There are challenges facing the 21st-century leader in global organizations that have a direct effect and influence on the company’s bottom-line as evidenced by the reduced volume of sales in the year ended 2015 by about 7% and competition from others in two global markets, i.e., Asia and America. Therefore, having a competitive edge in any market requires a radical change in the leadership styles adopted by companies since this is a requirement in handling not only emergencies but also enables leaders to navigate the 21st-century workplace effectively. The five challenges in leadership that require addressing for GDD to minimize their losses and hence run at a profit include sustainability, innovation, adaptability, globalization, and knowledge management.
Adaptability involves the ability of a leader to have awareness of the changes taking place around them and dealing with such changes. These changes include cognitive, dispositional and emotional flexibility (Zaccaro&Klimoski, 2002). In this era characterized by rapid change and globalization, companies find themselves in situations where traditional knowledge and methods fail to meet the new challenges that present themselves during operations and the case is not different for GDD. Therefore, adaptability to the changing trends and to the different cultures the company operates in is paramount in developing a competitive advantage in both the Asian and the American markets. Having to learn and adapt to different situations and movements in the market is principal to gaining competitive advantage.
Sustainability is a model that is adopted by leaders in the twenty-first century to ensure future success and the future existence of companies and so it involves a company’s capability of maintaining performance. Maintaining profitability involves controlling business operations and improving them considering the environment and the community as well through instituting models that ensure that the company maintains sustainable performance. This helps the company to develop a competitive advantage through lowering costs and increasing profitability.
Innovation is a challenge that faces every company in the digital era of conducting business. Leaders that fail to innovate or create an innovative culture tend to be left behind by the competition due to the changing dynamics of the marketplace as well as in the provision of consumer satisfaction (Kouzes& Posner, 2006). Innovation adds value to the present models and also evolves in tandem with technology thus allowing a company develop a competitive advantage over its rivals. This is also coupled with the creation of new opportunities arising from innovation that serves to develop a competitive advantage for companies that innovate in the 21st century.
Knowledge management is a leadership challenge that entails not only the ability to gather specific data but also transcends to the use of the data collected and its transformation into useful information whose use can be found in gaining competitive advantage (Niphadkar, 2016). The twenty-first century has been regarded as the information age because that information can be gained using various media and hence harnessed in making corporate decisions. However, such knowledge that can be obtained easily also need careful analysis to turn it into useful information and this is where leaders with knowledge and management skills find a niche. Taking advantage of knowledge can be used for gaining competitive advantage by companies.
Globalization is also a challenge for leaders in the twenty-first century mainly due to the transfer of competition from the local and the national level to international levels. Therefore, companies with operations in the international market are faced with challenges that arise from having to create a global footprint and also tap into the global consumer perspectives. Overcoming the challenges presented by globalization enables leaders to gain competitive advantage, and this is because such challenges lead to a drop in revenues for certain products in different markets and hence having a global outlook is important.
GDD can be presumed to have challenges in adaptability, and this has been inferred from its inability to change with the changing market and hence cushion itself from losses that got to the 6.5% mark. Therefore, with the entry of new competitors in their market, GDD has been unable to counter their affront and hence a reduction in the sales by 7%. The information provided by the books verify that the company incurred losses and hence can be said to have challenges in adapting to changing situations.
The company also has challenges with regard to sustainability. Sustainability demands that the available resources ought to meet the cost of production and that such should be utilized with future implications in mind (Kouzes& Posner, 2006). However, losses and drops in sales are recorded due to the entry of competitors in the industry. Therefore, the company has major sustainability issues and so cannot be said to be sustainable in its operations.
Lack of innovation is also a factor that requires being addressed, and this is inferred from GDD’s inability to innovate and come up with better products that give them a competitive advantage in the market. This can be attributed to better and innovative products arising from GDD’s competitors, a situation that has led to the loss of market share and a reduction in sales thus losses being reported at the end of the financial year.
GDD also has challenges in knowledge management. Considering the company’s losses and dip in sales, the company has so far been unable to use the data it has on its clients as well as collect useful information that would permit the company to obtain a competitive advantage. Therefore, the knowledge that the company has on its operations over time has not been managed well in the acquisition of more customers or the development of products that are ideal for clients. This has resulted in the loss of revenues.
Globalization has also been a challenge for GDD, and this can be attributed to its inability to challenge the competition in its global markets and so only cushion losses in such markets. However, the company is also global considering its presence in international markets and also operations in the said markets albeit with stiff competition. This, therefore, means that the company is not global but has also been unable to deal with issues that arise due to globalization.
With regard to the adaptability challenge in GDD, the creation of teams that are not only adaptable to the prevailing situations but also equipped with the necessary skills and powers to deal with the changes in the market is important in dealing with it. Another recommendation would be the development of a leadership module targeting the corporation’s leaders with the aim of developing their skills thus creating a highly adaptable leadership that is best suited for dealing with changes in the market (Zaccaro&Klimoski, 2002). The sustainability challenge can be addressed by rethinking the business model and the creation of models that allow the company make better use of its resources thus reducing costs. Another recommendation for dealing with sustainability is encouraging the motivation of employees to ensure that their work can benefit the process through creating sustainable solutions for everyday problems. Innovation challenge requires challenging the employees to be more innovative through adapting their ideas but also the creation of a research and development department tasked with developing the innovative ideas to suit the market and hence enhance profitability.
The globalization challenge can be addressed through the production of products whose quality can compete globally. This is because such products would enable the company to compete better globally and for this reason allow the company to take on competitors$$$. Another recommendation for dealing with the globalization challenge would be through the integration of operations so as to provide the same services regardless of the location. Therefore, this creates a global outlook of the company through the provision of the same services in global locations as well. Knowledge management challenge can be addressed through ensuring that the leaders use the data they obtain making it a requirement for leaders to analyse data with concerning business operations. Such data can be used in the development of products but and services that would give the company competitive advantage. Collection and analysis of data also ought to be tied together with the regular collection of data from customers to ensure that the company tailors its products to the customer requirements as well. This would help ensure the company maintains leadership in the market through customer satisfaction.
Innovation is one of the key areas that ensure a company maintains competitive advantage and also develops sustainable solutions for the business. Concerning the implementation of the recommendation that requires the set-up of a research and development department, it can be argued that this is far-reaching and its benefits far outweigh the costs. This can be done initially through engaging leaders and having them lead the new department with the creation of new guidelines regarding the mandate of the department and the integration of ideas arising from the department to the existing business model.
Another recommendation concerns the employees being challenged to be more innovative. This can be implemented by ensuring that leaders in each department meet weekly with the employees and go over ideas that are presented to improve the business model thus allowing employees to be more innovative (Niphadkar, 2016). Another practical thing that can be done concerning employee innovation is the provision of avenues for employees to submit ideas such as a suggestion box in work areas and to encourage teams to try out new ideas with the view of enhancing the business.
Kouzes, J. M., & Posner, B. Z. (2006). The leadership challenge (Vol. 3). John Wiley & Sons.
Niphadkar, C. (2016). Building Organizational Leadership: Leadership through Learning and Effective Organizational Development Interventions. Notion Press.
Zaccaro, S. J., &Klimoski, R. J. (Eds.). (2002). The nature of organizational leadership: Understanding the performance imperatives confronting today’s leaders (Vol. 12). John Wiley & Sons.
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