Igeleke: Businesses Must Be Innovative to Survive

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Head of Business Intelligence, Corridor Communication, Integrated Institute of Professional Management (IIPM) Morolayo Igeleke, speaks about the objectives of the organisation and its contributions to the economy. Ugo Aliogo brings the excerpts:

Why was the IIPM established?
Integrated Institute of Professional Management (IIPM) was established to improve the degrading quality of human capital in Africa. It is solely aimed at building, integrating and repositioning capacities for sustainable growth and development in Africa

What are the key issues that the institute set out to achieve?
The key issues we are addressing are high performance human capital development to meet overarching human capital needs of both private and public sector. We have lots of graduates in Nigeria, but we don’t have properly trained graduates that can add real value to organisations and make positive impact in their environments. We are here to meet that need. Furthermore, IIPM is also focused in helping individuals, teams and organisations build high performance skills in management, leadership, entrepreneurship and business.

We are all about improving performance, as Brian Tracy said: “The true measure of the value of any business leader and manager is performance.” Excellence in business is gradually dwindling in the Nigerian context. The economic pressures have made companies shift from innovation to complain.

To drive excellence, innovation is key. Business leaders must learn to rethink; their corporate vision and mission, customer needs, operations HR, marketing and others. Now business leaders don’t need to cut on price and quality to become market dominant. They just need to be innovative. These brings to mind what happened in Japan a couple of years ago, there was an earthquake in 2011 alongside economic slump which led to the death of, many Japanese companies, however a few of them survived and these are what they did to survive.

The companies have narrowed their strategic scope by concentrating on a few product markets, in areas where the firm had extreme strength. Companies have also scrapped their conveyor belts and replaced with small cells of six, instead of thirty in the old system which dropped their cost of man power and inventory by over 20 percent.

Also, these companies refocused its attentions to more research and developments to bring out more relevant products that the customers liked. Awareness campaigns were stepped up, especially to the international markets, where there was no recession. There is need for companies in Nigeria have got to innovate and redesign in such ways.

What can businesses do to imbibe the culture of the leadership and excellence?
Companies must imbibe a culture of effective leadership and excellence; top management must identify and understand that the future and sustainability of any firm is based on effective leadership and excellence. Also, top management must first be the examples they want to see in both the middle and low management cadre. Furthermore, there must be in place a system of effective leadership and excellence. Moreover, organisations must imbibe the culture of continuous improvement for excellence to prevail. There is need for continuous investments in their human capital through continuous learning through training, workshops and conference and others. There is also need for continuous communication is key to effective leadership and excellence.

What are the challenges facing the businesses/corporate organisations in the attaining the culture of leadership and excellence?
The major challenge is with the top management in most cases, since they are the highest level of decision makers in the organisation. Also, most organisations feel continuous investment in quality improvement and capacity is a waste. When the top management live outside the corporate rules, obviously you don’t expect corporate excellence. The primary issues organisations are facing today is negligence.

What does excellence for sustainability stands for and how can it drive businesses?
Excellence can be short-changed if the leadership becomes deviant. Excellence for sustainability entails organisations having to be excellent all through their existence.

To achieve this, organisations need to have excellent succession plan Even though Apples founder (Steve Jobs) died, the company has still continued strong strategic integrations and collaboration, training mentoring and coaching plans, continuous improvement plans to customer meet and exceed customer expectations and needs thereby driving customer satisfaction retainership and loyalty.

Can you talk give an insight into activities lined up for your forthcoming seminar?
The seminar is known as business in excellence summit. The seminar is a strategic business workshop. It will focus on increasing business sales and revenue, motivate staff for greater performance, create strategic collaborations that works, teach business managers on how to win the heart of their clients through innovation, create a mover products/service, dominate your market and others.