Too many of the problems in societies today stem from leadership. Unfortunately such leadership is ill prepared to deal with present diversity and complexity. More unfortunate is the fact that this is not about inadequate training in a world that has become a global village, but a lack of human resourcefulness, the unwillingness of leaders to leave their comfort zones and accept other peoples opinion.
Our leaders appear to have been educated for a different world – a world long gone. This is evident in the chaos, hatred and bitterness that is prevalent in today’s world. This has given rise to the strongest outcry so far in the history of man, for massive citizenry transformation and moral solidity.
The African Business community is not immune to the burns of this corrosive trend. Unfortunately some businesses have been left with deep scars. One basic reason is that African businesses today are blessed with managers of different generations, and in many cases different cultures. Although their strength lies in the their unity and intensive collaboration in the face of diversity but they fail to see this and these managers and leaders often avoid to work co-creatively with their co-leaders. The philosophy of co-creativity is to give everyone a chance to shape their experiences.
Co-creation is a generative process not only among consumers and suppliers but between all stakeholders – key partners, brokers, competition, and employees. Co-creation can be said to be a method of creating value by allowing participation and input from all sides with a view to innovating value for all. Today co-creation is considered to be the key in the future, whether it be for innovation, marketing or distribution purposes. It is also a key to high employee performance, strong corporate leadership and probably a saner world.
Organization must continue to work towards balancing the drive for revenue with the education of managers and leaders to be more socially responsible and to be more accommodating. Usually when the stories across different generations and cultures are allowed to be told and actively listened to, the resultant story is bigger, better and bolder. Everyone becomes a part of the latter story.
Organizations must establish a culture that encourages leaders and managers to deliberately seek innovative solutions to troubling conditions. They must seek to groom managers that understand the deeper issues of today’s world and can air their views, however dissenting, in a clear, respectful but firm manner while accommodating the prevalent social complexities. Get this, someone mustn’t lose for you to win.
If African businesses yearn to forge enduring multi-stakeholder partnerships, create multi-sided sustainable business value, strong corporate culture that nurtures strong leadership with stable succession plans, then they all need Co-creative revolution.