Smart Organizations: The Buck Stops with the Executives

In continuation of my analysis of smart organizations, I have since discovered the importance of leadership. The leadership defines the direction the organization goes. Great organizations are known to have great leaders. They define the direction and determine what is important, the culture and the future of their domain.

Until the leadership of an organization knows the benefits of creating an efficient system and work towards it, efforts by the underlings would never amount to anything. Sometimes it is easy to go for strategic meetings (very boring meetings!), create policy documents but until words can be matched with action, nothing comes out of it.Smartness and the desire to be efficient is not enough to create a smart workplace, it must be a defined Organizational culture. It drives better than policy frameworks. Culture taps into the emotional fundamentals. Do you think people are crazy about Apple products because they are the best? No! They create good products but the culture and the hype (Reality Distortion Field) drives the buzz! In Nigeria, you can easily know bankers that work with old generation banks from new generation banks by the culture, the drive to excel, the aggressiveness, the can-do attitude. This is what the leadership needs to create  an attitude of wanting to be the best; not only in the market, but in how things are done. In being the smartest organization!

Why wouldnt the leadership of an organization create an efficient environment? Are they clueless or too busy to focus on the fundamentals?

Most of the current executives are not young enough and could have missed out of the smart revolutions that the internet and new technologies have introduced. Many of them went to prestigious schools such as Harvard, Yale, Oxford, etc for MBAs but the impact of that on revolutionary ideas has not been felt in majority of these organizations. Would things get better when the new crops of young executives start to take over or would they also have missed out on the new waves that would be defining how businesses are run in a few years?

The Nigerian economic space is developing fast, with the financial services sector on the forefront. By the end of the year when all financial organizations would have the same year end; new avenues must be exploited for growth in an insanely competitive space. While excellent marketing skills would bring in required growth in assets, smartness of the organization would determine the profit that can be eked out.

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