The urgent business imperative of our time is a delicate balance: to perform and transform. Here’s how leaders can play the long game, meeting short-term business goals while preparing for the future.
There’s broad consensus among the CEOs I’ve spoken with recently: They agree they need to drive short-term performance, even as they continue their long-term transformation efforts.
Performance is crucial. Inefficiencies have built up over the past few years of rapid growth and free money; they must be cleared out. Expenses that didn’t cost much in a zero-interest environment simply aren’t sustainable in a world of 5% interest rates and economic uncertainty.
But leaders recognize they can’t depend on short-term performance alone.
In a recent survey, nearly 40% of CEOs across industries confessed that their current business model might not be viable in a decade.
Everything from technology to consumer behavior to geopolitics is evolving at a dizzying pace, posing an existential threat to companies that stand still. Highlighting their balancing act, leaders said they wanted to spend significantly more time on transformation than performance, though in reality the latter took up slightly more of their efforts.
CEOs are right to embrace this paradox. Companies need to both fix the now and build the next. They have to perform AND transform. But that’s a pretty nuanced message to rally people around and it’s a balancing act that most companies will fail to achieve. Most humans struggle to keep two contradictory ideas in their heads at once. It’s the same for organizations. Despite their best intentions, most will fall into one of three traps.
Read full article on Forbes.
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