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British war veteran advises leaders on resilience during disruptive periods

John Peters

By Ikenna Uwadileke

John Peters, former; British Prisoner of War and Chair of the Association of MBAs, has shared insights into how leaders can build resilient organisations irrespective of adversity and volatility.
Peters, who is expected as a faculty at TEXEM UK’s August programme on the same topic, made his views known in an online interview monitored on TEXEM’s website.
The theme of the programme coming up between Aug. 22 and Aug. 25 in Birmingham is “Building Resilience for Sustainable Success in An Age of Disruption”.
Peters also spoke on how the Russian – Ukraine crisis is affecting global businesses and ways out for leaders and chief executives.
“As businesses and governments look to bounce back after the pandemic, the Russian – Ukraine conflict has dampened its economic prospects.
“The Russian invasion of Ukraine is adding new troubles to the world’s already stressed supply chains and challenging economic outlook.
“And this crisis has resulted in rising oil costs increasing transportation and manufacturing costs, exports, including natural gas, precious metals, and wheat, will negatively impact enterprises across a variety of sectors,” he said.
Peters said this raised the risk of restricted trade and capital flows and could weigh on overall confidence and business conditions.
He predicted that the disagreements between Russia and NATO over security concerns would likely persist in the longer term.
Peters also explained why executives should attend TEXEM UK’s forthcoming programme.
“Leaders are navigating a tsunami of challenges in a post-COVID world, with the added crisis in Ukraine affecting the global markets.
“These impose a broad range of interrelated issues that span from keeping their employees and customer safe, shoring-up cash and liquidity, reorienting operations and navigating their market.
“This programme is designed to help leaders to survive and thrive in these turbulent times to best position their business to be resilient in the future,” he said.
Peters said the programme would provide practical tools and conversations that would help leaders survive such hard times.
Other faculties expected at the Birmingham event are Ambassador Charles Crawford (winner of Oscars of Strategic communication) and Prof. Paul Griffith (world’s first professor of management to lead a team to launch a rocket).
Peters asserted that resilient leaders must be genuinely, sincerely empathetic, walking compassionately in the shoes of employees, customers, and their broader ecosystems.
He added that such leaders must simultaneously take a hard, rational line to protect financial performance from the invariable softness that accompanied global disruptions.
“Resilient leaders stay focused on the horizon, anticipating the new business models that are likely to emerge and sparking the innovations that will define tomorrow,” Peters said.
He said that because global shocks exposed outdated modus operandi and poor leadership, resilient leaders should aim for speed over elegance.
Peters said resilient leaders would always take decisive action—with courage—based on imperfect information, knowing that expediency was essential.
He listed four areas of focus in unpredictable situations for an organisation in volatile periods.
Peters said that while each organisation had its priorities, it should pay attention to the four areas in the short term.
They are: expanding and accelerating scenario planning, evaluating and mitigating operational risks,
 putting effective cost-control measures in place; and assessing and implementing divestment decisions.
“Insights into how to thrive in spite of the volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous times will be shared by other faculties and I.
“We will be adopting TEXEM’s tested and proven methodology to pedagogy at the TEXEM, UK’s forthcoming Building Resilience For Sustainable Success In An Age Of Disruption,” he said.
John Peters is a former; Prisoner of War and Chair of the Association of MBAs.
The Association accredits Harvard, London Business School, IMD and Wharton.
A documentary of John Peter’s life was nominated for a BAFTA and won the independent documentary of the year. (NAN)
(Edited by Razak Owolabi

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