The world is facing significant disruption and increasingly urgent global challenges affecting individuals, families, organizations, governments, and society. This VUCA-driven (volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity) age of disruption brings new complexities, opportunities, as well as risks for businesses (Bawany 2020). The potential for crises has intensified, driven by rapid technological change, and amplified by societal expectations linked to environmental, social and governance (ESG) phenomena.
Throughout the COVID-19 crisis, we’ve seen an acceleration of these trends. We have seen how some businesses have been successful in looking beyond the pandemic and into recovery, while others have failed and many perished, especially the small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
The global outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19) has created significant challenges for leaders at all levels in industries across the world. A post-pandemic era will require us to embrace new definitions of leadership. The disruptive and seismic effect of the pandemic was felt by organizations across diverse industries. Leaders and employees all are asking far-ranging questions about the future: What will be the legacy of the pandemic? What kinds of leadership skills will they need to successfully navigate the various challenges ina disruptive and digital-driven workplace? How do organizations balance business sustainability and risk management while supporting the needs of the various stakeholders including their employees?
Those who have been leading organizations for some time will attest to the fact that disruption, in its various forms, can happen at any time, in any market segment, or any industry. The reality is that its impact on traditional organizations can be disastrous if not managed effectively. It has and will continue to fundamentally change the way we live and work in decades to come. A leader must see beyond the horizon to anticipate these possible disruptions and develop relevant strategies to mitigate the associated risks.
Today’s global disruptions (e.g., geopolitical tensions, supply chain bottlenecks technological innovations, and climate change)and economic headwinds (e.g., soaring inflation, rising interest rates, decelerating growth, and currency fluctuations) have created a complex, once-in-a-generation, competitive environment with significant variations across geographic areas and sectors.
Navigating this unprecedented complexity requires business leaders to develop a dynamic perspective not only on the most likely scenarios for how their operating and economic environments will evolve but also on the distinct opportunities and risks these scenarios present for their organizations.