The agility dividend

01 December 2014

A demographic boom, changing regulation, new consumer needs, the war for talent, disruptive technologies, urbanisation, new competitors… African companies are facing an accelerated pace of change. These megatrends are impacting the African economies and companies significantly.

For decades, many African companies did benefit from oligopolistic or monopolistic positions and the competitive pressure was less intense than today. This context did not favour the design of agile organisations or embedding a change management culture.

To deal with the tremendous changes ahead, African companies – and most of all African CEOs – have to adapt quickly.

It all starts with leadership teams acting as role models with compelling and meaningful visions to engage employees. It requires courage at the top to overcome natural risk aversion and fears. It means simplifying the organisation and processes to enhance the agility of the operating model. It means training middle management in change management techniques in order to secure the buy-in of stakeholders. It means promoting problem-solving techniques. And it implies the implementation of bottom-up approaches allowing employees to suggest new ideas and favouring the recognition of individual initiatives.

Of course evolution will not happen overnight and change management initiatives must be done in full recognition of local specificities. We believe that African companies that can address the ‘agility challenge’ properly will become the African leaders of tomorrow. They will learn how to seize opportunities earlier. They will gain an unbeatable competitive advantage and achieve incredible results. 

The Africa Business Agenda 2014

Edouard Messou | Territory Senior Partner for PwC in sub-Saharan Francophone Africa
Profile | Email | +225 20 31 54 12

More articles by Edouard Messou

Pierre-Antoine Balu | Partner with PwC France and PwC Francophone Africa
Profile | Email | +33 1565 78974

More articles by Pierre-Antoine Balu

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