Recently, The International Monetary Fund gave a review of the world economy and stated that every ten years, a global recession usually occurs. A study of the quarterly rates in Gross Domestic Product is one of the most effective ways of forecasting a recession in the economy. However, this usually varies from one region to another. The recent global economic crisis has been dubbed one of the worst to have ever affected the global economy.
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British Telecoms Group (BT Group) was one of the companies that were affected by this global economic meltdown. However, the company managed to survive the recession mainly as a result of the principles of leadership that its management upheld.
In 2001, BT Group was in a debt crisis to the tune of £30 billion following a bidding process for its 3G mobile telephony. The company was focused on gaining momentum every passing year in order to ensure that the group survived in an otherwise cutthroat business environment. This paper seeks to assess some of the innovative principles that the BT Group management implemented in order to wade through the economic recession. The paper shall also explore some of the areas in management that contribute to competitive advantage in the global market. These areas include leadership, management, climate, culture, and structure.
Strengths that BD possessed to ensure success in the 21st Century
A key necessity during the economic crisis was the cutting of costs by companies and directing resources to sectors of the company deemed necessary for its survival. One cost-cutting mechanism adopted by these companies came in the form of collaborative ideas, enabling a company to work closely with other companies, clients and even suppliers.
Linking different companies through telepresence and audio conferencing led to faster decision-making processes. The staff also had access to experts and knowledge which was previously unavailable (BT, 2010, para.10, 11). In the long run, a return of 47% was reaped just because of the digital collaboration of the companies over a period of five years. Collaboration among the BT Group companies also led to improvement in customer relations and reduction in travel costs.
Having partnered with many companies and organizations, BT has for a long time embraced sustainability and Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR). This has led to positive gains for both the company and its customers, as Kevin Moss, one of its executives puts it, it has increased the connection between the company and their customers (Chief Executive Officer, 2010, para.15). In addition, he adds that the move has a positive effect on BT’s brand. Being one of the greatest energy consumers in the country, BT has taken deliberate measures to sensitize society against high carbon energy consumption. Through teleconferencing, 97,000 tonnes of carbon was saved by these companies. Participation in customer sustainability initiatives was also important in maintaining their trust with the customers and this is another initiative the group was able to capitalize on.
Leadership and Technology
Tied in with BT’s move on saving and cutting on costs is the extensive and capitalistic move on the use of technology. Market leaders like Boustridge have already taken the initiative of working from home occasionally. Through extensive use of technology and internet applications, many of the staff members are working through telecommunication. This enabled the staff to work from their homes and this enabled the company to cut costs on transport allowances to their staff.
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Elements that give an Organization advantage in the Global Market
BD Group has managed to remain a pillar in the economy mainly because of its innovative methods in making sure that the customer has gained its trust. In the global market, there are a couple of other factors that a company or organization needs to look into in order to maintain competitiveness in the market. In improving the following areas in management, a company will maintain an advantage over others.
Leaders inspire people to rise above the ordinary and the average. They also create an environment in which the employees are encouraged to be innovative. These leaders are not just the ones that sit at the top of an organization but are found virtually on all levels of the organizational pyramid. By creating organizational designs, networks, and leadership systems, the leader makes a comfortable environment in which the others can be creative and innovative. This way, the organization creates more and more ideas or goods for the market to increase its market share.
This is an innovative shift from the traditional line of thought which reflects mainly on new forms of technology to sustain growth. This idea embraces the move of picking up from all available resources in the organization. Many firms have recently realized that the greatest resource that it contains is found within its working force. An organization’s advantage in the marketplace is never mainly reliant on the technology that it owns, but on the chemistry that exists among the users of the technology to provide the organization with a way into the market. When the organization concentrates on empowering human resources, productivity is likely to increase. Assistance from the technology factor will come into play after we realize that human resource increases levels of productivity more than prioritizing technology within a company.
In any organization, effectiveness is experienced to a greater degree when teams get to share different forms of expertise thus giving each other some form of feedback that verify one’s concepts concerning an issue. When members representing different fields in an organization work interdependently, the effect is greater. The facilitator/leader ensures that the group is working within the structure laid out for them and that it resolves any conflicts likely to arise. He educates the group about team participation and teamwork, working out elements such as continuous quality improvement in the organization.
With the right amount of team participation, an organization will get to understand the faults that an individual has and effectively covers up any mishaps that can be caused by the individual. This way, the organization builds itself up intrinsically and the results are that motivation is increased. As this happens, productivity is increased and therefore the organization is given an advantage in the market
Elements such as language, religion, values, technology, and education have a direct impact on how far the organization goes and its impact on the market. When it comes to corporate structure, the stronger the structure an organization has the more stable is its performance. For example, when stock in a company varies directly with the consumption in the market, then performance in that particular organization is stable. Where market competition is not intense, for example in pharmaceutical companies, then the performance becomes erratic. Strong-culture firms like the automobile industry prove to perform better in the markets. Strong corporate structures also reduce costs. Firm goals and objectives lessen the possibility of employees making inappropriate measures
An organization’s structure entails its ability to create guidelines that will enable it to reach its set out vision. In its vision statement, an organization is required to set up goals and benchmarks that it is supposed to achieve in a given period of time. Without doing so, the organization is led to a blind spot by its leaders. In the same light, the organization depends on how it will structure its workforce so as to maximize its output.
There is a great balance that needs to be achieved when an organization structures its staff. Employing excess staff will lead to overspending in terms of training of the staff, maintenance (for example in housing and transport of staff members) and in wages and salaries to the employees. Similarly, under-employment will cost a great deal to the employer, where staff members may be overworked. This may cause significant ineffectiveness and will a toll on the production level of an organization.
Organizations that are properly balanced in terms of structure are more often than not on the highway to success since this balance is directly proportional to the productivity of the company. The right number of trained employees is way better than having a great number of unprofessional and untrained workers in a company.
As we have seen in organizations like the BT Group, different factors come into play when one wants to have an advantage over other companies in the global market. Some of these factors interlock, while some reach down to an individual level as part of the workforce in the company. The major role, though, needs to be played by the leaders and the managers in the organization so as to understand the climate in which the organization works in and how to manipulate the environment around them. By doing so, the company is on course towards success.
BT, 2010. Collaboration through highs and lows. Web.
Chief Executive Officer, 2010. BT- Success and Sustainability. Global Trade Media. Web.