The Leadership Skills required in FMCG in 2017
The transition into a new digital era and changes in go-to-market routes driven by e-commerce and smart devices present business leaders in the FMCG industry with new challenges and is creating larger gaps in leadership. Leaders face pressure to adapt their businesses to respond quickly to rapidly changing consumer needs whilst at the same time grow profit margins. Addressing evolving consumer needs requires new approaches and fast product development. High performing leaders of today require different skills and expertise compared to generations of the past.
At the forefront of the change in retail and FMCG sector is the need for companies to sell more products than their competitors and remain competitive with the rise of new fleet-footed competition. In order for businesses to achieve this they cannot afford to stand still – they need to redefine ways to reach new customers whilst retaining existing ones.
This involves rolling out new products, refining existing ones and marketing to completely new audiences and groups of people. This requires new leadership skills to be developed in every facet of the organization – leadership that enables everyone involved in a company to play a significant role – from market research, design and supply to sales, public relations and advertising.
New technologies, such as mobile platforms and social collaboration have transformed the way we live, work and communicate, and technology innovation is occurring at a rapid rate. This not only amplifies workplace stress for employees but places an immense amount of stress on society as a whole. This calls for new strategies to be developed in order for organizations to successfully tackle the challenges brought about by the digital age.
Technological change is nothing new. It began in the 1980’s, which saw a rapid rise in computing powers leading to increased levels of automation, systems, and the growth of the IT industry. People gained additional skills aimed at facilitating this technological advance, enabling new job creation and enabling people to become familiar with the different technologies in the workplace.
Fast forward to 2017, and you will see companies and businesses beginning to identify a new set of digital business and working skills required of employees. The FMCG sector is rapidly moving towards a new way of thinking in terms of the employees they wish to attract as well as retaining and moulding existing employees.
Human Resource professionals at all levels will play a significant role in achieving the necessary transformation of work needed to respond to the rapidly changing trends which in itself brings challenges. It is how well these Human Resource professionals are able to take risks and apply a new way of thinking, questioning old practices, as well as facilitating a change in the company dynamics which will determine both workplace change and success.
The digital transformation revolution has brought about changes in strategy, connectedness, talent pool, and most importantly with regards to the FMCG sector, customer needs. To be able to cope with this change FMCG companies need to drive a culture of speed and responsiveness and implement organisational change accordingly. Today’s consumer wants packaged goods that work better, faster and smarter.