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2022 reflections: How do CEOs navigate this “new world”

December 17, 2022
Borderless Leadership

The year 2022 has once again reinforced the fact that constant changes, uncertainties and disruptions are not exceptions anymore. So, how do business leaders navigate this new normal and stay on top of their game? Sharing a few reflections that have been my guiding principles these past few years.
1. Trust in your purpose
In the face of uncertainty, the one constant – your driving force – must be your purpose. Purpose is about linking the heart and the brain of an organisation. It is fundamental for navigating a course through the next decade; it reminds us of what is truly important, what is relevant and what is irrelevant in a sea of noise.
2. Sustainability must be at the core of your purpose
Sustainability cannot be one part of the agenda. It must be THE agenda. And it doesn’t matter which industry you’re in, the type of business, who your customers are or where you operate; sustainability has become a license to operate. It is not only the right course of action, but from a values perspective, it also makes business sense. Improving the sustainability of every aspect of a company, in this day and age, can be a competitive edge.
3. Find the sweet spot between doing well and doing good
While sustainability must be core to your purpose, you cannot do good without doing well. And by that, let’s be clear, I mean making money; money to invest in the innovation that enables you to meet your sustainability commitments, as well as your financial obligations.
4. Take big bets
When you want to balance doing good and doing well, leaders face many complex questions: Where do we invest? How fast do we invest? It’s impossible to know what the world will look like in ten to fifteen years so, instead, ask yourself, what do I want it to look like and what decisions can I make right now to help us get there. Your role is to invent the future today. Therefore, it is important to be bold and dare to make big bets.
5. Adapt to a multi-speed world
Globalisation, as we have known in the past, is now on a decline. We have all seen the value it created. But the future will be much more regionalised, not just in terms of trade agreements and geopolitics but business and consumption. By becoming increasingly regionalised, the world will also run at varying speeds depending on where you’re operating. The success of large organisations has, up till now, been based on huge standardisation, centralisation and mass global deployment. This is now impossible. Leaders must trust in, and empower, regional and local teams to follow the course they have charted while adapting to local circumstances.
Nothing is going to get easier, and nothing can be predicted. The last three years have proved that. In a world where constant disruption is the norm, we must look to our values to push us forward, think beyond convention and ensure a better future for generations to come.

By: Adolfo Orive, President & CEO at Tetra Pak


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