Biyernes, Mayo 11, 2012

What Jolito Ortizo Padilla say about "Flexibility" and the Dow Jones Sustainability Indexes..

On the News:
Adidas, BMW and Unilever are among the best performing sustainable companies in the world, according to 2011 Dow Jones Sustainability Index. Launched in 1999, the indexes tracked the financial performance of leading sustainability-driven companies worldwide.

The World Index analyses the largest 2,500 companies in the world, assessing them against long term economic, environmental and social criteria and lists the top 10%. The research includes evaluating each corporation's approach to climate change strategies, energy consumption, risk management and supply chain standards.

This year saw 33 companies deleted from the indexes and new additions that included Coca-Cola and Samsung Electrics.

The organizations listed are broken down into 19 "super sectors" and the top company for each was also announced. BMW topped the automotive sector and Unilever led the food and beverage sector for the 12th year in a row.

 A new index analysing the top 40 companies in Japan was launched this year, just weeks before the Japanese prime minister vowed to lower carbon dioxide emissions to 25% below the levels of 1990 by 2020.

In a business context, flexibility can refer to a number of different ideas. Today its most common usage is in the workplace where it refers to such things as flexi-time. But the word has a longer pedigree in the area of strategy, where it generally refer to a firm's ability to respond to changes in its environment rapidly and at low cost. in the (limited) sense that strategy is an unchanging commitment to something, it is the antithesis of flexibility.

A firm's strategic  flexibility depends partly on its liquidity, since its ability to respond speedily is inevitably determined by access to funds. More importantly, it depends on its organizational structure, on the way in which its units work with each other, and the freedom hey have to take decisions.

The trade off between flexibility and firmness has been a long running subject of management discussion. GA Business and Management Consultancy wrote" For a company to succeed over a long term it needs to master both adaptability and alignment-an attribute that is sometimes referred to a ambidexterity".

For adaptability, read flexibility, and for alignment, read firmness. The balance between he two, ambidexterity, is a term was used in this sense in 1976.

Sumatra Ghosal put the dilemma slightly differently, writing: "One of the most fundamental and enduring tensions in all but very small companies is between sub-unit autonomy and empowerment on the one hand, and overall organizational integration and cohesion on the other hand."

For most of the past century, firmness has had the upper in corporate strategy. Companies have set themselves on a particular course and it has taken a huge effort to divert them. A big company, wrote one author "is a bit like an oil tanker. There is no way it can turn on a fills".

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