A new leadership for the new times ahead and for the new opportunities that arise. The objective is, as stated by the president of the CEDE Foundation and of the La Caixa Foundation, Isidro Fainé, during the closing of the XX Congress of CEDE Directors, held this Thursday in Córdoba, “recover as soon as possible from the economic crisis caused by the pandemic and take advantage of and anticipate the deep and accelerated transformations that will take place in our economic, financial and social environment.”
Two fundamental pillars in this recovery are the employees and the public sector: the first because “they have shown a great capacity for adaptation and great creativity in the face of the changes derived from the pandemic”, and the second because they have “provided exceptional support to the families and companies ”. But what is key, according to Fainé, is the managerial role.
For this reason, diligence is required, first of all, to carry out a well-informed and rigorous analysis of the environment. Agility is also needed to update and carry out the strategic plans based on the new reality, as well as a great determination to turn the strategic lines into action plans, while continuing to demonstrate that “we resist in the face of this complex reality”, and finally it is necessary to “maintain a faithful commitment to the mission and values of each of the companies, especially social responsibility”.
Because “in all the great managers and entrepreneurs that I have met, I have seen two complementary qualities combined, such as determination and resolution to act at the right time, as well as sagacity, caution and clairvoyance to have a plan in mind at all times with the steps that will come later ”.
Optimism and drive are also decisive, “and it is crucial that in times of crisis the manager does not fall into overwhelm and does not allow himself to be carried away by pessimism,” said the president of the CEDE Foundation, who believes that the This reactivation will be extended throughout 2022 thanks to mass vaccinations, where Spain stands out positively, to the good tone of the large international locomotives, such as the United States, China and Germany, and to investments and reforms linked to the European funds of Recovery. He put on the table five pending challenges for companies: increase size, eliminate bureaucracy, enhance worker training, reduce inequalities within organizations and take care of quality and customer service.
It was precisely this last issue that was referred to Gonzalo Gortázar, CEO of CaixaBank, who highlighted the way in which the relationship with customers has changed, and assured that “despite the great importance of digital channels, traditional channels are still very important, and it is necessary to maintain the service to people who do not use these new digital channels ”. Gortázar insisted on the need to “combine the transactionality of digital with personalization through what the use of data offers us.”
The president of Agbar also spoke about leadership, Angel Simon, who praised the two basic competencies for a good leader, in addition to a permanent commitment of workers, internal and external leadership. “You have to relate to the entire team in a network and in a clear way, and people are at the center of the company.” And now more than ever it is necessary to “empathize, exercise leadership and have transparency,” added Simón.
At his side, the CEO of Naturgy, Francisco Reynés, assured that the key in this pandemic has been the “capacity for rapid adaptation.” As he assured the more than 800 attendees at the congress, running a company means adapting to the times, discovering opportunities and avoiding the risks that occur along the way. “The pandemic has been a humbling cure. There are external factors that can affect us all and have to make us rethink our business and make faster decisions ”.
Within this new context, the Vice President of Microsoft Western Europe, Pilar Lopez, put innovation at the center of the relationship with the client: “It is not only to have technology and apply it as the management of regulatory change and governance, this opens up a world of possibilities for personalization and micro-segmentation with our users, to bring them the best experience and the best service ”.
Because the port to which companies go, Fainé concluded, is about offering a good service to customers, giving more and better opportunities for professional development and creating wealth for the good of the State and society. And always keep in mind that “leading is serving.”