in top-flight business publications.

business in the UK

Important Things to Know about Doing Business in the UK

Interested in expansion into UK markets? It’s a worthwhile investment. The UK is one of the most prosperous and stable markets in the world, with a high wealth per capita and plenty of opportunities for capital acquisition, especially within London. 

You’d be forgiven for thinking this kind of prosperity was fairly exclusive. Indeed, following Brexit, it would seem that opening up a business in the UK as a foreign national is going to be quite a challenge. But, in fact, it’s quite the opposite.

Starting a business in the UK is really easy for newcomers and foreign nationals. You can establish a Limited Company in Britain without jumping any additional hurdles. You don’t need VISAs, agreements of trade or anything else — and there is no requirement for specific ID or passports. All you need is a company name, at least one director, to provide all necessary documentation (not as intimidating as it sounds) and to follow the process of registering for taxation. The only barrier you may face compared to a British resident is you’ll need to register your business to a UK address; easily done these days through virtual offices. This criterion of requiring an address does not exist to exclude anyone from starting up in Britain. It is merely a gateway to simpler correspondence and domestic accountability — should accountability be necessary.  

It should be noted that accountability is rarely necessary, but when it is, it’s vital. This is because the UK business landscape rests upon a complicated legal structure. Industries form around different regulatory bodies, and standards are upheld by various commissions, depending on your area of business. The nature of the UK business landscape is very protective and favors business stability and longevity. Follow the legal processes correctly and you’ll have a lot of the tools you need to thrive. However, failure to follow the legal structures imposed on your business can result in problems. Regulations are strictly enforced and consequences for non-compliance can be severe.

Education is your best bet. Enter the market aware of all your obligations and legal responsibilities. Legal advice from specialists — those who can ensure you get set up properly and conform to the right guidelines — is often recommended if it is an affordable expense. More than anything, this is to ensure you don’t miss any of the finer details — because your competitors, and customers, will likely be aware of those finer details and take you to task for rule-breaking. 

Standards of education in the UK are very high. Similar to the USA, it is legally required for all students to attend formal education until they are 18. Following basic education, many move on to university as higher education is often subsidized by the government with the rest of the money obtained through widely-available student loan systems. Expectations for levels of education are high, so be prepared to meet the high standards set by domestic learning, and contend with partners and consumers who know what they’re talking about. It’s a good business practice in the UK to assume that your customers know as much about your industry as you do, if not more. 

This fact leads us to the most important lesson you can learn about doing business in the UK. Good business routinely comes down to good business relationships. Every successful entrepreneur and business owner knows that who you know is just as important as what you know. That means no matter where you do business, you need to build healthy alliances and relationships.

In the UK, the key to building great relationships lies in navigating society and culture. The UK business landscape is a powerful environment for building strong, long-lasting, and loyal relationships that can provide pivotal opportunities for growth. But you have to get this right. In general, UK business culture — particularly the modern and adaptive landscape of London and other large cities — is very open to foreigners. The more you travel outside of cities to do business, the more cultural barriers you may find stand in your way, but this often comes not from hostility towards outside opportunities, but a lack of familiarity. Time and effort to establish yourself is what’s important when dealing with business communities with a lack of experience of foreign trade. A slow and tactful approach is always going to play favorably in the UK, no matter where you are trading.

However, with this idea of openness in mind, there are certainly still some cultural lessons to be learned before diving head-first into business within the UK. As we’ve mentioned, you’re building relationships, and the key to any successful relationship is behaving correctly. Loud, obnoxious, and forceful traits are unwelcome in British culture. Pushing for hard sales or getting in people’s faces with ideas might seem like the mark of passion and enthusiasm, but it won’t make you many friends — even in London. Modesty, restraint, and an even temperament are important. You’re looking to play the long-game here, building up stable bridges over time through humility, gradually increased levels of trust, and real-world demonstrations of your expertise and worth. 

In the UK, talk is cheap. 

Once you do start forming those relationships, you’ll have to be careful not to lose them. Bonds in UK business culture are tough to break once established, but the early days make them vulnerable if strife is introduced. Privacy is coveted, as is space. Don’t get too personal, and respect distances people establish. 

While there are ways your behavior can influence the business relationship, there are also ways that the actions of your new British partners could affect you. If you’re not aware of these factors, you may misinterpret them, which can again lead to conflict. We’re talking specifically about humor. Jokes — commonly at the expense of others — are prevalent in the UK. Referred to as “banter”, these are often light-hearted remarks aimed at teasing another individual. The intent is most-always friendly, but if you’re not familiar with the custom, it can appear to be offensive. The levels of “banter” you’ll experience can vary wildly from person to person, but it is a widespread form of social interaction in the UK. Just remember, it’s all in good fun, so laugh along. People who are unable to take a joke are generally looked upon unfavorably. 

Anything else it’s important to know about doing business in the UK?

To make a cup of tea, first, boil the kettle. Place a tea bag in a mug. Ask how many sugars. Each request, for example, “two sugars” means one teaspoon of sugar. Add the requested amount of sugar. Pour the water in. Leave to brew for a few minutes. Ask if they’d like milk. If yes, add a small amount of milk until the tea goes from dark to pale brown. Stir well. Remove the tea bag with your spoon. Extra points if you use the spoon to crush the teabag against the inside of the mug to squeeze out any remnants of flavor.

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This article was written by Rajesh Velayuthasamy, founder and director of Mint Formations, a company that supports local and foreign nationals to establish a business presence within the UK. 

leadership style

How to Change Your Leadership Style and Adapt to the Changing World

A scholar in Nova Southeastern University by the name of Chien presented executives with a correlation between leadership effectiveness of different leadership styles adopted by executives in international companies. Although this empirical study was primarily designed to investigate global leaders and in this case Taiwan, there are kernels for all executives to learn from. For example, there was a strong positive correlation between the effectiveness of leaders and adopting a transformational leadership style at the highest organizational levels.

Executives began to listen and respond to the plethora of information in the form of articles and books attempting to provide transformational leadership as an adaptable and applicable leadership style to help impact not only the productivity and profitability of the organization but also the competitive advantage. One example is the concept of intellectual stimulation which is another important aspect of transformational leadership. Intellectual stimulation positively impacts the effectiveness of leadership in building learning through facilitating knowledge sharing by all leaders and followers of the organization. Executives require people who are engaged and inspired to meet the demands of day-to-day operations.

Transformational leadership also suggests that executives inspire their followers. Ergo, transformational leadership is a suitable leadership style to analyze leadership in international companies. By adopting a transformational leadership style, executives are able to answer the questions necessary to apply leadership without having to delve through all the leadership styles to find what works well for them and what does not. To prove the correlations between transformational leadership and the effectiveness of leadership in global environments today, I take a further look at new industry researches so that executives can see the correlation and application.

An Industry Task Force on Leadership and Management Skills found relevant information that may help leaders embrace transformational leadership. The task force first critiqued top managers and found them to be inadequate effective leaders. The report illustrates the weaknesses of leaders, such as failing to develop a clear vision for the future of their organization. Similarly, a more recent report on Management Matters illustrated that top managers in the manufacturing sector scored the least in the very important organizational behavior tenet of people management when compared to two other areas of operations- and performance management. This particular report highlighted that companies need to enhance leverage on human assets in order to achieve sustained competitiveness.

In both cases, companies have been ranked low in almost all dimensions of people management. After careful review of these findings for both case studies, the scholars recommend that companies must improve their human resource-related practices with a target of attracting, retaining, and promoting their human resources. This article goes further and suggests that the way for these managers and leaders, and leaders across the globe, to make the effective changes that are posited in the transformational leadership. The recommendations of transformational leadership are to focus on developing a strategic vision for their future strategic initiatives. When transformational leaders can generate a shared and inspiring vision for the future expansion into the global business environment, they will secure a foothold in the ever-expansive global marketplace. Thus, executives that act as transformational leaders are capable to overcome their deficiencies and lead better in our hypercompetitive environment of today.

These industry researches also identify the transformational leadership style as a primary driver of organizational competitiveness. Unfortunately, while the characteristics of transformational leaders are positively associated with the competitiveness of international companies, it is somewhat underutilized in organizations worldwide. This is suspect and alarming because numerous empirical studies have found that there is a direct correlation between transformational leadership and organizational competitiveness. Scholars highlighted transformational leadership as an enabler of organizational competitiveness. Therefore, leaders that may not be utilizing the transformational leadership style which has been posited as a managerial-based competency for organizations operating in today’s innovative business environment can now explore the virtues of using this leadership style to improve competitive advantage.

In conclusion, executives in international companies can now take a new view of managerial decision-making and leading – transformational leadership. Transformational leadership lies at the focal point of executive success. Therefore, I suggest that these executives embrace transformational leadership. This leadership style influences some of the spans of control of executive responsibility. For the scholar’s corner, I place a great deal of emphasis on the literature on transformational leadership as a significant indicator for business success. Scholars see that I expand upon the subject matter of transformational leadership. Through articulating the impacts of transformational leadership on the competitiveness of international companies, I add to the current and extant literature. Organizational competitiveness is essential for business growth and prosperity in today’s global business environments.

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References

[1] Chien, HJ 2001, A comparison of leadership characteristics in public and large and small private organizations in Taiwan, Nova Southeastern University.

[2] Report of the Industry Task Force on Leadership and Management Skills 1995, Renewing Australian’s managers to meet the challenges of the Asia-pacific century.

[3] Management Matters in Australia: Just how productive are we? 2012, Department of Innovation, Industry, Science and Research, Australia.