2010-04-15

Leadership is critical to business success

R. W. Pollock

Article reprinted from Drake Business Review (Vol. #1, No.1), a semi-annual publication that helps high performing managers and executives meet the human capital challenges in their businesses now. Click here to subscribe.

 

The Chairman's Message

“The budget should be balanced, the treasury should be refilled and public debt should be reduced”. Sound familiar? This statement from Marcus Tullius Cicero in 55 BC, one of Rome’s greatest orators, echoes today’s realities.


History does have an unfortunate habit of repeating itself. Each century has had its share of depressions and recessions. There was the Depression of 1764 (England’s Currency Act), the panic of 1819 – the first major financial crisis in the U.S., The Great Depression of 1929,multiple recessions leading up to the Great Commodities Depression of 1980 and the collapse of the Dot Com Bubble in 2001. And here we are again with the world economy experiencing significant turbulence and slowdown.


PricewaterhouseCoopers interviewed over 1,000 CEOs in 50 countries during the last quarter of 2008 for its 12th Annual Global CEO Survey. Eighty-five percent of CEO survey respondents said that the impact of the recession in the world’s economies continued to dominate their concerns.


There is no doubt that uncertainty and rapid change demands strong leadership. It is for this reason that we are bringing back the Drake Business Review magazine. It first made its debut in the 1980’s during one of those now too familiar recessions. I wanted to share then, as I do today, cutting edge thoughts on leadership, management and strategy from industry experts and business thought leaders from around the globe. The Drake Business Review is a worldwide publication for senior management to help you meet the challenges and opportunities in your business – right now.


In addition to the economy, finding and retaining top talent remains a major priority for CEOs according to the PricewaterhouseCoopers survey. A shortage of candidates with essential skills was cited as a key challenge by nearly 70 per cent of respondents.


Our feature article by Dr. Jac Fitz-enz on: Predictive Management – How to Optimize Human Capital offers insightful ‘out-of-the-box’ thinking. He opens your eyes to a new way of looking at human capital management in the 21st century with HCM:21®. Fitz-enz is well known for his thinking on human capital strategic analysis and measurement.

“What are we doing for our organization to constantly plan for the inevitable, and often severe, ebbs and flows”?


In this economy you need to move beyond guesswork to stay ahead and you can’t wait for market recovery to seek new opportunities. Fitz-enz says that leaders capture opportunities regardless of the market. Leaders also need solid plans and strategies to balance the challenges of successfully managing through the downturn while also remaining prepared for economic turnaround.


Knowing that history does have an unfortunate habit of repeating itself, the key questions to ask are: “What are we doing for our organization to constantly plan for the inevitable and often severe ebbs and flows”? Is our company always looking ahead and into the horizon for opportunities? Are we executing strategic workforce planning measures? Are we fostering innovative strategies to establish a leadership position? Are our clients happy or is money flying out the door?


For any company customers are king and happy customers are critical for your company’s financial success. Are your clients happy and are they coming back? What happens when you lose a client? If you have never thoroughly measured how much it costs your company to lose a customer, you will not want to miss Jo Anna Brandi’s article on The Real Costs of Losing Customers inside this issue.


The management tips and articles inside the Drake Business Review provide valuable thoughts and ideas on strategy to keep you and your company focused and moving forward.


Learning is and should be a continuous process. We need to constantly look at our business from different viewpoints to see the risks and the opportunities. When I opened Drake International’s doors in 1951, it was the beginning of an intensive knowledge journey that still continues to this day. It is always rewarding and always exciting.


Fifty-eight years later, Drake continues to seek and develop innovative solutions, strategies and partnerships to help our clients solve wide-ranging human capital performance and organizational challenges, staff their organizations efficiently and effectively, and realize their targeted objectives.


History, I’ve learned, is a great teacher. The economy will always cycle between up and down. This means that we have to continually navigate through the tough times to stay on course. It is a lot of work. However, the rewards can be substantial. It may be the difference between positively changing the direction of your business, the bottom line impact and the future of your company. 

Let me end with Cicero who said, “The greater the difficulty, the greater the glory”.



W. Pollock, Chairman

 


Article reprinted from Drake Business Review (Vol. #1, No.1), a semi-annual publication that helps high performing managers and executives meet the human capital challenges in their businesses now.

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