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The Real Digital Transformation In HR Tech: How Global Leaders Can Manage

HR tech

The Real Digital Transformation In HR Tech: How Global Leaders Can Manage

All executives across the globe should embrace HR technology to represent a complete answer to the need for innovation and continuous learning in today’s global market environment. In doing this, first executives must have an understanding of the concept of knowledge in companies. To analyze knowledge in organizations, there is an important taxonomy of organizational knowledge that needs to be discussed. The following section addresses this taxonomy in depth to set the record straight upon the importance of HR Technology.

Human, Social, and Structured Knowledge

Two prominent scholars that are well known in the Academy of Management, one of the largest leadership and management organizations in the world by the names of David De Long and Liam Fahey argue that knowledge can also be classified using individual, social, and structured dimensions. Executives can categorize followers based on their human knowledge which focuses on individual knowledge and manifests itself in an individual’s competencies and skills. This type of knowledge includes both tacit and explicit knowledge. David De Long and Liam Fahey suggest that this form of knowledge comprises the skills gained by individual experiences, and learned as rules and instructions formulated by executives for followers to use as a guide.

Social knowledge, on the other hand, is categorized as tacit knowledge that is shared so that it can become collective knowledge. Executives can use structured knowledge that emerges informal language from annual reports, memos, and other means of communication to be represented as statements, and is considered explicit knowledge. Therefore, consultants can classify knowledge in this way so that it emerges at three levels—-individual (i.e. human), group (i.e. social) and organizational (i.e. structured).

Executives can implement HR technology to create conducive organizational climates that foster organizational learning in which individual knowledge is shared and utilized. Unshared individual knowledge is like lettuce in the refrigerator—if shared, everyone enjoys it, if not, it could not have any use. In the next section, I present a factor that executives have embraced—–HR technology.   

Managing Knowledge and Innovation through HR Technology

HR technology is an internal resource that increasingly facilitates HR business processes and improves the search for information and knowledge around the company. For example, HRIS (Human Resource Information System) software enables companies to overcome space constraints in communications and promotes the depth and range of knowledge access. HRIS software can be also employed to enhance the conversations and knowledge exchanges between organizational members. Three prominent scholars in the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill by the names of Andrew Gold, Arvind Malhotra and Albert Segars argue that this knowledge shared through technology could positively contribute to knowledge integration. Executives can apply HRIS software to develop and disseminate information throughout the company which can improve the search for information in order to adapt to today’s uncertain business environment.

HCM (Human Capital Management) software is an important resource for strategic planning for knowledge integration. Robert Grant highlights knowledge integration as a major reason for the existence of a company. This software enhances learning and sharing information by providing access to accurate information and knowledge. HCM software also stimulates new knowledge generation, through transferring knowledge to other members and departments. Knowledge sharing itself can in turn develop more innovative climates and facilitate knowledge creation in organizations. HCM software can, therefore, play a crucial role in improving knowledge creation and transference. Executives can use HCM software to develop an effective learning culture that disseminates knowledge around the company.

HRMS (Human Resource Management System) software can be also used by executives to facilitate of the knowledge creation process through providing the essential infrastructures to store and retrieve organizational knowledge. HRMS software encourages executives to embark on technological facilities to provide new and possible solutions for solving organizational problems and transferring individuals’ knowledge to other members and departments and improving knowledge capturing, storing, and accumulating to achieve organizational goals.

In Conclusion

This article advances the current literature on HR technology and knowledge management by offering novel insights into how better HR technology leads to better knowledge management. Executives can apply HR technology in their decision-making processes in order to investigate various alternatives and options.

Success in today’s global business environment can be more effective when HR technology is effectively applied and widely used to achieve a higher degree of competitiveness. Importantly, knowledge management performance at all levels of the company is positively associated with using HR technology and setting up useful software and systems to enhance strategic decision-making. Executives can implement HR technology by employing IT professionals and allocating more budgetary resources to share and utilize knowledge within companies.

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References

Gold, A.H., Malhotra, A. and Segars, A.H. 2001. Knowledge management: An organizational capabilities perspective. Journal of Management Information Systems, 18(1), 185-214.

Grant, R.M. 1996. Toward a knowledge-based theory of the firm. Strategic Management Journal, 17(S2), 109-122.

Long, D.W.D., & Fahey, L. (2000). Diagnosing cultural barriers to knowledge management. The Academy of Management Executive, 14(4), 113-127.

leaders

Crisis Management: How Business Leaders Lead During COVID-19

COVID-19 has changed, at least temporarily, the world of work for many people as employees hunkered down at home instead of commuting to an office.

As a result, a lot of businesses are finding out just how strong their corporate culture is and how resourceful their employees are when managers aren’t hovering nearby, says Shawn Burcham (www.shawnburcham.com), author of Keeping Score with GRITT: Straight Talk Strategies for Success, and founder and CEO of PFSbrands, the parent company of Champs Chicken, Cooper’s Express and BluTaco.

“One thing my company has always done that I believe is beneficial in times like these is to help employees develop an ownership mentality,” Burcham says. “Ownership thinking means taking accountability for the quality and success of your work, and it comes from actively encouraging a culture that promotes trust, communication, objectivity, and gives employees a stake in the outcome.”

By necessity, many companies are now communicating by phone or video chats, which means having employees who take responsibility for their actions is more important than ever. Yet at the same time, the business’s leaders still have decisions to make and orders to give to those employees.

That means, Burcham says, that it’s also more important than ever for a company’s leadership – and everyone who reports to them – to band together as one strong team.

“Fortunately, many of the things that make for a good leadership team in the best of times are the same ones that help the company successfully maneuver through more challenging times,” he says.

Some of those include:

Promote transparency. Mistakes happen when people don’t have the information they need to do their jobs. When something affects others in the organization, Burcham says, make sure you put it on the “team table” so that everyone can understand what is happening and provide input.

Don’t undercut others to make yourself look good. Disagreements can happen anytime people gather to discuss problems and solutions, but it’s important to keep things civil. “Attack the issues, not the person,” Burcham says. “Work through appropriate channels and be conscious of what your fellow leaders are trying to accomplish.”

Make sure meetings are well organized. Everyone has endured meetings that took too long and got off track. Burcham certainly has and at one time he would have labeled himself anti-meeting. “I felt that meetings were a waste of time. because most of the meetings I’d been in were a waste of time,” he says. Eventually, Burcham grudgingly accepted that some meetings are necessary, but he says it’s important that they have an agenda, a start and end time, no sidebar conversation, and that next steps and accountabilities are created at the meeting’s close.

Accept that a decision is a decision. It’s all right for people to debate and offer differing opinions during the decision-making process, but once a decision is made everyone needs to support it, Burcham says. “You don’t want situations where people continually reopen discussions about decisions that have already been made,” he says. “And passive disagreement is not an option.”

Know that calm is contagious – relax, look around, make a call. Several years ago Burcham adopted this mentality and worked to make it part of his personal mission statement. When faced with situations or conversations that may not be going his way, he mentally takes his brain to this personal mission statement. Burcham says, “I’m naturally a very impatient person and always will be. My personal mission statement has helped me to better control my emotions and it’s been a critical model as all of our companies work to navigate through these challenging times.”

“In the best of times, successful company growth is dependent on the capabilities of its leaders,” Burcham says. “As times grow difficult, how well the business fares also comes down to how well those leaders are able to rise to the occasion.”

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Shawn Burcham (www.shawnburcham.com), author of Keeping Score with GRITT: Straight Talk Strategies for Success, is the founder & CEO of PFSbrands, which he and his wife, Julie, started out of their home in 1998. The company has over 1,500 branded foodservice locations across 40 states and is best known for their Champs Chicken franchise brand which was started in 1999. Prior to starting PFSbrands, Burcham spent five years with a Fortune 100 company, Mid-America Dairymen (now Dairy Farmers of America). He also worked for three years as a Regional Sales Manager for a midwest Chester’s Fried chicken distributor.

pandemic

How ‘No-Excuse’ Leadership Can Help Businesses Succeed After the Pandemic

The COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting economic slowdown created an uncertain future for businesses across the country.

Regardless of this rocky situation, though, the best business leaders will make sure they don’t allow the pandemic to become an excuse for failure, says Troy Nix (www.troynix.com), a motivational speaker, businessman and author of Eternal Impact: Inspire Greatness in Yourself and Others.

“I admire leaders who don’t complain about circumstances or point the finger at someone or something else,” says Nix, founder and CEO of First Resource Inc., an association management company specializing in manufacturing networks.

No, business leaders didn’t create the circumstances that led to the pandemic and its aftermath, but it is their responsibility to get their businesses and their people through the challenges they now face, he says.

“Whenever you’re leading an organization, the ultimate responsibility for any failure is yours,” Nix says. “It may be because you failed to train people properly or because you failed to hire the right person. It may be because you failed to develop a proper strategy or because you failed to develop the right culture. It’s ultimately your failure, and no excuse can ever absolve you of the responsibility of personal ownership.”

This is a mindset Nix learned in his days as a West Point cadet, where excuses were not allowed. To be successful in the coming months, he says, business leaders need to:

Set an example. Ultimately, you would like everyone in your organization to take responsibility and refuse to make excuses. “But you can’t expect that if you aren’t willing to set the example and claim responsibility for any failures yourself,” Nix says. “The best leaders take the high road and there’s no throwing anyone under the bus. Setting an example will have a constant impact on your employees, and they will know they can rely on you and depend on you.”

Do a little introspection. Nix says that, if you feel the urge to make an excuse for any failed business performance, look inward instead and ask yourself the following questions: Could I have acted differently to prevent this outcome? What could I have done to better improve the end result? How did my actions or inactions play a part in the failure? “I guarantee that if you do this and are honest with yourself, you will inevitably find a linkage for errors, disappointments, and fiascos directly back to yourself,” he says.

Take ownership. People don’t understand just how much they affect others when they make the decision to take responsibility for any and all actions. “We must own what we do, and we have to own what others under our command or influence do, even though it might be miles away from us and somebody else is executing the plan,” Nix says. “When you get up every morning and look at yourself in the mirror, are you owning what you are doing, or are you making excuses?”

“Making excuses – whether it’s in the crisis we now face or some other situation – will lead to dead ends,” Nix says. “I’ve seen time and time again that when people take control of their lives and eliminate the excuses, a life of excellence and fulfillment is the end result.”

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Troy Nix (www.troynix.com), author of Eternal Impact: Inspire Greatness in Yourself and Others, is the founder, president, and CEO of First Resource, Inc., an innovative association management company for America’s manufacturers. Nix, a graduate of the United States Military Academy at West Point, served in the armed forces for a decade before moving into the business world.

supply chain employee

Supply Chain Employee Engagement – 5 Benefits for your Business

Whether you operate out of a small warehouse or work as an international shipping company, employee engagement can be pivotal for your business’ ongoing success. According to Inbound Logistics, 85% of employees have reported that they feel disengaged from their jobs around the globe. However, those that feel engaged have reported 41% lower absenteeism, 24% less turnover and 70% fewer safety accidents on the job.

In terms of employee management, Forbes published a report which stated that 89% of HR leaders agree that ongoing employee feedback and engagement is crucial. Likewise, 89% of workers whose companies engage its employees are likely to recommend them as good workplaces to their friends and associates.

These numbers showcase that supply chain employee engagement factors into your business’ performance far more than it might seem at first glance. The way you treat your employees will have ripple effects on your overall output, brand reputation, and the subsequent bottom line as a direct result. Let’s take a closer look at why supply chain employee management matters so much, as well as the practical benefits of implementing it going forward.

Why Supply Chain Employee Engagement Matters

Let’s look at why supply chain employee engagement is pivotal before we move on to the benefits of active communication with your employees. Supply chain management is an industry with a flat vertical curve when it comes to warehouse and storage management employees. The HR structure typically isn’t built with vertical advancement and career development in mind (apart from mandatory hard skill development).

However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t pay closer attention to your employees, their feedback, opinions, suggestions and personal goals. Tyler Jonas, Head of HR at Top Essay Writing spoke recently: “All employees have equal rights for engagement. You don’t have to offer elaborate rewards, position advancements or paycheck bumps to make your employees happy. Sometimes all it takes is to open a line of communication and discuss what can be done to make the work environment more enjoyable for everyone.”

Some of the common complaints and bottlenecks which hinder supply chain employees’ performance include:

-Lack of hands-on leadership and coordination from managerial staff

-High focus on supply chain ROI instead of employee wellbeing

-Poor health coverage and off days management

-Undefined employee advancement systems

Benefits of Supply Chain Employee Engagement

Let’s assume that you’ve rooted out the above-mentioned bottlenecks in your company’s supply chain management – what happens next? As you can see, the complaints most employees have in terms of engagement are not irrational – they are simply absent from the supply chain management pipeline. If you decide to pursue to correct these shortcomings, you will effectively gain a plethora of benefits in regards to your employees, including the following:

1. More Efficient Coworker Communication

Supply chain employees who are satisfied with their work methodology and engagement are far more likely to cooperate and coordinate efficiently among themselves. This will come as a natural outcome of better communication with the upper management and their efforts to make the work environment more appealing.

Aim to emancipate your employees to cooperate autonomously. Let them know that you value their opinions, experience and expertise – delegate certain decisions to their discretion to facilitate coworker communication. Once that happens, your employees will feel free to communicate their thoughts and concerns for the benefit of your company as a whole.

2. Higher Employee Retention

A major point of concern for the supply chain management sector lies in employee retention and how to entice people to renew their contracts regularly. As we’ve mentioned previously, employees who don’t feel valued or engaged by the company will likely seek greener pastures. This will leave you with a roster of employees who are there simply because they have no other option at the moment.

Such a scenario can quickly lead to a toxic work environment which will reflect poorly on your overall quality of service and brand reputation. You can avoid both points by investing time and resources into establishing a communication channel with your employees proactively rather than reactively. Don’t wait for things to go bad in your supply chain management department before opening a dialogue – increase your retention rates early on.

3. Better Productivity & Morale

Coworkers who are satisfied with the way they are being treated by the upper management will subsequently perform better in their daily work routines. This same rule applies to supply chain management as well as other industries which naturally involve a more hands-off approach from the management.

Regardless, engaging your staff frequently and communicating about what works and doesn’t in the company will help gain a lot of points in your favor. This will inevitably raise the morale and energy in your staff, leading to further improvements in productivity and their sense of belonging in the company.

4. Lowered Margin for Errors

Shipping errors and supply chain mistakes, in general, are something you want to mitigate as much as possible in your company. While mistakes are bound to happen even in the best-maintained companies, their frequency will speak volumes of how you treat your employees. Dissatisfied employees who lack any faith in their managerial staff are likely to make accidental mistakes simply because they lack the morale to do otherwise.

These mistakes can cost your company tremendously in terms of reputation, resources, time and B2B partners if they persist. However, by introducing a communication channel with your supply chain employees early on, you will effectively lower the margin for error significantly. Employees will pay far closer attention to their work and do their utmost to avoid mistakes simply because their managerial staff cares about them more.

5. Healthy Coworker Competition

Lastly, a major benefit of engaging your supply chain employees goes back to their internal communication. More specifically, employees who are simply happy with their work environment are likely to develop internal camaraderie and healthy competition among coworkers.

This will raise your staff’s morale significantly and ensure that people are more satisfied with their place in your company due to consistent vertical communication. Remember that while your B2B networking may be efficient, ground-level operations still depend on the efficacy and dedication of your supply chain employees. Facilitating a healthy coworker competition and emancipating your staff through it will bring about a plethora of improvements in your supply chain pipeline.

Parts of a Whole (Conclusion)

A company consists of numerous departments which all rely on one another to make the company viable on the market. As such, paying closer attention to your employees in supply chain management will allow the company to thrive internally. Besides the obvious increase in productivity, this will also improve your reputation on the market and make your company more attractive to future employees. Meet your staff halfway and establish a meaningful dialogue – you will undoubtedly be pleasantly surprised with the results.

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Kristin Savage nourishes, sparks and empowers using the magic of a word. Along with pursuing her degree in Creative Writing, Kristin was gaining experience in the publishing industry, with expertise in marketing strategy for publishers and authors. Now she works as a freelance writer at ClassyEssay, Studyker and Subjecto. Kristin runs her own FlyWriting blog.

competitive

How to Develop Your Competitive Advantage in Global Markets

Executives are aware that activities related to managing knowledge at the individual level and the practices associated with knowledge management at the organizational level are handled at different points on the organizational chart. In order to create a sustainable competitive advantage, executives need to focus on the interactions among the facets of knowledge to minimize the possible limitations of managing all facets of the business units and components on an organizational chart.

Can Social Capital Create Effective Knowledge Management?

Executives across the globe have found that knowledge management is critical to business success. Knowledge, in of itself, is not enough to satisfy the vast array of changes in today’s organization. Therefore, knowledge management is only a necessary precursor to effectively managing knowledge within the organization. One tool for executives to improve organizational knowledge management and use it to lessen the gaps between success and possible failure is to adopt leadership and become a social architect. Executives can do this by using what is known in the academic realm as social capital.

Social capital, however, is different from human capital in that human capital focuses on individual behavior and knowledge while social capital emphasizes relationships and the assets created by these relationships. Leaders aggregate human capital into social capital so as to provide further information and opportunities for all members, and subsequently contribute to organizational knowledge management through developing relationships with subordinates that link follower’s individual interests to the organization’s collective-interests.

Executives want to know how social capital can be defined and used in organizations. At this point, you’re probably asking why Social capital is so important. Just as human resources is a huge component of organizations, social capital is the resource that keeps the culture together and builds upon the foundations that help organizations prosper. Social capital focuses on developing relationships to create valuable resources. Executives may not be as interested in social capital as much as scholars are but there is a kernel worth looking it in this theoretical framework for executives. For example, social capital enables executives to improve organizational knowledge management and help close the gap between success and possible failure.

Many executives would agree with John Girard, who sees knowledge management as an outcome of various factors such as leadership, interactions, and communications, formal policies and rules, and a climate inspiring innovation and creativity within organizations. Organizational knowledge cannot merely be described as the sum of individual knowledge, but as a systematic combination of knowledge based on social interactions shared among organizational members. Thus, executives need to see organizational knowledge as the knowledge that exists in the organization as a whole and use social capital to convert individual knowledge into a collective mind for their organization to close the performance gap and help organizations prosper. Therefore, firms need to consider a range of other factors such as social capital that is also reflective of their knowledge management performance.

Can Knowledge Management Processes Create A Sustainable Competitive Advantage?

Executives know that discontinuity exists at all levels of product and services and they do not want to find themselves caught off guard and become obsolete. To remain competitive, executives realize that they have to quickly create and share new ideas and knowledge to be more responsive to market changes. Importantly, knowledge held by organizational members is the most strategic resource for competitive advantage, and also through the way it is managed by executives. Executives can enhance knowledge accumulation which is associated with coaching and mentoring activities by sharing experiences gained by imitating, observing, and practicing. Executives can, in fact, help followers add meaningfulness to their work in ways enhancing a shared understanding among members to enhance engagement.

In the integration process, organizational knowledge is articulated into a formal language that represents official statements. Organizational knowledge is incorporated into formal language and subsequently becomes available to be shared within organizations. Executives have their internet technology departments to create a combination that reshapes existing organizational knowledge to more systematic and complex forms by, for example, using internal databases. Organizing knowledge using databases and archives can make knowledge available throughout the organization—–organized knowledge can be disseminated and searched by others. Most importantly, in knowledge integration, organizational knowledge is internalized through learning by doing which is more engaging. It is important to note that executives have found that shared mental models and technical know-how become valuable assets.

Organizational knowledge, which is reflected in moral and ethical standards and the degree of awareness about organizational visions and missions can in-turn be used in strategic decision making. Organizational knowledge can be, therefore, converted to create new knowledge that executives can view and implement immediately in managerial decision making. Applying knowledge aimed at providing better decision-making and work-related practices and creating new knowledge through innovation.

Finally, when executives agree to share knowledge with other organizations in the environment, studies have shown that that knowledge is often difficult to share externally. One reason is that other organizations have too much pride to accept knowledge or are apprehensive to expose themselves to the competition. Therefore, executives may lack the required capabilities to interact with other organizations.

Learning in organizations is the ultimate outcome of knowledge reconfiguration by which organizational knowledge is created and acquired by connecting knowledge with other companies that want to share successes and failures. This leads to converting acquired knowledge into organizational processes and activities to improve processes that contribute to success. Executives can now see that a company’s capability to manage organizational knowledge is the most crucial factor in a sustainable competitive advantage. This core-competitive advantage relies within and among people. Figure 1 illustrates how social capital can create knowledge management and competitive advantage for companies.

Figure 1: Social Capital, Knowledge Management and Competitive Advantage

In Conclusion

Executives began to listen and respond to the plethora of information in the form of articles, books, and models attempting to provide social capital to help impact knowledge management and organizational competitiveness. This article articulates a different approach and introduces a new and dynamic perspective of social capital by showing how executives can create social capital as collective actions, meaning that organizational knowledge is power and can be used as an asset when competing with rivals.

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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.

References

Girard, J.P. (2006). Where is the knowledge we have lost in managers?. Journal of Knowledge Management, 10(6), 22 – 38.

companies

What Fortune’s “100 Best Companies” Do Differently

Leadership, being a strong component of management has manifested itself into the forefront of many executives and aspiring leaders. There are many academic studies that focus on the organizational and managerial factors that drive organizational competitiveness. Leadership is one such area that plays a critical role and is a strategic prerequisite for business success in today’s knowledge-based economy.

However, some researchers critique the literature of leadership for having no relevance between leadership theories and today‘s changing business environment. Particularly, these authors feel that there are various issues and considerations existing in the leadership literature as the core of the criticism in the literature is that organizations of all sorts (corporations, government agencies, and non-profit organizations) tend to be over-managed (and, in some cases, over-administrated) and under-led. Reading all the books on leadership today will cover the gamut of Shakespeare to Geronimo. Not to say that these authors, leaders, and thinkers do not have anything good to say about leadership. It is just that the plethora of leadership literature has sent mixed signals to corporate leaders.

Today, the question remains, can leaders be made, or do they have to be born leaders to be successful? Before attempting to answer this question, let us agree that leaders can be made and that being a born leader may be an additional attribute of leadership. This article aims at answering this central question. Scholars who are experts in leadership illustrate, in an attempt to differentiate the concepts of leadership and management, that while a leader acquires his competencies by embracing education, a manager becomes familiar with managerial activities by undergoing training. The education system is more strategic, synthetic, experimental, flexible, active, and broad when compared to training principles that manifest themselves in being passive, narrow, and rote.

Moreover, there is a profound difference between leaders and managers. A leader takes a proactive approach towards more strategic goals and evokes expectations of followers and images for them to follow in the direction of influencing and coaching them. Leadership focuses on challenging the current norms and motivating employees. Followers, as intellectual capital, are trained to think about organizational issues in a more innovative and creative manner.

This intention cannot be achieved without developing trust-based relationships by which human assets could share their knowledge and new ideas with others. So the question still arises that why is management and leadership so different. Henry Mintzberg, an author and scholar in the area of management at McGill University in Canada feels that they are not so different, and being a manager is being a leader. For example, management emphasizes more operational objectives rather than investigating strategic goals. Therefore, management has been highlighted as an authority relationship to maintain the status quo through coordinating and controlling subordinate activities. This is where scholars part ways. Once the status quo is mentioned, it appears that management is stagnant and overly consuming in nature. It is not, management and leadership are one in the same and to be a good manager a person has to also be a good leader.

The following table summarizes some distinctions between leadership and management. The table indicates a dichotomy of management and leadership but anyone can see that being both is much more important than being simply one or the other.

Leadership
Management
doing the right things doing things right
Coaching evaluating
taking a proactive approach taking a reactive approach
having a long-term perspective having a short-term perspective
enhancing trust controlling subordinates
Innovating performing functions
focusing on people focusing on structure
challenging norms maintaining the status quo

 

Today’s global expansion of business is constantly changing as organizations are increasingly participating in international markets. A new leadership approach may be necessary as the globalized market demands are increasingly difficult to adapt and sustain profitability. The emergence of global business environments drives companies to become world-class. Leaders in Fortune’s 100 best companies play a crucial role in achieving a high level of effectiveness and world-class efficiency and effectiveness.

This article summarizes my experience of working with more than 30 Fortune’s 100 best companies. My experience says that organizational commitment, flexibility, and innovation are necessary attributes to evaluate the success of organizations in global markets. In fact, effective leaders in 30 Fortune’s 100 best companies are highly characterized by enablers of organizational commitment, flexibility, and problem-solving oriented. The global markets represent cross-cultural settings and require top management executives who can adapt to various environments successfully. A cross-cultural setting can enhance the employee’s organizational commitment through empowering human assets and developing an inspiring vision for the future.

The major tasks of leaders in Fortune’s 100 best companies include:

-Empowering employees

-Generating a shared vision and

-Creating fundamental changes at the organizational level.

Furthermore, sustained performance in global markets is dependent on continuous learning. Leaders in Fortune’s 100 best companies build a learning climate through identifying intellectual capital and empowering them. These executives also improve knowledge sharing and learning. They are the most qualified executives that may be able to enhance organization performance in global markets through empowering human resources and enabling change. One way that this leadership may be valuable is because it sheds light on the critical role of employee’s attitudes and values in implementing change. In fact, these leaders feature effective organizational change as a by-product of developing relationships with subordinates.

Leadership should be, therefore, embraced at the senior level of organizations to enable performance in globalized markets through implementing organizational change and developing a shared vision for future expansion into global markets.

Moreover, success in today’s global business environment can be more effective when leadership is applied to change attitudes and assumptions at the individual level and creating collective-interests for cultural adaptation. Leaders in Fortune’s 100 best companies generate a shared and inspiring vision for the future expansion into global markets and then secure a foothold in the ever-expansive global marketplace.

In conclusion, executives began to listen and respond to the plethora of information in the form of articles, books, and models attempting to provide leadership to help impact not only the production and profitability of the organization but also the competitive advantage. This article blends scholarly concepts with real-world applications and provides real examples of how leaders in Fortune’s 100 best companies dramatically affect the way their companies perform their functions.

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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. 

success

The Road to Leadership Success is Paved With Knowledge

Different Kinds of Organizational Knowledge and Where they are Found

Executives must have an understanding of the concept of knowledge itself. Knowledge is identified as a multi-faceted concept and is distinct from information and data. Knowledge is quite elusive and is changing on a day-to-day basis with discontinued products and the ever-changing vast array of technology. Therefore, to counter the above definition of knowledge, Ruggles defines knowledge as a blend of information, experiences, and codes. The key take-away for executives is that knowledge is a resource that enables organizations to solve problems and create value through improved performance and it is this point that will narrow the gaps of success and failure leading to more successful decision-making.

Executives still wonder where is knowledge and how can it be utilized when it comes to decision-making. Scholars found that within organizations, knowledge resides in various areas such as management, employees, culture, structure, systems, processes, and relationships.

Organizational knowledge cannot merely be described as the sum of individual knowledge, but as a systematic combination of knowledge based on social interactions shared among organizational members. Executives, being more conceptual, agree with Tsoukas who determines organizational knowledge as a collective mind, and Jones and Leonard who explain organizational knowledge as the knowledge that exists in the organization as a whole. Most importantly, organizational knowledge is owned and disseminated by the organization. To analyze knowledge in organizations, there are two important taxonomies of organizational knowledge that need to be discussed.

Tacit and Explicit Knowledge

Why would executives care whether knowledge is tacit or explicit? The simple answer is that tacit knowledge is not shared and sometimes bottled up in individuals causing a bottleneck in the organization. If knowledge can be categorized as tacit and explicit knowledge then how can executives manage knowledge to enhance productivity?

Since tacit knowledge is the knowledge that exists in the minds of organizational members which is gained by their individual experiences, and it is difficult to formalize and transfer unless directed to do so, executives need to pinpoint and encourage this type of knowledge to be drawn out of followers. More controllable, explicit knowledge is the knowledge that is highly formalized and codified, and can be easily recorded and communicated through formal and systematic language, and manifested in rules and procedures providing the necessary tools and processes for executives to manage. It can also be captured in expert systems and tapped by many people throughout the organization via the intranet. Executives know that explicit knowledge is more formal and has the potential to be more easily shared. When it is expressed in words and specifications, it is much more useful compared to tacit knowledge.

Private and Public Knowledge

Since executives are constantly dealing with the public—-especially if they are a publicly-traded company, the private and public knowledge is something they pay a great deal of attention to. Of course, this is not new but worth mentioning. For example, a scholar by the name of Matusik, argues that knowledge in organizations can be categorized as either private or public knowledge and can be advantageous to executive decision-making. Firm-specific knowledge must be guarded and not shared with the competition. Any leak of such information may expose the organization and increase the operational risk. Contrary to private knowledge, public knowledge differs in that it is not unique for any organization. Public knowledge may be an asset and provide potential benefits when posted on social media and other means of communication.

It is important for executives to consider the ownership of knowledge as a factor which is a significant contributor to the knowledge of organizations. Moreover, knowledge emerges in two additional forms, including the knowledge that is only accessible by one company and the knowledge that is accessible to all companies. The best approach to knowledge is for executives to know which knowledge is to remain private and which to go public with. A mistake in this area may be vital to the organizations and executives must choose wisely.

Today the question arises whether the management of an organization’s intellectual capital itself can be a source of effectiveness for leaders. In the next section, I pose that ineffective knowledge management may expose organizations to missed opportunities and lack of using leadership opportunities to their benefit given the existing opportunities in international and domestic markets, and how this lack of judgment may concern stakeholders. I also assume that the lack of effective strategic knowledge management may lead to human assets to be ineffective. My final assumption addressed in this article is that the crucial role of knowledge management practices, such as coordinating and hosting the continuous sessions of company-wide experts to share their knowledge, maybe underestimated and underutilized.

How Does KM Practices Impact Leadership Effectiveness?

Knowledge is firstly accumulated by creating new knowledge from organizational intellectual capital and acquiring knowledge from external environments. This knowledge exchange with external business partners develops innovative environments that can enable leaders to create a more innovative climate in companies. This knowledge process enhances the capabilities of leaders to play the role of inspirational motivation, which enables these leaders to directly set highly desired expectations to recognize possible opportunities in the business environment. The knowledge exchange also positively contributes to leaders to develop a more effective vision, including a more comprehensive array of information and insights about external environments.

Executives then integrate knowledge internally to enhance the effectiveness and efficiencies in various systems and processes, as well as to be more responsive to market changes. Knowledge integration focuses on monitoring and evaluating knowledge management practices, coordinating experts, sharing knowledge and scanning the changes of knowledge requirements to keep the quality of their production or services in-line with market demand. It is apparent that knowledge integration activities can help leaders assessing the required changes to keep the quality of both products and services at maximum levels. Furthermore, a systematic process of coordinating company-wide experts enables leaders to propel the role of intellectual stimulation, which creates a more innovative environment within companies.

Executives must also curtail knowledge within organizations. The knowledge within organizations needs to be reconfigured to meet environmental changes and new challenges today. What worked yesterday or a few years ago is changing rapidly as technology has increased in a prolific way. Knowledge is globally shared with other organizations through domestic and global rewards such as the Malcolm Baldridge Award in the United States and the Deming Award in Japan. However, past industry researches have posited that companies might lack the required capabilities or decide to decline from interact acting with other companies, or even suffer the distrust to share their knowledge. Therefore, expert groups may not have sufficient diversity in order to comprehend knowledge acquired from external sources.

Based upon these limitations whether natural or caused, networking with business partners is a key activity for companies to enhance knowledge exchange and it should not take an award to be the impetus to initiate interaction. Ergo, networking with external business partners may enhance the effectiveness of leadership, thereby empowering leaders to better develop strategic insights to develop a more effective vision incorporating various concerns and values of external business partners. The knowledge transference among companies itself improves the effectiveness of learning, which in turn enables leaders to empower human resources by creating new knowledge and solutions. Thus, I suggest that networking takes place among companies in both domestic and international markets which may enhance the effective use of leadership. Therefore, if leaders in senior positions effectively use knowledge management then they may be able to improve leadership effectiveness through increased learning opportunities.

In Conclusion

This article suggests that knowledge management constitutes the foundation of a supportive workplace to disseminate knowledge and subsequently enhance the effectiveness of leadership. Accordingly, I suggest that by channeling knowledge management practices into organizational constructs, engaging in the practices of leadership, executives will continue to prosper. I also suggest that a firm’s ability to develop leadership can be highly affected when executives implement knowledge management projects as the primary form of managing people, resources, and profitability.

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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. 

References

Jones, K., & Leonard, L.K. (2009). From Tacit Knowledge to Organizational Knowledge for Successful KM. In W.R. King (Eds.), Knowledge Management and Organizational Learning, (pp. 27-39), Berlin: Springer.

Matusik, S.F. (1998). The Utilization of Contingent Work, Knowledge Creation, and Competitive Advantage. The Academy of Management Review, 23(4), 680-697.

Ruggles, RL 1997, Knowledge management tools, Boston, MA: Butterworth-Heinemann.

Tsoukas, H. (1996). The Firm as a Distributed Knowledge System: A Constructionist Approach. Strategic Management Journal, 17, 11-25.

executives

What Executives Can Learn From the Globe’s Best Leaders

Military leaders often provide what is called “Top Cover” flying above their followers to ensure their mission is a success. Submarines travel with pilot ships to guide them. This is what executives need to do. The purpose of this article is to answer the question “What executives can learn from 5 famous American leaders?”

There are various issues and considerations existing in the leadership literature as the core of the criticism in the literature is that organizations of all sorts (corporations, government agencies, and non-profit organizations) tend to be over-managed (and, in some cases, over-administrated) and under-led. Reading all the books on leadership today will cover the gamut of Shakespeare to Geronimo. Not to say that these authors, leaders, and thinkers do not have anything good to say about leadership. It is just that the plethora of leadership literature has sent mixed signals to executives. The only thing we know is the managers may be doing things right but leaders are doing the right things. If you agree, even slightly, with this concept, then this article is designed, developed, and created for you.

What Executives Can Learn from Eisenhower’s Leadership

In American politics in 2016, a crucial year between the democratic and republican parties, this presidential election has shown that there is a direct connection between politics and CEOs, who at least think they are experienced enough to hold the ultimate leadership position. Political leaders are not any different than organizational businessmen. More and more businessmen and women are becoming political candidates and people are responding positively. The reason being—the two do go together. At the heart of leadership are a large number of followers. Without the support of followers, leaders will fail. The same thing goes with the political candidate that has to win the hearts and minds of the followers to get elected.

There are many more followers than there are leaders and this is more so in the political realm. The question is: Can CEOs see political leaders as the perfect examples for leadership? The answer is a resounding “Yes.” For example, Eisenhower, one of the former presidents of the United States in World War II, effectively led both the American government and the Allied Forces in Europe in defeating Adolf Hitler. Eisenhower’s leadership provides lessons for CEOs in today’s organizational challenges. Eisenhower argued that leaders must care for their people as individuals, always remain optimistic, and place themselves with and for the people, and, most importantly, provide the WHY behind what you ask them to do. For the executive’s corner, executives must be aware that Dwight Eisenhower’s leadership can fundamentally affect the way a company performs its functions.

What Executives Can Learn from 4 Famous American Business Leaders

One example of this comes from CEO Rich Teerlink, who dramatically changed Harley-Davidson in the 1980s, and fundamentally built a different organization that still prospers today. The success of leadership at the Harley-Davidson Corporation has stood the test of time. For example, Harley-Davidson’s leadership created a more effective organization built upon three primary principles, focusing on people, challenging norms, and continuing to fundamentally change. At Harley, every employee can participate in leadership decision-making.

Another example of famous American business leaders in a highly competitive environment is Steve Jobs, former leader of Apple, who built a highly effective organization through taking a change-oriented leadership approach, which highly manifested itself in talent, product, organization, and marketing. As a result, leadership, being the core of management, is crucial to the company’s success—-both from a performance and management level.

The evidence from these examples suggests that leadership is highly demanding at the corporate level. For organizations to achieve a sustained change and eventually a higher degree of efficiency and effectiveness, selecting a great business leader is the key to success. In the absence of leadership, organizations lose their required direction to achieve a high degree of hypercompetitiveness, and cannot implement successful change in order to adapt to today’s global business environment.

As executives attempt to manage people they find that intellectual capital is at the forefront of success—Bill Gates, as an exemplary leader, once mentioned that if he lost his top 50 people that he would not have an organization anymore. Executives develop organizational communications aimed at providing valuable resources for all organizational members. They enhance knowledge sharing among intellectual capital and stipulate knowledge to be shared around the organization.

Sharing the best practices and experiences could positively impact some aspects of non-financial performance such as innovation, providing learning and growth opportunities for employees. Empowered employees can enable organizations to actively respond to environmental changes, which can, in turn, enhance performance in terms of return on assets and return on sales.

The outcome is success which narrows the gap between success and failure and this can be achieved by the commitment of organizational members and facilitated by executives. When executives show concern for the employee’s individual needs, individuals begin to contribute more commitment and they become more inspired them to put extra effort into their work. This extra effort improves customer satisfaction, and impacts shareholder value and improves operational risk management.

Corporate strategy can be also employed by incredibly successful leaders, such as Jeff Bezos, to enhance goal achievement. Prominent scholars that are well known in the Academy of Management, one of the largest leadership and management organizations in the world also say that successful organizations enhance their competitiveness by focusing on corporate strategy. Leaders find that corporate strategy is in the forefront of success. Corporate strategy could be the most important component of success in this ever-changing business environment of today. This, by far, is why some organizations are successful and some are not. The key take-away for executives is that corporate strategy is a resource that enables organizations to solve problems and create value through improved performance and it is this point that will narrow the gaps of success and failure leading to more successful decision-making.

Evidently, executives that implement corporate strategy as an important driving force for business success find their organization to be more competitive and on the cutting edge. Thus, the effectiveness of corporate strategy implementation is determined by a set of critical success factors, one of which is the strategic dimension of leadership. And the burden of success when the implementation of corporate strategy is concerned is heavily dependent on the capabilities of the organization’s leaders. Therefore, the outcome is success which narrows the gap between success and failure and this can be achieved by corporate strategy implementation and facilitated by an executive following Jeff Bezos and acting as a leader.

In Conclusion

Many executives are familiar with leadership surveys developed by scholars and this article is not about measuring aptitude or defining leadership styles. It is about getting the information needed to be successful in the right hands of executives. This article raises a vital question as to how executives can lead by example. I attempt to blend scholarly concepts with real-world application through thoroughly looking at the perfect examples for leadership. Based on this article, executives can now see that famous American leaders can, in fact, make a fundamental change in the processes by which organizations serve their clients. And success can be more effective when leadership is applied to change attitudes and assumptions. Without a grasp on this one tenet executives are bound to fail.

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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.  

green

LEADERS BY EXAMPLE: 10 INDUSTRY EXECUTIVES USHERING IN THE GREEN REVOLUTION

A Nielsen survey found that 81 percent of global consumers feel companies should help improve the environment. “Business strategies must include sustainability in their core beliefs and practices,” says Hitendra Chaturvedi, a professor at the Supply Chain Department of W.P. Carey School of Business at Arizona State University and an expert on global supply chain sustainability and strategy.

Fortunately, there are forward-looking leaders like the executives who follow that prove you can go green and succeed in business.

Simon Paris – CEO, Finastra; Chairman, World Trade Board

As the chief executive of one of the world’s largest fintech companies, while also chairing the World Trade Board, Simon Paris is in a unique position to talk about protecting the global trade system. Heading into the 2020 World Trade Symposium in his company’s hometown of London, Paris wrote about countering today’s protectionist narrative with “our reinforcement of the pro-trade narrative,” and he also called for ideas to reduce the small and medium-sized enterprises’ (SME) funding gap, currently estimated at $1.5 trillion. But he ended with a plea to “examine how open technology can act as the enabler for inclusive, sustainable trade.

As global supply chains become increasingly complex, our goal should not be measured on a binary figure of turnover or profit, but on the ethical and sustainable impact of our technological innovation; our technological social responsibility. How can we use technology, collectively, to ascertain the provenance of materials, improve the health and wellbeing of workers in remote locations, reduce the cause and effects on environment pollution of long-distance transportation or minimize the impact of waste and disposal? How can we use open finance technologies–and by this, I include open systems, open software, open APIs, open standards and open partner networks–to transform supply chains and encourage the formulation of more relevant and inclusive trade models, in support of ethical trade?”

Detlef Trefzger – CEO, Kuehne + Nagel International AG

This year, all less-than-container-load (LCL) shipments by Kuehne + Nagel began being CO2 neutral, which is part of the Swiss global logistics and transportation company’s goal of being totally CO2 neutral by 2030. “As one of the leading logistics companies worldwide, we acknowledge the responsibility we have for the environment, for our ecosystem and essentially for the people,” explains K+N CEO Detlef Trefzger, who along with his company supports the aim of the Paris agreement on climate. To that end, the company has also begun carbon-swapping nature projects in Myanmar, New Zealand and elsewhere.

Ongoing training programs maintain and expand the environmental awareness of employees, who have increasingly relied on video conferencing over business trips. In December, K+N announced its accession to the Development and Climate Alliance, which was launched in 2018 to simultaneously promote the development and environmental protection. “As a globally operating company, we are convinced that the private sector must also make its contribution to environmental protection,” says Otto Schacht, a member of K+N’s management board responsible for Seafreight.

Uwe Brinks – CEO, DHL Freight

DHL is a leader in piloting alternative drivetrains and fuels for its vehicles, which fits into the San Francisco-born, Germany-based global logistics giant’s target to reduce all its transportation emissions to zero by 2050. “Our sustainability goal is not just a vision, but a clear statement,” says Uwe Brinks, CEO of DHL Freight. “In the future, we will give preference to transportation solutions that contribute to achieving our environmental goals.”

To that end, DHL launched “Terminal for the Future,” which tests and implements solutions and technologies such as automated volume measurement, intelligent yard management, and partially autonomous transfer vehicles. “All these developments are based on a clear approach: We want to make life easier and more efficient for our customers and employees,” Brinks says. “Technology should support our employees in their everyday work, not replace them.” Globally, DHL has changed vehicles in certain delivery fleets to use alternative fuels, including electricity and compressed natural gas, to meet the goals of its GoGreen project to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases and local air pollutants by 2025.

David Abney – CEO, UPS

 As leader of one of the largest logistics companies in the world, UPS CEO David Abney sums up sustainability success best when he says: “The greenest mile we ever drive is the one we don’t drive.” Better route-planning software and developments have been key to the UPS green transport system—as well as its bottom line: The company claims to have saved $400 million since overhauling the routing system.

But UPS has not stopped there, having switched out dozens of diesel trucks, which get about 10 miles per gallon, for electric vehicles that can squeeze out the equivalent of 52 MPG. Abney and UPS recognize they are an important part of the global supply chain and that their customers expect solutions that help reduce emissions. To that end, UPS has dedicated itself to building the smart logistics network of the future.

Ben McLean- CEO, Ruan

When Des Moines, Iowa-based Ruan was announced in October as a 2019 SmartWay Excellence Award recipient from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, CEO Ben McLean would have been forgiven if he’d reacted by saying, “Meh.” After all, this is the fourth time the green 3PL provider has received the EPA’s highest recognition for demonstrated leadership in freight, supply chain, energy and environmental performance. Of course, McLean—like everyone else at Ruan—was honored to again receive the honor. “This distinction from the EPA validates all the efforts and investments we have made to ensure we are operating as sustainably and environmentally friendly as possible,” said James Cade, vice president, Fleet Services. “To us, sustainability is more than a business practice—it’s our moral commitment. We live in the communities we serve, and it is our responsibility to provide leadership toward a cleaner future.”

Recognition is understandable given that Ruan is one of only three for-hire transportation companies selected for the National Clean Fleets Partnership membership and participation in its annual Clean Cities study. The company’s fleet has green specifications including auxiliary power units that reduce engine idle time, efficient progressive shifting, auto-inflation trailer tire systems, and onboard recorders that monitor MPG, over-RPM, idle time, hard breaking and over-speed driving. Ruan also utilizes alternative fuel types including biodiesel, compressed natural gas, renewable natural gas and renewable hydrocarbon diesel. McLean, part of the third generation of the Ruan family, was out in front of his office to check out a prototype electric truck from Tesla, which has five orders from the company.

Simon Cox – Head of Sustainability, Prologis

At the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, in January, San Francisco-based global logistics real estate firm Prologis was revealed to be No. 6 in the U.S. and No. 26 overall on the 2020 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World List. Those that make the list represent the top 1 percent in the world on sustainability performance, according to the Global 100 administrator, Toronto-based Corporate Knights. Prologis leases modern logistics facilities to about 5,100 customers principally across two major categories: business-to-business and retail/online fulfillment. It was among 7,395 companies worldwide that Corporate Knights analyzed.

“Sustainability has moved beyond simply a commercial advantage; it is now essential—business-critical,” Simon Cox, Prologis’ head of Sustainability, recently told Eye for Transport (EFT) by Reuters Events. “… We build warehouses that are ready for the next generation, who want to work for companies that do the right thing. Globally, we are seeing a move towards purpose-based products. It’s no longer enough to simply make something that cleans the kitchen, for example, it’s got to have a broader purpose. It’s got to be environmentally responsible. It’s the same for us as a business that develops and owns sustainable buildings.”

JJ Ruest – President and CEO, CN (Canadian National Railway)

Landing a spot for the first time on the 2020 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World List is CN, at No. 54. That recognition comes exactly 12 months after the Canadian National Railway marked its 10th straight year as a global leader on corporate climate action on the CDP Climate Change A list. Produced at the request of 650 investors with assets of over $87 trillion and/or 115 major purchasing organizations with $3.3 trillion in purchasing power, the A list is culled from thousands of companies that submit annual climate disclosures for independent assessments from CDP, an international nonprofit that seeks public and private sector reductions in greenhouse gas emissions as well as the safeguarding of forests and water resources.

CN transports more than $250 billion (Canadian) worth of goods annually for a wide range of business sectors, ranging from resource products to manufactured products to consumer goods, across a rail network of approximately 20,000 route-miles spanning Canada and U.S. cities such as New Orleans, and Mobile, Alabama as well as the Chicago, Memphis, Detroit, Duluth, Minnesota/Superior, Wisconsin and Jackson, Mississippi metropolitan areas. “Our commitment is to help our customers deliver responsibly by providing a safe, efficient and environmentally friendly way to move goods,” says CN President and CEO JJ Ruest. “To that effect, we have improved our fuel efficiency by 39 percent over the past 25 years.”

Kai Nowosel – Chief Procurement Officer, Accenture

Also landing on the 2020 Global 100 Most Sustainable Corporations in the World List (at No. 20, up from No. 93 the year before), as well as making the CDP Climate Change A list is Accenture PLC, an Irish multinational that provides strategy, consulting, digital, technology and operations services. From offices around the world—including 10 U.S. cities from Boston in the east to Irvine, California, in the west, and Seattle in the north to Houston in the south—Accenture uses “purchasing power to drive positive change on a global scale, creating more sustainable supply chains,” according to Chief Procurement Officer Kai Nowosel. “It also allows us to advance our key priorities, including environmental action, respect for human rights, inclusion, diversity and social innovation.”

Accenture has committed to using 100 percent renewable energy across its global portfolio by 2023. “We will be encouraging similar ambition from our value chain, and ideally reporting progress through established platforms such as CDP supply chain,” Nowosel says. “… We will actively seek partnerships and suppliers that are even more closely aligned to our corporate values so that, together, we will improve the way the world works and lives.”

Alexander Saverys – CEO, CMB (Compagnie Maritime Belge)

CMB’s bold CO2 pledge is “Net Zero as from 2020–ZERO in 2050.” The strategy involves having all carbon emissions from CMB operations completely offset (or net-zero) from this year, while the investment in new technologies will create a completely zero-carbon fleet by 2050. CMB started by supporting certified climate projects in developing countries and acquiring high-quality Voluntary Carbon Units (VCUs) in Zambia, Guatemala, and India. Back at CMB’s home base, the Port of Antwerp in Belgium, the company’s “Hydroville,” the world’s first sea-faring vessel to burn hydrogen in a diesel engine, shuttles up to 16 passengers while producing zero pollution. That won the company the second-ever Sustainability Award from Antwerp Port Authority, Alfaport-Voka and the Scheldt Left Bank Corp. in November 2018.

CMB is now hard at work on “HydroTug,” a tugboat that will hit the water later this year or next using the same hybrid hydrogen/diesel technology as Hydroville. Hybrid barges would soon follow, and the company hopes to launch the world’s first hydrogen-powered container ships in the next decade. “Green hydrogen-based fuels are the only zero-emission solution in the long run,” according to CMB CEO Alexander Saverys. “… We are convinced of the potential of hydrogen as the key to sustainable shipping and making the energy transition of a reality.”

Thibaut de Lataillade – Global Vice President and General Manager, GetApp

Founded in 2010, the Barcelona, Spain-based Gartner company GetApp is an online resource for software buyers to compare products side-by-side with free interactive tools, detailed product data and user reviews. GetApp also serves as an online lead generation channel for SaaS. And the company also provides customers with sustainability advice. “Our main focus is on helping businesses become more efficient through technology and software,” says Thibaut de Lataillade, GetApp’s global vice president and general manager. “As consumers become more conscious of sustainability, businesses must adapt their supply chain processes. This means mapping their supply chain, setting goals and measuring supplier performance when it comes to sustainability. Using the right software to analyze and leverage data captured through this process will help business leaders make the right decisions and ensure sustainability in the future.”

GetApp doesn’t stop there. “We’ve also tried to highlight the many other benefits that come from becoming a socially responsible business. For instance, corporate social responsibility (CSR) can also lead to improved brand awareness and improved customer trust, loyalty and engagement,” de Lataillade says. “As a digital business, we have a duty to spread the message when it comes to creating a social impact strategy, and doing so for the right reasons.”

businesses

How Businesses can Weather COVID-19: Start with Empathy to Employees

Major U.S. businesses are adjusting operations, laying off employees or reducing hours in response to the coronavirus outbreak.

It’s uncharted territory for the nation, and companies from large brands to small businesses, like everyone else, are operating without a playbook to deal with an unprecedented public health threat that will also have economic implications. How businesses adjust to the pandemic and respond to this “new normal” is critical to the future of their business.

“The most important part is showing empathy to employees – now more than ever in these uncertain times,” says Ed Mitzen (www.edmitzen.com), founder of a health and wellness marketing agency and ForbesBook author of More Than a Number: The Power of Empathy and Philanthropy in Driving Ad Agency Performance.

“While every company is dealing with the effects of the COVID-19 outbreak, it’s important to keep in mind that your employees are being affected in more ways than one. Added challenges to daily life now include your partner working next to you, your children being home from school, and having to keep an extra close eye on elderly relatives. In these unusual circumstances, people will notice which companies are treating their employees with empathy and compassion and which are not.”

A business leader’s response during a time like this defines who they are as a leader.

Mitzen thinks this challenging time could be used by business owners to assess their company culture and consider that how they treat employees is central to that culture and vital for business results. He explains how leaders can show empathy to employees, strengthen company culture and drive performance:

Lead with support, not force. “Culture starts at the top, and the best results come when leaders support their people and help them get the most out of life, rather than trying to squeeze them to work harder and harder,” Mitzen says. “People can sacrifice for the job for only so long before they burn out. It may sound counterintuitive, but sometimes prioritizing life over work actually improves the work product. Once you hire good people, you don’t have to push them with crazy deadlines to squeeze productivity out of them.”

Build a team of caring people. “Business is a team sport,” Mitzen says. “To have an empathetic culture, you need people who care for each other and work well together. Build teams by looking for people who lead with empathy.  Don’t hire jerks. People who are super-talented but can’t get along with others tend to destroy the team dynamics, and the work product suffers.”

Define a positive culture – and the work. Showing empathy to employees can be an engine generating creativity and productivity. “The internal culture at a company defines the work the company produces,” Mitzen says. “Culture influences who chooses to work for you, how long they stay, and the quality of work they do. And the core of the culture is empathy, starting with employees and extending to customers and the communities that you live in. There’s a strong connection between a healthy work culture, which inspires people, and the work customers are receiving. That kind of company makes sure customers are treated the same way they are being treated.”

“Now more than ever, empathy, kindness and compassion are important values to keep at the forefront of your organization,” Mitzen says. “Business leaders can take the lead in doing the right thing, starting with their employees.”

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Ed Mitzen (www.edmitzen.com) is the ForbesBook author of More Than a Number: The Power of Empathy and Philanthropy in Driving Ad Agency Performance and the founder of Fingerpaint, an independent advertising agency grossing $60 million in revenue. A health and wellness marketing entrepreneur for 25 years, Mitzen also built successful firms CHS and Palio Communications. Fingerpaint has been included on the Inc. 5000 list of fastest-growing companies for seven straight years and garnered agency of the year nominations and wins from MM&M, Med Ad News, and PM360. Mitzen was named Industry Person of the Year by Med Ad News in 2016 and a top boss by Digiday in 2017. A graduate of Syracuse University with an MBA from the University of Rochester, Mitzen has written for Fortune, Forbes, HuffPost, and the Wall Street Journal.