The executive director of the Uganda National Roads Authority (UNRA), Allen Kagina, called upon Ugandan CEOs to keep their leadership focus steady, especially now in the face of a renewed Covid-19 virus mutation, Omicron.
She gave the advice during a CEO’s breakfast meeting organized by Federation of Uganda Employers (FUE), which is the voice of employers on social and economic issues.
The breakfast meeting was attended by executives from banks, telecoms, utility companies, to mention but a few.
The Covid-19 has shaken all organisations, creating a complex and challenging environment for managers and human resource management (HRM) practitioners, who need to find ingenious solutions to ensure the continuity of their companies and to help their employees to cope with this extraordinary crisis.
Kagina challenged the leaders to anticipate change.
“What keeps you up at night?” she asked of the CEOs.
“If its problems of ‘now’, then you are doomed. I challenge you to start designing a solution of a problem that hasn’t happened yet. Solving tomorrow’s problem today,” she said.
“Omicron is almost in Uganda, how have you organized your entity to ensure that you don’t suffer negative disruption from the new Covid19 variant?”
She advised the CEOs to identify talent that is hungry to re-invent. She said the talent referred to here, is not comfortable doing things the way they have always been done.
“They think different, they think improve, they think ‘ditch the old ways and adopt new and efficient ways’. You may have heard of the “War for Talent” – The hearts of great leaders are after this caliber of Talent because of their agility and ability to thrive in the current fast paced and ever-changing business environment,” she said.
Giving testimony of how UNRA managed to navigate the Covid-19 pandemic, Kagina said at the dawn of March 2020, it became apparent that business continuity was at risk, even when core operations of UNRA remained open among the various essential operations of the economy. Among others, she said, UNRA ran a 24hours weigh bridge operation centres where the transporters could be tested for Covid-19.
She said they also appointed a business continuity team.
Kagina said organisations should get the right people who have a strong sense of purpose.
Dr. Eng. Silver Mugisha, the chairperson FUE governing council, thanked Kagina for an ‘inspirational’ key note address.
“Leading in a crisis is extremely difficult. The members of FUE, you have received one of the best leadership masterclasses on leadership especially during disruption, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity in all organisations,” he said.