BrandArena: Five acts of unconventional leadership that could help build your brand

Thursday 5 May 2016

Five acts of unconventional leadership that could help build your brand

Although the African continent offers much potential for investors, it also carries a number of risks and challenges. It takes a coherent company to successfully and sustainably close the gap between strategy and execution in Africa. Conventional leadership practices of seeking growth at all costs have resulted in many unsuccessful attempts at penetrating this market.

This five processes as suggested by PwC can help you build your brand if critically considered, studied and put into action.

1. Commit to an identity: A true identity expresses what a company does best and why it matters. Choosing and developing an identity requires some reflection, where your company can go in the market- what products and services you can offer and to whom – is a function of who you are and what you do well. Companies should only compete in those markets where they believe their identity and distinctive capabilities will give them the edge over their competitors.

2. Translate the strategic into the everyday: In order to achieve its targeted identity, an organisation must create a blueprint of its capabilities. It must integrate diverse processes and technologies while preserving the strategic value of the enterprise.

3. Put culture to work: An organisation’s culture is multidimensional, complex and influential. Most business leaders understand the power of a company’s culture – but it’s not always clear how to harness that culture. A company’s culture should reinforce the distinctive capabilities and strengths that differentiate it from the competition. Africa poses some challenges when it comes to culture, as labour markets usually lack people with the necessary technical skills and relevant industry experience. Consequently, companies have to develop their own talent. Since relying heavily on expatriates is not financially sustainable or positively viewed by African governments, finding local human capital is essential.

4. Cut costs to grow stronger: Coherent companies tend to invest heavily in activities that support their identity and distinctive capabilities. They will need to regard costs as an investment and focus on investing in those areas that are necessary for executing strategy. In middle-income African countries with strong institutions, aspirational customers demand premium products and services – but these need to be delivered at a lower cost point.

5. Shape the future: Coherent companies acknowledge that their value proposition is never fully achieved and their capabilities system should always be open for further progression.

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