Challenges for Executive Leadership: Blog Series – Executive Insights for Q1 2021 Part 5

Focus on Challenges for Executive Leadership: Blog Series – Executive Insights for Q1 2021 Part 5

Focus on Challenges for Executive Leadership: Every quarter, we’ll present insights from top executives from different backgrounds and functions. To help you prepare for Q1 2021, here are executive insights from Larry O’Toole, an experienced CEO of manufacturing and service businesses, and member of the Cerius network.

Read Part 4 of this Series: Focus on Marketing with Seth Avergon

A Q&A with Larry O’Toole

Challenges for Executive Leadership: What do you envision as the biggest challenges companies will face in Q1 2021?

I see five challenges facing companies in Q1 2021:

1. Deciding market direction.

Each of us must pick a forecast for our business and manage according to it. So, should your focus be cost containment to continue navigating a storm that you believe will continue or do you begin to slowly (or quickly) prepare for a rebound? Deciding this will help you establish the balance of defense and/or offense that your business should be taking.

2. Identifying your company resilience.

A key question each of us must ask ourselves relates to how resilient our company is in navigating these times as well as bouncing back from them. Ask yourself: Is my business yesterday’s news? Did Corona-geddon expose that our product/service or business model is not ready for the future? Or is our company poised to be tomorrow’s news as well? Certainly, answering this question is critical heading in to Q1.

3. Evaluate the relevance of your Unique Selling Proposition.

As a result of the circumstances, Customer buying behaviors might be altered temporarily and possibly permanently. Monitoring the relevance of our company USP is always a challenge but most certainly these next few months.

4. Monitoring and managing your culture.

Another challenge each of us has through these times is monitoring and managing any impact on our organization’s culture. My favorite definition of “culture” is what do my employees do and how do they act when no one is around. Moreover, the best executives constantly keep their finger on this pulse and right now with all the uncertainty around us, it’s a key challenge now.

5. Avoiding disruption or being the disrupter.

COVID is “the great technology accelerator” as companies are looking to do things differently in many cases because they have to. A key challenge now, and going forward, is how will advances in technologies impact your industry and therefore your business. So, each of us must ask ourselves: Is my business taking steps to avoid being disrupted by a competitor (existing or new) that will be able to leverage an emerging technology? Furthermore, is my business looking for ways to leverage technologies and be the disrupter in my market?

About Larry

Larry is an experienced CEO of manufacturing and service businesses. He founded Yosemite Associates introducing the Greenpoint™ and Bank your moment® campaigns to help owners extract the uncertainty around building company worth. Also, Larry is a corporate director and advises a diversified group of owners on their worth-creating journey.

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