Helping Executives Enjoy the 'Suite Life'

By Mumtaz Chaudhary posted 25 days ago

  

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It’s not easy being a corporate executive these days. 
From dealing with core business operations to emerging legislative and social issues, demands continue to increase.

While some of the issues that arise can be handled in-house, firms like ours are often approached to lend their special insight and expertise. We’re always happy to help.

What follows is a look at three trending issues that our firm has been asked to assist organizations with – all of which have resulted in successful outcomes.

The ‘IT’ Factor
Not a month goes by when information security isn’t “breaking news.” Our firm considers cyber attacks to be the biggest risk for business leaders today.

The impact of failing to take precautionary measures can be serious and wide ranging and include:

  • Loss of valuable information;
  • Reputational damage;
  • Regulatory fines.

We have been trusted on many occasions to assist with both small and large requests, including a multi-year enterprise information security initiative. Besides being large in scope (impacting over 13,000 employees in North and South America), it involved collaborating with both company representatives and outside experts to provide a comprehensive and sustainable solution.

Among our tactics included creating an intranet site that served as a cybersecurity hub. In addition to requiring a two-step verification for passwords, it featured a wealth of resources to encourage employees to change their familiar behaviours.

One of the things we’ve learned is that frontline employees have a key role in safeguarding a company’s intellectual property on an ongoing basis. This can be as simple as educating people on good habits when using company equipment (for a chilling look at the vulnerability of using public Wi-Fi, read this article).

Digital Transformation
Just like preventative measures are vital to guarding your company’s data, it’s also important for organizations to modernize their operations. Standing still isn’t an option in a world where people crave change and convenience.

In many cases, this isn’t a simple, short-term process nor is it inexpensive. A strategic, long-term perspective is crucial, realizing that the benefits far outweigh the status quo.

One of our largest projects involved assisting a senior gold mining company with its digital workplace initiative. The size, scope and complexity of the project resulted in collaborating not only with the company but an experienced vendor to assist with the plan and implementation.

It was well worth the effort as it resulted in increased employee collaboration and productivity. We were gratified when our client received an award in recognition of these successful change management efforts.

Embracing Automation
The workplace of today is vastly different from a decade ago and will continue to evolve. One of the growing trends is the use of robot process automation or RPA.

One of the benefits of RPA is the ability to replace repetitive digital activities and transition people to more value-added tasks and roles such as customer experience. However, as a recent Capgemini post cautioned, companies have to tread cautiously and strategically.

Last year, we assisted a member-owned financial institution in using RPA to take over some back-office processes. Preceding this was a very customized framework that involved challenging an implementation team into clearly defining the work processes that were changing and ensuring the operational teams were well prepared.

This included developing several resources – including a toolkit – along with using a pilot to assist staff in slowly adjusting to changes related to the adoption of the RPA process.

Based on our experiences and research, RPA is not a fad. It is expected to continue to grow, particularly among financial institutions.

Keys to Success
We’ve had the opportunity and privilege to work closely with many companies in need of guidance on their change management journey. The successful ones are able to:

  • Recognize and adopt a long-term approach to serious issues such as cyber security;
  • Empower their leaders to define objectives that align with the overall corporate strategy;
  • Identify and address the interest and goals of their key stakeholders.

As you can see, being an executive comes with its share of challenges – and also rewards. The C-Suite life isn't for everybody but if it's your calling – or future objective – don't be afraid to ask for help. It's what companies like our firm is here for.

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About the Author

Mumtaz Chaudhary is a trusted executive advisor in change management with over a decade of experience in helping business leaders deliver transformational change in large, corporate environments with a global presence. She is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Vancouver-based Pragilis Solutions, a resource for business leaders who want to ensure positive, successful and sustainable change, in turn, providing their organizations with a strategic and competitive advantage. Contact us at info@pragilis.com to see how our proven change management strategies can benefit your organization.

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