C-Suite Intelligence 18th August 2020

Winmark's C-Suite Intelligence service provides news, content and research to help leaders across all C-Suite functions overcome the significant challenges they are currently facing

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How to make better decisions by encouraging open debate 


Leaders like to believe that they are fostering constructive debate within their teams.  The reality, however, is that many employees clam up rather than voice what may be unpopular or dissenting opinions. 


No matter how deft and diplomatic business leaders are, there’s no getting around one simple fact:  they can be intimidating, simply by virtue of the perch they inhabit.  And that has important implications for how leaders can best foster candid, constructive debate within their teams.

Traditional tactics for encouraging dialogue – open door policies, etc. – need to be complemented by more unconventional approaches. One effective strategy for accomplishing that?  Appoint a “Chief Contrarian” to your team. By explicitly and publicly designating someone to play this role, you can help ensure that different and perhaps even controversial perspectives are brought to the table.


Resilience in a downturn

The pandemic has been vastly disruptive, arguably more so than any single event since the last war. It has also prompted powerful responses from government and the private sector. This article looks at six examples of adaptability and resilience, including the rise of remote working, central bank responses to the crisis, food supply chains and more.

The pandemic has been a test of infrastructure, organisations and systems. Like all crises this one has exposed weaknesses. But it has also demonstrated the adaptability and resilience of much of the economy.

Why corporate purpose statements often miss their mark

In extraordinary times, a statement of purpose can serve as an organisation’s anchor. A clear reminder of a company’s core identity grounds employees, customers, and other stakeholders, who may feel adrift — enabling them to focus on addressing critical problems. 


Most recently, the coronavirus pandemic has prompted the world to reconsider what work and which organisations are essential to society’s function. An effective purpose statement helps explain why a business is important to society. But the reality is that many statements fall short: they rely on platitudes, fail to connect with an audience or beneficiary, or lack balance between being abstract or specific. But by following three steps, leaders can instead infuse their statements with strength and meaning:


1. Clearly state the company’s reason for being

2. Identify the primary beneficiaries of the organisation’s work

3. Ensure the purpose statement is balanced


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