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Building Resilience In An Era Of Uncertainty

Tiger Tyagarajan, President and CEO, Genpact on the key things business leaders should be concentrating on to navigate the current economic challenges including a potential recession

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In the face of uncertainty, relying on outdated strategies is akin to chasing shadows in the dark. Uncertainty demands action. 

Consider the potential of generative AI, for example. Just when society was getting comfortable with artificial intelligence, ChatGPT entered the conversation. We had long grown accustomed to AI-powered chatbots and the countless other ways that AI made our lives better and transformed businesses. And now as organisations strive to keep pace with the breakneck speed of generative AI development, they are challenged with where to start, how to prioritize, what steps to take, and how to maximise value.

Complicating matters further, GenAI is not emerging in a vacuum. An economic downturn is potentially on the horizon. To navigate the current challenges, leaders must concentrate on four priorities:

Protecting long-term strategic imperatives

When there is short-term pressure on investors and shareholders, businesses need to evaluate their long-term strategic imperatives and the investments that are associated with them.

Great companies will protect those strategic imperatives as they navigate uncertain times. Think ESG, for instance. Companies that make the right bets today will be the winners in the future.

Similarly, in the case of GenAI, leaders can use this time to explore how the democratization of AI can elevate long-term value creation. The trick is to not take your eyes off the long-term.

Embrace curiosity, diversity and create a culture of continuous learning

Throughout history, curious men and women have asked the big questions: of the origins of life, the fate of the universe, and how the brain works. A curious and diverse workforce with unique perspectives unlocks innovation and fuels growth. Coupled with continuous learning, it will allow people to drive concepts in new ways and inject diverse thinking into the organization. When done at scale, this can significantly increase the organization’s ability to transform and build resilience. 

The curious person, one who thirsts for new experiences, knowledge, and ideas, will propel the organization into the future.

Prioritize ruthlessly, and fast

Leaders must resist the urge to make too many things a strategic imperative, diluting resources and the attention of leaders, and ultimately, impacting overall outcomes. 

Every aspect of a business can be prioritized. A talent acquisition strategy must emphasize specific skills in specific geographies. A sales strategy must prioritize higher value over lower value customers. 

The solution lies in focusing on fewer endeavors and executing them at speed. 

Drive agility and embrace change

The ability to be nimble in ambiguous situations is rewarded in today’s fast-paced world.

Everything can be made more agile. Supply chains infused with technology can be agile, predict demand with much greater accuracy, and source materials on the fly, avoiding situations where supply and demand are mismatched. 

Agile teams open to embracing change — reflective and resilient, yet action-oriented — are more successful because they are willing to take risks and are unafraid to fail. 

For instance, a company that wants to get started with generative AI must first create a culture that can support the rapid innovation that this technology permits. Ensure that its teams are diverse, capable of continuous learning, and eager to embrace new ways of working.

As we navigate the complexities of an ever-changing world, it is essential to recognize that stability may remain elusive. The best companies and leaders refuse to be thwarted by it. In fact, they view change as a motivator, a catalyst for leveraging strengths and embracing opportunities.

Disclaimer: The views expressed in the article above are those of the authors' and do not necessarily represent or reflect the views of this publishing house. Unless otherwise noted, the author is writing in his/her personal capacity. They are not intended and should not be thought to represent official ideas, attitudes, or policies of any agency or institution.

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Magazine 03 June 2023

Tiger Tyagarajan

The author is CEO, Genpact

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