The land we live in is the same one that coming generations will live in

The title of this article is based upon a recent quote by Pope Francis because I feel that the Pope's words express a commitment which is also applicable to the business world. As human beings, we need to be aware of our actions since they have direct repercussions on our everyday life. More importantly, though, our actions eventually turn into the legacy we leave for future generations, and as such, we must analyse the implications for business management.

Of late, we have been witnessing some clear signs of economic recovery, albeit a slow one and full of unexpected surprises. Therefore, we need to place the Pope's maxim at the forefront of business decisions to appropriately manage the present while preparing for the future of our organisation. Unfortunately, those decisions which are overly focused on what is easy and expedient, are those which are the most likely to weaken our ability to compete in the long term.

Today, and more than ever, we need to design strategic Road Maps which lay out the future development of companies. With the duly marked Road Map in hand, and built upon a foundation of values, these companies will be able to guarantee a commitment to present and future generations. The following are amongst some of those values: 1) being committed to future generations; 2) being involved with the region in which the company operates; 3) building up the skills of those who form part of the company community; 4) fair distribution of the company’s disposable income; and 5) investing in physical and intangible assets which strengthen the company’s competitive positioning.

The business world is currently a dizzy whirlwind with new players competing in practically all industries, and with new markets emerging which we would never have previously imagined we would be involved in. Thus, the need for agility and flexibility within business structures has intensified. In short, a sense of urgency has become a crucial trait of the decision-making process in companies, making it critical to reduce client response time whilst maintaining a sense of true North in the management of the company.

What is now required in business projects is a long-term focus and staying power, the result of which would be greater commitment to future generations, and the creation of shared projects. Moreover, maintaining that focus will ensure the company remains committed to the region in which it operates, whilst taking a two-pronged approach to strengthen competitiveness today, and shore up the company’s future plans.

In conclusion, I often like to quote a motto by Alcorta Forging which I feel best sums up the forward-looking attitude which ought to be the essence of strategic management of companies: 'Another 100 Years'.

Read the original article published in elEconomista.es (Spanish)

Sabin Azua

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