2022 was the late Queen Elizabeth II’s jubilee and an article in the Times looked back at the top 30 companies that dominated the business landscape in 1952 at the time of her coronation.
The British business landscape was then led by industrial giants such as Swan Hunter, Lancashire Cotton, Murex, and Vickers. These companies employed men in physically demanding roles, symbolising an era of traditional industrialisation. However, with the passage of time, the business landscape has transformed significantly. Of the 30 companies in the index when Elizabeth II came to the throne, only one remains unchanged — Tate and Lyle — though even that has sold its sugar refinery business.
If we move to more recent times — the rise and fall of major phone manufacturers like Nokia and BlackBerry demonstrate the importance of adaptability and evolution in the corporate world. I am hoping now that you are beginning to ask, what this has to do with Human Resource leadership ? The simple answer is the one thing we often forget — businesses don’t change, people change.
Continuing with the history lesson — you will at some point have heard of the phrase Darwinian — it also applies very much to the business world. Charles Darwin’s theory of evolution asserts that individuals with adaptive traits are more likely to survive and pass on those traits to future generations. The same principle applies to the business world, where organisations need to adapt to the changing market dynamics to thrive.
The ability to navigate through uncertainty and embrace transformation is critical for the survival and success of any business. This is where good HR leadership comes into play, serving as the catalyst for change within organisations. If you want to see true examples of change — think Netflix from DVDs to content creation and Fuji from film to leaders in the digital camera field.
Businesses themselves cannot change without the people within them driving change by thinking and acting differently. Organisations are made up of individuals, each with their unique perspectives, skills, and abilities. HR professionals understand this fundamental truth and play a pivotal role in aligning the goals and aspirations of employees with the strategic direction of the company