By Fernando Lara, senior advisor at FALCONI
We are set within and experiencing one of the most dynamic times of modern society. A dynamism that stirs up the entire cultural and socioeconomic structure shaped for decades by solid, well-defined practices that regulated a hitherto stable and predictable market. And this dynamism is leading to an evolution of society and requiring organizations to be adaptable in terms of production mechanisms and, particularly, management practices.
To understand the impact of these dynamics of change and the need to optimize and streamline the management systems of organizations, it is necessary to understand and reflect on the type of society in which we are living and its main challenges.
Society has been changing and adapting to new mental models, in which globalization, social networks and technological practices influence the behavior of society, making it more individualized, conscious and opinion-forming.
This more individualized and aware behavior is leading to market profile changes, both in Brazil and worldwide, especially in the wholesale and retail market. Understanding the dynamics of change is vital, because nowadays, in addition to the desire to obtain excellent products and services at affordable prices, consumer behavior has been modified and influenced over time as a result of changes in consumer habits, interaction between various discussion groups on social networks and in the forms of relationship between retailers and consumers. The advent of the Internet has made it possible to democratize the use of information and the interaction of different types of consumers with common demands, allowing for selection of products and services and often creating new demands, dictating the pace and type of change.
Today, consumers demand quick answers and interactivity, based on a desire to have their demand translated into their particular style and behavior, enabled by the power of social networks and the possibility of forming new opinions. This dynamism of behavior and change in needs arising from it impel the market to be more dynamic and require changes on the part of companies and their management systems.
But what changes are needed in the management systems of organizations to keep pace with this behavior and attitude of consumers in the retail market? What is the leadership role of organizations in this new scenario? These are questions that still have a bearing on the profitability of organizations.
Since the primary function of a management system is to achieve and stabilize the results ensuing from the strategies of organizations, enabling them to survive, it is crucial that leaders accompany this dynamic of changing market behavior so that they can better adapt, be more flexible, meet demands and optimize results.
The role of leadership begins with understanding the behavioral changes of its target audience and the factors that give rise to this dynamic, seeking to be part of that interactivity and able to more quickly translate the individual needs of this increasingly aware market. But this understanding of market change processes and the need to adapt accordingly must be an integral part of a company’s strategy and subsequently transformed into guidelines to be applied and developed throughout the organization in its routine management.
Once leadership is part of this change process, it is essential to structure the organization’s management system so that it is able to absorb and implement the rapid demands of the retail market. Goals need to be defined and developed according to the direction provided by leadership, focused on a market that is constantly evolving. Thus, its structure must be simple enough to ensure greater flexibility and speed in guiding management cycles to improve (PDCA) and maintain (SDCA) within routine management.
The management cycle for improvement, whose essence is the planning and achievement of goals, needs to respond quickly to these demands of an increasingly fast, demanding and personalized market. Current company structures that work on developing action plans and monitoring the execution of actions and the achievement of results must have the same flexibility to lead this improvement process. Nowadays, there is no room for rigid structures that do not interact with the operational function in the quest to understand and define the best type of customization to serve an increasingly individualized market and reduce process inefficiencies.
Elaborating excellent action plans makes all the difference in routine management. This can be achieved by seeking to understand the real needs of consumers and translating them into products or services that are increasingly connected to their behavior and change, as well as continuously improve production processes and reduce inefficiencies.
Therefore, leadership plays a fundamental role in this change and adaptability process within the dynamic model of this current scenario, ensuring a management system model that is flexible and adapted to the increasingly individualized needs of demanding and more personalized consumers.
Text featured in the november edition of the magazine Super Varejo.