Ireland’s business leaders need “a strategic toolkit” – Lawton

Ireland’s business leaders need “a strategic toolkit” – Lawton

According to Professor Thomas Lawton, the key speaker at last night’s InterTradeIreland 2011 Innovation Lecture, business leaders and entrepreneurs who want to achieve double-digit growth must put together an integrated strategic toolkit to design, develop and deliver a strategy to breakout beyond average economic performance.

“Having a joined-up approach to strategy, regardless of the company size or industry sector, is what differentiates breakout companies from the average,” said Lawton, who is a professor at Emlyon Business School in France.

“It also requires business leaders to be innovative in their capacity to rapidly and pre-emptively adopt or adapt in markets or industries.”

He added, “This results in the creation of a ‘magnet’ company which excites markets, attracts and retains customers, repels new entrants and renders competitors unable to respond.”

During his lecture in University College Dublin last night, Lawton said such a toolkit would include identifying the business route to industry breakout and market success; clarifying and communicating a vision of where they want to go and what they want to be; aligning their  value proposition with customer needs and expectations; assembling a business model that is both efficient and effective; and balancing people-oriented culture within their business with their IT-enabled processes.

Professor Lawton concluded the lecture: “During times of economic challenge such as those that exist today in Ireland, strategy is never more needed. A clear sense of purpose and direction, underpinned by an efficient and effective strategic toolkit, is essential to get you and your company to the higher ground of market success.

“Now is the time to think creatively, to act innovatively to achieve a strategic breakout. If you wait until tomorrow, someone elsewhere in Ireland, or in India or in Israel will have seized the initiative and turned opportunity into advantage.”

As well as teaching at Emlyon, Lawton is a visiting professor at the internationally renowned Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth (USA). He has also written several books for practicing managers and aspiring leaders.

Image – Pictured at NovaUCD is Professor Thomas Lawton prior to delivering the InterTradeIreland 2011 Innovation Lecture at UCD.