Is the Caucus of Strategic Management and Leadership in Entrepreneurship the 21 century human needs cure?

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The convergence of strategic thinking which is a component of strategic management, envisioning leadership and the adoption of socio-impactful entrepreneurship has never been real than in contemporary times. Across the generations of human beings (from the silent, the boomers, Generation X, Generation Y or the Millennials, Generation Z, and now the i-Generation), the configuration of this triune has proven to be real and helpful in providing solutions as per each generations’ expectations.

The order of the triune from my perspective begins from the leadership with an urge and push for growth, sustainability expectations and an unending desire to translate an idea into tangible outcomes. This spurs entrepreneurship, be it social or innovative entrepreneurship. The convergence of the triune, i.e., strategic management, leadership and entrepreneurship, has not just been empty rhetoric, governments and organizations have taken it further by the introduction of laboratories, think tanks, business incubation centers, venture capitalism, putting in place legal and other infrastructural frameworks to facilitate angel funding and other activities related to the triune. Governments world over organize globally for MICE (meetings, incentives, conferences and exhibitions) with the intention of tapping into the global phenomenon of showcasing, promoting, exchanging and selling ideas for business action in different sectors. Examples of these are for instance the Dubai EXPO, the ALAMOS alliance conference in Latin America in 2019, the Block Chain EXPO 2021 in North America, Africa Knows conference in 2021 etc.

The 21st-century global citizen is beset by a myriad of issues, key of which have been well documented by the United Nations under the banner of sustainable millennium goals (SDGs). These 17 goals were adopted by the UN’s general assembly under the concept of ‘leaving no one behind’. Though different countries have different priorities, all of these are closely pinpointed to the triune of leadership, strategic thinking as part of strategic management which eventually results in entrepreneurship. The operationalization of the same is not only left to the governments alone but also to other non-government affiliated organizations, like private entities, schools and even higher education institutions (HEI). For example, ENACTUS through partnerships with universities and colleges, and for-profit business entities, has been able to tap on localized student ideas to develop means, mechanisms and solutions to different communities all over the world. Another example is ‘Beyond the Grid’ which leverages Power Africa's model of innovation which is a transaction-focused model aimed at galvanizing collaboration, engaging in critical actions aimed at connecting and providing power to the unconnected masses in the Sub-Saharan region of Africa. A further example is eco-business in the entire of Asia through which several ideas have been developed and implemented, for example, solar bottle lights in South East Asia, passive cooling architecture (The Floating Leaf) in Indonesia, the use of carbon emissions out of industries in order to grow microalgae in Thailand, the use of deep technological solutions for energy efficiency in hotels in Singapore which use a lot of energy, to big data solutions, etc., — all these ideas are focused on smart business and have been proven successful due to focused leadership.

Contemporary business organizations have taken it upon themselves to invest in research and development, innovating and inventing new offers to their clients. The transition and transformation of many organizations from brick and mortar to borderless virtual organizations through digitization and digitalization is bringing efficiencies with a promise of sustainability and overall customer satisfaction. The 4IR has taken business processes by storm and this has warranted leadership with foresight. Given this leadership foresight and dynamics in the world of business, many businesses with the thirst to remain competitive have escalated the concept of entrepreneurship into the concept of intrapreneurship. The onus of invention and innovation is no longer under the custodianship of previous research and development as it was previously. Every employee is mandated to look for ways of bringing efficiency and thinking through the process of carrying out their task with the question of, ‘what extra value is my input adding into the process of doing this task?’ In every corner of the globe, these innovations by organizations are proving to be critical to serving humanity. From mpesa virtual money transactions by Safaricom in Kenya, medical delivery drones in Rwanda and Ghana, digital dairy farming in Netherlands and Denmark, to Artificial Intelligence (AI), Robotic Process Automation (RPA) and Analytics in India, Korea, China and other Asian countries among other inventions, many organizations are at the forefront of developing utility technology platforms to remain relevant, competitive and profitable.                           

Business disruptions and unmitigated changes require a focused leader, who will quickly identify opportunities for growth or for mitigating sudden losses. The place of strategic management may not be compromised by sudden changes in an organized rather due to one of its components, i.e., crisis management, it would take an organization through the thought process of business continuity. This is what happened mostly to many businesses when COVD 19 Pandemic struck. During the COVID 19 era, many organizations not only strategized through business process re-engineering, lean sigma 6 and value stream mapping, but they also revamped their supply chain management. The dynamism brought about by the 4IR is set to succeed only when the triune of leadership, strategic management and entrepreneurship is the core of any business organization. Human beings are in the wake of discovering outer space, as far as mars, this is closely followed by business interests, which is clearly in conformity with clear and focused business leadership and vision, long term thinking and entrepreneurial orientation. Today due to such, human beings are thinking of colonizing mars, mars is not like earth, it can’t sustain life by any means, this requires leadership, strategic thinking and entrepreneurship to answer the question of how to. This caucus, the triune of strategic management (which entails, scanning the environment, strategic thinking, adoption and implementation of big data and AI and RPA), leadership with great vision and entrepreneurship, seems to be the only answer to the issues bedeviling society and colonizing mars of regardless business dynamism.

Dr. Paul Katuse
Author: Dr. Paul Katuse
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