Leadership challenges in 21st Century Businesses – Term Paper

Influence of global community 

The changing global community prompts every business to lay down strategies that can give it a competitive advantage over the counterparts in the industry. Many things are changing and the inability of a company to cope effectively with the rapidly evolving world to maintain and improve its position via offering the best to customers while making substantial income at the same time. Fixation into past ways of handling issues seems quite difficult phenomena for firms to stick to as this could highly cost a business (Hargroves & Smith, 2013). This calls for a business entity to apply the best available modern techniques in its operation by working on the greatest priorities that matter more to the firm. Leadership is among the areas of focus where much emphasis should lie for any given business. Leadership is essential in the operation of business, but in this century, five main challenges are facing leadership, sustainability, adaptability, innovation, knowledge management and globalization.

Leadership Challenges and Their Role in Developing a Competitive Edge for a Business

A company needs to develop the most out of every leadership challenge it goes through by developing a competitive advantage from it. The leadership challenges facing firms in this era have the potential to impact the performance of a business negatively. The industry needs to adapt well to changes in the environment by being flexible. A firm should respond to difficult issues that come about in a positive manner so as to maintain its reputation through the provision of quality goods and services (Drucker, 2007). Failure of a business to adapt makes it lag behind in comparison with others. Sustainability is important for companies as there is need to utilize resources while considering the needs of future generations. Individuals tend to use resources like they are the last generation but it is essential for a business to preserve natural resources for the next generation (Werbach, 2013). Ideal business operation requires that there is sustainability, but this is none of the concern of the 21st-century generation companies.

Innovation is another pillar that could ensure an outstanding performance of business (Deschamps & Nelson, 2014). The coming up with new technologies, ideas and products are a critical but a difficult task that a firm has to undertake. Every day many innovations come up, and this could mix up a business regarding which way to follow yet everyone is looking forward to changing. Globalization has turned the world into a global community and created a broad range of connections. This comes with its problems as companies have to diversify and widen their scope to reach the world community. Globalization is not an easy venture and leads to various risks despite its ability to primarily boost business. Knowledge management is also critical in business as efficient handling of resources and information is crucial for business. For instance, handling important business secrets requires an employee to pledge a complete loyalty so that rival companies do not access them and take advantage of that. Mishandling of business information could act as a stumbling block for enterprises.

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GDD and competitors in the world market

The leadership challenges of the 21st century are facing most businesses and GDD is not an exception. The company is venturing into the global market, but there is no sufficient experience or resources to reach that goal. There are many competitors in the world market such as Fed Ex, UPS, and DHL (GDD Company Profile). The firm also lacks an alternative plan to apply in case the first one fails. In its globalization attempt, GDD faces problems associated with mergers and acquisitions as the business could opt to take over and reduce its supply. GDD has a weak adaptation system hence the reason for its failure as demonstrated by its aging fleets while other companies have new ones. There are many recent and upcoming changes that the company needs to adapt. GDD purchased a knowledge management technology in 2015 for the North American division, but this has not expanded to other areas. There is inadequate knowledge management which is demonstrated by random cost reductions everywhere. The global move by GDD also requires a lot of innovation which has not happened due to the continued use of traditional methods and lack of adequately skilled personnel. The firm has consistently used its old fleets despite the apparent changes and competition in the industry. The company thus needs innovation so that they can remain competitive and increase its command of the market through increased prices, unlike the current situation. The company has employed strategies to ensure continued environmental sustainability such as upgrading plans to use fuel and even consideration of buying electric vans efficiently.

Recommendations for the Leadership Challenges and Their Reasons

The Global Delivery Direct Company can employ various strategies to solve the leadership challenges facing it. Putting maximum efforts to see the success of these strategies is a sure way of taking GDD to the next more desirable level. The company leadership needs to embrace change and be on the forefront to model it to foster adaptability. Adaptation to new technologies and methodologies will be more successful when modeled, encouraged and emphasized by the top management (Drucker, 2007). In case the management of GDD fails to lead the change it desires, it would be harder for the staff to comply. The company also needs to set long-term goals with objectives under each goal such in phases. Slow and gradual adaptation also means that in case an adaptive technique backfires the financial implications are few. The firm should also motivate the employees who are capable of adapting fast to changing environment through recognition and other material rewards. The most flexible individuals can also be taken aside to form a committee that oversees adaptive measures of GDD.

Business development of GDD

Regarding sustainability, GDD should take every upcoming opportunity as a chance to develop and expand the business. The company should introduce electric vans so as to ensure environmental protection. It should also continuously lower speed of flights while maximizing on the flight paths and clean engines regularly to prevent pollution. It should also start programs aimed at giving back to the community like helping the less fortunate and other environment conservation measures. GDD management should maintain a healthy relationship with its employees so that the workers feel free to voice out any new ideas they may have to build towards innovation. It should always collect feedback from employees so as to gain any useful ideas that the employees might have (Botha et al., 2014). The company should enforce training programs for workers to equip them with skills that open up their minds for innovation. Extensive training enables the employees to think outside the box and bring up new ideas into the business.

GDD should conduct adequate research regarding any given market in its bid to attain globalization (Dunning, 2014). Obtaining thorough information about a given market is a crucial step to identify any opportunities and threats that lie ahead of a planned intervention. The company should, therefore, seek out for any available information concerning markets they would wish to venture in and assess its ability to cope in that market. The company should also establish adequate connections with other firms which can positively help the business (Page, 2015). It should also make use of the internet to create links with other enterprises as well as the consumers. In knowledge management, GDD should expand the experience handling technologies to other areas to ensure optimal data handling. Technology use should be optimal and careful to safeguard the information of the company. Employees should also be made aware of new information through official communication to discourage the spread of rumors.

Ways That Can Be Used by the Executive Management to Ensure Innovation

Innovation is a crucial task that GDD needs to engage in so as to face out most of its old traditional methods. The management will be required to collaborate with the employees to create a culture of innovativeness. The company needs to build a good relationship with staff that sets them free to be able to give suggestions without fear. This can be through conducting open forums that are somehow informal for the interaction of the executive and the junior staff. This eases the tension that typically exists between the two parties and sets employees at liberty to give opinions. The company set aside the time and hire qualified trainers to equip workers with the appropriate skills (Drucker, 2007). Endowing the staff with skills is a critical way of opening up their minds to think and make them desire to discover and utilize new techniques in their daily work. This will see GDDts employees become more innovative to transform the picture of the company rapidly for the better to increase the sales and income.


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