In an article entitled “What to expect in 2017” published on the London Business School website just before Christmas (you can read it here), an outlook for 2017 was presented that highlighted a number of potentially concerning forthcoming economic uncertainties around the world, as well as the need for organisations to show confidence (but not over-confidence) in the face of the challenging year ahead. BSBG Partner Andrew Bereza gives his own view on the contents of the article and on the forthcoming 12 months.
“This is the time of year when it is equally important to reflect on the year that has been and the year ahead. The article (on the London Business School website) raises a number of salient points, which I believe every organisation would do well to pay close attention to, regardless of sector. In terms of BSBG in 2016, we worked successfully and in fact grew the business in the face of the global unease and uncertainty that surrounds the UK’s Brexit, and a significant contraction locally – primarily based around the low price of oil.
“Right now we must re-focus and try to forecast what effect the new President of the US will have on the global and local economy, if any, and what effect forthcoming elections in both France and Germany might have on the future of the European Union, and on our business. Global unrest or ambivalence ripples across regions that might consider themselves impervious to the affairs of other nations, but this notion has countless times been proven to be mistaken.
“I take great encouragement, however, when facing another year of potential uncertainty, to look back at what BSBG achieved during 2016, which was our 40th year. It goes without saying that our project portfolio is stronger than ever and the quality of our work is broadly recognised by external stakeholders as amongst the best in the market. The continued efforts of all of our staff to contribute to this has been invaluable, and this has been backed up by the unwavering commitment of our Managing Partner – Alistair McMillan, to celebrate our 40 years but to also look ahead and make plans for the future.”
“For me, it comes back to staff. It is the people within that empower an organisation, and allow it to move forward with confidence. I think the excerpt below reflects where BSBG is as an organisation right now, but we will continue to need the full backing of our people to help us not just maintain the levels we obtained last year, but to exceed them in this.
“From my own personal perspective, I am going to try to listen more to our staff, as daily I am taken aback at how insightful their input is and how much potential it unlocks. We truly do have a very strong, dedicated and talented team.”
“I’m very focused on what defines the great organisations emerging today. Over the next year we’ll continue to see that the organisations that flourish are those that are confident – not over-confident, nor under-confident. There are several key characteristics your organisation will require to enable you to retain this middle ground. Firstly, you’ll need a clear sense of purpose. You’ll enable everyone in your company to play to their strengths and you’ll create a culture of collaboration where people know they can support but also challenge each other. In this confident organisation you don’t simply rely on your knowledge and expertise for success, but rather on your ability to work effectively with others. You create high levels of trust by listening and being open to ideas from all around the organisation and you develop high levels of individual and organisational resilience (our capacity to cope with the demands of our environment). If you can do all of that you’ll be well on the way to enjoying a great year.”
– Richard Jolly, Adjunct Professor of Organisational Behaviour
“Keeping with the theme of a confident organisation – it was Ralph Waldo Emerson who summed it up for an individual – ‘The only person you are destined to become is the person you decide to be.’”