Five key topics on the business leaders’ agenda for 2022

Five key topics on the business leaders’ agenda for 2022

Author: Florentina Susnea, Managing Partner, PKF Finconta

In the last two years, companies have largely adapted to new ways and conditions of work. Business leaders have embraced digitalization, teleworking, reorganized processes and supply chains, controlled costs, and stayed as close to people as possible. They did what was necessary. Are the measures taken enough for what lies ahead in 2022? This is the question that management teams are now trying to answer.

Leaders need to do more to prepare for the new waves of the pandemic. They need to be prepared and willing to re-think how they make decisions and why they are needed. In other words, leaders need to stand out, eliminate old ways of thinking, and gain a broader perspective that allows them to truly understand the challenges and opportunities of today's business environment.

The pandemic has revealed and accelerated a number of trends that will play a substantial role in shaping the future of the economy, and management teams need to look at them to take action in their companies.

1. The pace of change is accelerating. The business environment is more fluid than ever. The need for speed is therefore acute to respond to so much change. But this speed must be sustainable. The remarkable work done by the managers in the first months of the pandemic was driven by a sense of urgency. The speed changed by the crisis re-sponse has become the normal way companies operate now. Therefore, speed must be incorporated into the organi-zation. Speed also means implementing smart operating models for the company to run more efficiently.

2. People want meaning in their lives and work. No matter how vague, philosophical or unpragmatic it may sound, research shows that those companies that have a strong sense of purpose outweigh those that lack it. Employees who say they live their goals at work are more loyal, more willing to work harder, and less likely to leave. At the same time, having a clear goal help companies recognize emerging opportunities and connect with their customers. The goal is no longer just a statement of good intentions, but a priority and a source of competitive advantage.

3. Sustainability and minimizing the impact on the environment. Many companies have taken important steps in this direction, guided by their own values. This will be as important in the future as taking stock of how consumers and regulators insist on it. Sustainability requires a systematic approach similar to digital transformation or strategy devel-opment, as it will be an important source of long-term competitive advantage.

4. Cloud technology and its potential have long been recognized, only now it is beginning to bring real results in innovation and productivity. Companies need to deploy the cloud technology to achieve these goals. To do this, their people need to be "literate in the cloud". That is on how to achieve the potential of the cloud. With the digital transfor-mation came the need to retrain the workforce on how to use new digital processes and tools. Many types of traditional jobs have been automated or will be automated. The future will bring new opportunities as the need for digital technol-ogy becomes clearer.

5. Human resources are essential, and the labor market has undergone major changes in the last two years. Employee development is another priority. The future seen at the beginning of 2022 looks very different from how the future looked at the beginning of 2019. The organization of human resources must now be more flexible, less hierarchical and more diverse. Modern learning management systems make it much easier to create different types of con-tent for employee training and development. Skills development goes hand in hand with lifelong learning. In this new environment, training, work and retraining are no longer linear, but rather appear in a cyclical pattern of constant reinvention. More and more professionals will want to work for companies that invest in their professional and personal development.

In conclusion

How these five priorities are implemented differs from company to company. What matters is that the business leaders understand that mastering these five priorities will substantially improve the chances of success of the companies they lead. It is up to them to serve the purpose, to make the business model sustainable, to recognize the importance of technology, to internalize and correlate the pace of operation with the pace of the economic environment and to invest in employees development.

About PKF Finconta

For more than 27 years, PKF Finconta is one of the 10 leading professional services companies in Romania. Since 2006, we are a member of PKF International Limited. PKF International is a leading international business advisory organization. The company grew consistently over the years, forming a Group of four companies: PKF Finconta, PKF Finconta Consultanta, PKF Finconta HR, and Finconta Consulting SPRL, members of national professional organizations CECCAR, CAFR, CCFR, and UNPIR. We provide a wide range of business advisory and related specialist services. We have seven core areas of expertise and within these areas, we tailor our services to your business and your needs: audit, corporate finance, tax, bookkeeping, and accounting advisory services, transfer pricing, payroll and personnel administration, and insolvency.