Leadership » Shirley Kavanagh Associates

By: Executive Support  05/12/2011

The current dilemma of how best to deal with the financial crisis has taken up much media coverage. I have been reflecting on a recent radio debate regarding the appropriateness of NAMA, the Irish solution to dealing with toxic debt in the banking system. The wide ranging debate sparked a key question in my mind.

Is there a real understanding both at an organisational level and even more importantly at a broader socio-economic level that “tomorrow will never be the same as Yesterday”?

My own view, is that we are going through a fundamental period of change that is not cyclical in the traditional sense.

More importantly what do we as Leaders, responsible citizens and parents need to do, to ensure that the “Tomorrow” we create is one of sustainability and holds a solid future for the next generation? My interest here is specifically at an organisational level, although more and more our work existence is inextricably linked with our personal lives.

As Leaders and influencers, it beholds all of us to consider our roles in the shaping of that future. I have been struck over the past 10 years of the move away within organisations from the basic disciplines of good corporate management. The move towards largesse has not just affected our personal lives but also corporate balance sheets.

The basic principles of managing corporate costs, as if it were coming from our own pockets has in the past been forgotten. Compromised by the fact that for many, the quality of fiscal management of our own personal wealth has also been questionable. Tomorrow, we must ensure that the concept of affordability, budgetary constraint, integrity and a real sense of value for money are essentials in leading and managing our businesses regardless of their size.

We are commercially in one of the most challenging periods for any generation of leaders across the spectrum, either politically or organisationally. Our “yesterday” was characterised by a benign market environment, and a relative ease with which we could achieve success. The shaping of tomorrow requires innovation, a higher skill base and more importantly the recognition of those people in our organisations who have the ability, courage and confidence to make the right decisions.

Of course the two fundamental questions for each one of us, is firstly, whether we, as individuals, want to recreate Yesterday as a model for our future or do we want to begin the process of building a sustainable Tomorrow. Secondly do we have the moral, political and leadership courage to take the decisions and make the necessary changes to build a better future.

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