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Why sustainability is an important component of an organization’s strategy


Across the globe, many governments and corporations are seeking cleaner and greener alternatives. It is becoming clear that sustainability should be an integral part of any organization’s strategic plan.  Samirkumar Pathak, head of sustainability and ESG for Almarai, explains why this is the case and how this can be achieved.

Incorporating sustainability into every organizational decision-making process


Sustainability involves balancing economic, environmental, and social factors to ensure that the organization’s actions do not harm the planet, people, or future generations. Angela Hultberg, Kearney’s Global Sustainability Director, explains why sustainability must not be considered an afterthought and should be embedded in all organizational decisions.

Leadership’s impact on organizational climate: lessons from internal scanning

businessman wearing orange tie

Image Source: Tumisu | Pixabay

Like a captain steering a ship through a stormy sea, leadership plays a crucial role in shaping the organizational climate, which in turn affects the individual’s level of commitment to the organization, job satisfaction, and productivity (Oktem, 2022). Creating a positive organizational climate requires management to focus on promoting autonomy, freedom, and support. Organizations can use internal environment scanning methods such as employee surveys, focus groups, and organizational culture analysis to gain insights into how leadership affects the work environment—knowledge that can then be used to create a positive climate to enhance employee knowledge, behavior, and effectiveness.

Critical factors such as interaction with team members, behavioral patterns, and the quality of the leader’s information—which covers updates, decisions, and strategic plans that they need to communicate to their team—all shape the organizational climate. Leadership behavior can significantly influence employee attitude and behavior. Studies have shown that managers who acknowledge their team members’ accomplishments can improve the perception of the organizational climate and leadership quality. 

Conducting an internal environment scan can help assess the current state of the organizational climate and identify opportunities for improvement. The organizational culture analysis, a method of internal environment scanning, involves reviewing the values, beliefs, and behaviors of employees and aims to gain insights into how leadership is perceived and how it is influencing the culture of the organization.

One company that values its organizational culture and recognizes the significant role of leadership in shaping the work environment is Netflix. The company empowers employee decision-making by widely sharing internal documents, such as memos on title performance, strategy decisions, and product features. 

Additionally, Netflix prioritizes open and direct communication by investing in coaching and modeling behaviors. To promote good decision-making, the company emphasizes the need for highly effective people and fewer management layers. The company encourages a “context not control” culture where leaders are expected to coach, set context, and provide feedback instead of micromanaging while employees make their own decisions. To foster this culture, Netflix values certain behaviors and skills in its employees, such as good judgment, selflessness, courage, communication, inclusion, integrity, passion, innovation, and curiosity. 

The company employs a feedback system that includes surveys and focus groups to continuously improve its operations. A recent initiative to promote work-life balance involved the implementation of an unlimited vacation policy, which was contingent on fulfilling job responsibilities and goals. To set a precedent, leaders take vacations themselves and urge their teams to do likewise.

As we can clearly see from Netflix’s example, leadership has a significant impact on the organizational climate. This highlights the importance of internal environment scanning to identify opportunities for improvement. 

Improve your organizational climate by enrolling in our Certified Strategy and Business Planning course. Gain valuable insights into the process of internal environment scanning and learn how to identify areas for improvement within your organization.

Egypt’s digital transformation under the ICT 2030 Strategy


Egypt 2030 Vision | Source: Telecom Review Africa

In 2016, President Abdel Fattah El Sisi exhibited tremendous support for Sustainable Development Strategy: Egypt Vision 2030. Since then, Egypt has undergone a major digital transition to modernize its economy, improve public services, and boost digital literacy. To attain such goals, the country has invested heavily in education, research, and technical infrastructure. This article will analyze Egypt’s recent technological developments across three main pillars.

  • Infrastructure development

The Egyptian government has invested considerably in the development of its digital infrastructure to provide reliable and high-speed internet connectivity across the country, such as expanding its fiber optic network to connect more households and businesses to the internet. As of 2020, more than 70% of the country’s population had access to the internet. Egypt has allocated more than $1.1 billion for the development of 5G technology and infrastructure. Adopting new technologies, such as 5G, will provide faster internet speed and improve connectivity across the country. 

  • E-government services

According to the ICT 2030 strategy, Egypt has made significant progress in digitizing its government services, which has made it easier for citizens to access essential services online. In 2020, the Egyptian E-Government Services Portal was launched, providing a one-stop-shop for government services such as applying for passports and IDs. The portal offers more than 100 services, and as of 2021, more than 6 million citizens have registered for the service.

  • Financial inclusion & e-commerce

Meeza card, a national electronic payment card launched in 2019, allows citizens to receive their salaries, pensions, and other government payments electronically.

Egypt’s digital transformation has paved the way for private companies to launch several mobile payment applications, such as Fawry, Instapay, and Vodafone Cash, allowing citizens to pay bills, transfer money, and make purchases using their mobile phones.

Figure 2. Meeza Card | Source: Meeza-EG

The following explains why Egypt’s case should serve as a model based on two main motives:

Economic growth

The digital sector has been one of the fastest-growing sectors in Egypt, contributing significantly to the country’s GDP. According to a report by the governmental statistics, the ICT sector contributed 5% to Egypt’s GDP in 2021, and digital exports reached $4.9 billion by 2022.

Financial inclusion

The digitization of financial services has increased financial inclusion among Egyptians. According to a report by the MCIT, 56% of Egyptian adults have a bank account. Moreover, the money wallet accounts are expected to reach 57.9 million in 2025, which is higher than the average for countries in the Middle East and North Africa. In conclusion, Egypt’s digital transformation has advanced due to government investments in infrastructure, education, and innovation.

Digitizing government services, increasing digital literacy, and the government is pursuing digital transformation to meet its long-term aims. Last but not least, a valuable resource for those seeking to enhance their knowledge and skills in strategy planning is The KPI Institute’s Certified Strategy and Business Planning Professional course. It is recommended to sign up for this course to learn more about strategy planning.

How businesses make use of disruptive innovation to adapt to change


Image Source: kiquebg | Pixabay


Attending to the need to differentiate between the various types of innovation paves the way to measure and manage them better toward achieving higher returns. Disruptive innovation, as one of a kind, often starts in low-end or emerging markets. In terms of low-end footholds, low-end customers are offered a service or a product that would better meet their needs than what they currently have. When it comes to new market footholds, a market is offered a service or a product that does not already exist to gain customers and a market share.  


When first launched in San Francisco, Uber did not fall under the category of disruptive innovation because it offered a similar service to lower-end customers, who were already used to making bookings for rides.  


However, I believe that Uber had a disruptive innovation because when it offered its services, it did not just provide taxi services where people could book a ride. It also allowed regular citizens to use its cars once they met the company’s standards. At the same time, Uber provided customers with an application to track the history of their bookings and current rides and let them know in advance how much it would cost and how much it would cost if they chose a different option. 


We need to know exactly what Uber started with while providing its services to determine whether these were the ones that low-end customers wanted and which of them were not available at that time. Also, we may argue that the process was part of sustaining innovation because that type of service was handled later.


The shift in markets between low-end and unserved customers and mainstream markets is important to consider when addressing innovation since it links to your risk tolerance and ability to address challenges in more agile or rigid ways. Mainstream markets require agility, high-risk tolerance, adaptability, resilience, and confidence that what we offer meets the needed added value. 


The article then links disruptive innovation with process innovation that keeps developing and also with collecting and understanding customer needs to provide them with what suits them the best. This takes us back to the service-dominant logic where all this has originated, since co-creating value with customers and considering them as the main part of what you can or will offer in the market will be the key to success at any time. 


I believe that we do not know what our customers need. We may guess and think we are smart because now we track all they do and, accordingly, using AI algorithms, can predict and understand what they need. However, this does not mean we should neglect their real presence in the value chain. That’s why I think innovation is being targeted as a separate domain where we are giving it a separate and unique focus. Nevertheless, innovation should be referred to along with all the other shifts we have had in the world, where it can be a trigger, catalyst, or driver for a more sustaining, successful, and powerful shift (Clayton M. Christensen, Michael Raynor, and Rory McDonald, 2015). I have reached the conclusion that the full theory of disruptive innovation should only be applied when certain conditions are met.


In my opinion, discussing certain conditions for applying the complete theory of disruptive innovation leads us to the ecosystem in which we all live. This is where many layers surround us and many stakeholders are interested in and affected by what we do. Similarly, such an ecosystem is heavily influenced by megatrends (as described by the EFQM ecosystem) that impact everything around us, such as the SDGs, sharing economy, and disruptive technologies, to name but a few. The megatrends are triggered by global shifts, nature, and climate change, shifts in the industrial revolution, and shifts caused by the outbreak of coronavirus, among others.  Theories have been established per certain circumstances and with certain megatrends affecting a smaller world (smaller in a way where we have less population, less technology, fewer changes, and fewer needs). However, such theories, including disruptive technology, should be re-examined in order to adapt them to the new environment, where they might serve as the foundation or baseline for new changes, shifts, and transformations (Andrew A. King and Balhir Baatartogtokh, 2015). 


Car sharing, smart cars, electric cars, and autonomous cars are all emerging trends in the automotive industry. These businesses quickly respond to customer demands and take advantage of opportunities that will increase in value over time while also carrying a high-risk tolerance. Automakers currently pursue these strategies to learn from Nokia, which has failed to recognize how quickly the world is changing and how important it is for us to be flexible, responsive, and, in many cases, ahead of others to lead the market. 


Ford, in my opinion,  is still trying to keep its core business of manufacturing cars while also understanding the market in a way that allows the company to be seen as either a leader or a follower, depending on how it responds to changes and shifts. Leaders are those who use benchmarking to set themselves apart from the pack.  


So, for each of the above-listed shifts or transformations in the automotive industry and car usage behaviors, depending on different generations and their needs, it seems that businesses try to benchmark what they need to adapt to with other industries by understanding what the latter has done to adjust to changes and shifts, what innovations they have created, how customers have perceived these innovations, and how they have changed their behavior or accepted new lifestyles. 


Accordingly, Ford has decided to continue with its main business of making and selling cars while simultaneously introducing new and additional services to adapt to, follow, and steer the changes in the automotive industry. That leads to a trend towards the usage of automobiles as a service, similar to SAAS (software as a service): Customers utilize cars as a service rather than a product, depending on their needs. This is how Ford has used disruptive innovation, which was mainly based on learning, analyzing, and continuous process of generating value and innovations (Ernest Gundling, 2018).


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