How Hyper Change creates opportunities
According to Jesus Pazos, former CEO of Neal and Massy, the winds of Hyper Change (HC) can stir up strategic business advantages and this is what would push companies to advance and succeed in situations of crisis. Hyper Change can be cataclysmic but requires mustering the courage to the gain advantage over competitors.
Hyper Change, which can be better understood within the context of large-scale phenomena like Free Trade, Global Warming, a Global Financial Crisis, the Internet and Social Networking invariably impacts the way we think, act, behave, create, communicate and the way we choose to conduct business.
Amongst all this Hyper Change lies the Global Oil Crisis which has triggered a recession and has affected how we do business locally, regionally and with the rest of the world It is not business as usual, quite literally, as the anxiety-inducing business scenarios grow more severe. Pazos advocates the ability of the business community to turn stasis into success, but to do this requires great leadership and great disruption.
The “Perfect Storm”
Pazos, after having dedicated 19 years to Neal and Massy, served as the company’s CEO from 1995 to 2000. He was instrumental in the turnaround at the Massy Conglomerate between the mid 80’s and early 90’s, calling it the “Perfect Storm”. In crisis and tragedy, there is always opportunity. For Neal and Massy, incremental changes did not cut it during trying times. He recalls the Neal and Massy being on the brink of financial ruin.
“Neal and Massy was acquiring, but it was more of an amalgam as opposed to defined pillars of operation. Neal and Massy had promised turnarounds. Year after year, we would tell the shareholders ‘next year’, but to no avail. So, the decision we took in those days was to declare a provisional loss of a $100,000,000. All hell broke loose. We faced a crisis of confidence to the extent where a Former Minister of Finance remarked publicly that nobody could save it.”
Saving the company required a shift in the organizational mindset to ‘We have to create what isn’t.’ Massy created five pillars that led to transformation: Finance, Transportation, Energy, IT, Retail and Distribution.
Crisis of Leadership and Leading Change
Pazos says leadership is critical in leading the process of change, but often lacking “Unfortunately, the problems facing leaders is that leaders lack the will, the courage and the stomach to alter the context that they themselves have created.” Bold risk-taking should be encouraged. There must be a greater push to launch new products and new services before someone else does. Leaders need to be entrepreneurs, managers, and innovators all at once.
He notes the human side of business is often neglected. Finding the best-suited person for position is key. One of the advantages of a recessionary landscape is that there is a large pool of talented persons seeking jobs. A good leader is one who can pick these gems out. According to him, “We must remember that people quit people, not companies. The best leaders will be those who build those they serve. We go to extremes to ensure we have quality products and services but the same measure must be taken in recruiting the people we employ. When recruiting - Look for strength, change, passion, energy, drive. You need to get a right blend of person.”
Strategies suited to the Economic Context
Back then, Neal and Massy faced many of the same challenges of a turbulent economy that businesses are facing today, and survived. Pazos says the Hyper Change of an unstable economy necessitates strategy. Strategy, he says, is not doing things better than others but doing things differently from others.
“We need to alter the context in which you operate and out of this will come new vision, new value systems, new reward systems all geared towards how the company will make its mark.
There is a need to refine your business. Change denotes disruption and hyper-change causes hyper disruptions.”
Where Hyper Change is confronted with disruptive innovation, there exists the potential for amplifying the strategies aimed at achieving new levels of growth.
Join international bestselling author Professor Luke Williams, Jeus Pazos and other regional leaders as they uncover the opportunities that lie in disruption on May 24--'D Day: A Master Conference in Disruption'.