Transitioning into a Resilient Business

The Guyana Sugar Corporation Inc. (GuySuCo) is currently undergoing one of the most dynamic, complex and turbulent periods in decades. The realities of the Corporation have created an urgency to act and to act decisively and speedily. The leadership, management, employees and all stakeholders have to re-think the business in a way they have never done before, GuySuCo simply has to become a more resilient business entity. What resilience means in the GuySuCo context Organisational resilience is the ability of an organisation to anticipate, prepare for, respond and adapt to incremental change and sudden disruptions in order to survive and prosper. GuySuCo has to develop business resilience which is the ability to quickly adapt to disruptions while maintaining continuous business operations and safeguarding its employees, customers, assets and overall reputation. On its way to becoming resilient, the Corporation must contemplate being more efficient and deriving profits from the current core business, sugar. In this light, several engagements are being undertaken with both employees and stakeholders, to detail a program for achieving more efficiencies and improved production in sugar. Another important exercise is that the Corporation is renewing its focus and revising its goals by developing a diversification program. Future projections show a high probability that sugar will not be profitable over the next decade; this has therefore created the opportunity for GuySuCo to re-think whether its core business should still be sugar, even though the market indications are trending downwards. It is inconceivable that the highs of the former European Union (EU) preferential market would ever return. A key aspect of developing a resilient business would require some degree of risk-taking. As a matter of fact, there is

Organisational resilience is the ability of an organisation to anticipate, prepare for, respond and adapt to incremental change and sudden disruptions in order to survive and prosper. GuySuCo has to develop business resilience which is the ability to quickly adapt to disruptions while maintaining continuous business operations and safeguarding its employees, customers, assets and overall reputation.

On its way to becoming resilient, the Corporation must contemplate being more efficient and deriving profits from the current core business, sugar. In this light, several engagements are being undertaken with both employees and stakeholders, to detail a program for achieving more efficiencies and improved production in sugar.

Another important exercise is that the Corporation is renewing its focus and revising its goals by developing a diversification program.  Future projections show a high probability that sugar will not be profitable over the next decade; this has therefore created the opportunity for GuySuCo to re-think whether its core business should still be sugar, even though the market indications are trending downwards.  It is inconceivable that the highs of the former European Union (EU) preferential market would ever return.

A key aspect of developing a resilient business would require some degree of risk-taking. As a matter of fact, there is risk if the Corporation chooses to act and there is a greater risk if it does not act and in this instance, timing is also of paramount importance.

Leadership

GuySuCo is such a dynamic entity and player in communities and the society that it is important that a resilient culture and resilient leadership be further developed within the Corporation – from the sugar cultivations all the way to the Board of Directors.
The diversification program also enables the Corporation to work on more than one time cycle- the short term which is sugar production and the long-term, other ventures.

Developing resilient communities

Due to the relationship between GuySuCo and the communities, there has always been a heavy dependence upon the Corporation for the economic and social development of communities within the vicinity of sugar estates; as such, the economic downturn of the Corporation has exposed a critical flaw in the development program of these communities; that is, to a large extent, their growth and development depended on the efficiencies of the estates. Therefore when the estates are not achieving their targets, this has a debilitating effect on progress in these areas. Additionally, it puts a greater responsibility on GuySuCo to operate a successful business.
Nevertheless, the realities are grim, hence, it has become imperative to go beyond GuySuCo transitioning into a resilient business but the lesson learnt, is that, community development for areas around estates must also include a strategic program to ensure that these communities become resilient.
Finally, with this awareness, moving forward would require much optimism, decisiveness, integrity, and open communications both at the formal and informal levels with employees and other stakeholders.

 

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