In July, Argon & Co hosted an informal dinner discussion in London. Attended by business heads and senior strategy and transformation specialists from a broad range of sectors, the event was an opportunity to share experiences and discuss the challenges of transforming businesses during turbulent times.
The attendees all agreed that it is very easy, however dangerous, for leaders to jump into reaction mode rather than thinking and acting strategically during a crisis. Sometimes we need to slow down to speed up, allowing ourselves space as we balance short term pressure for results with the longer-term strategy. Rapid decisions may feel like progress at the time, but if they are at odds with longer term business aims they can take years to unpick.
Also discussed was the role of the CEO during times of uncertainty and crisis. Referencing the differing styles of leaders around the globe, key traits such as great communication, the provision of clarity and being transparent were highlighted. Significantly, authenticity resonated with all the guests, while the CEO steers the boat, it is imperative they realise that they are not a crew of one, and they should empower their people to navigate by themselves through being clear and consistent with their messaging, showing humility and respect for their team.
There was a lot of debate around what is the single most important thing for a transformation to succeed. Culture, stakeholder alignment, operating model, or infrastructure? All are vital, but which tops the list? After a compelling game of ‘chicken and egg’ that could have gone on all night, the general consensus was that culture beats everything.
A big thank you to everyone who attended; it was wonderful to discuss, laugh and grow our community, we hope to see you again at our next Argon & Co Transformation event!
To find out more about Argon & Co’s Transformation events, please get in touch.