Agile Tax Leadership During a Crisis
The Covid-19 crisis is unique because it has affected every corner of the globe. From Asia to North America, Europe to the Middle East, tax executives are facing unpredictable challenges on a macro level.
In this environment of unprecedented uncertainty, we are hearing leading tax professionals ask the same questions: How can I sharpen my ability to adapt? How do I create agile tax teams? What is the best way to lead when I have no idea what’s next?
In response to these questions, we have pulled together some practical keys for agile leadership success:
Foresight: Sharpen your ability to see ahead
Tax leaders must learn to succeed in the current climate, whilst also looking over the horizon for what is coming next. Crisis requires curiosity. Tax executives must disrupt their previous market models and actively seek out new developments in regional economic and legislative landscapes. Such diligent tax leadership will enable and accelerate business growth.
Anjana Haines of the International Tax Review argues that international governments are realising that companies will need financial support throughout this period. This translates to more work for tax executives as businesses expedite their crisis plans.
Professionals leading this market will be agile and inquisitive. In the current environment they will continually source industry updates and collaborate with their tax teams to accelerate business growth through and beyond this turbulence.
Resilience: Bounce back from failure
Every manager experiences stress and adversity, but successful leaders must bounce back in order to meet new challenges. Resilient leaders are able to cope with disruptive change, and sustain their energy levels under pressure.
As such, resilient tax leaders must start by anticipating what success looks like at the end of recovery, and thereby guide their teams to develop an outcome-based set of agile sprints.
The most successful leaders will understand how major Covid-19-related tax market and societal shifts have caused financial uncertainties that need to be navigated, and then seized upon as an opportunity to accelerate growth.
Learning: Continuously perform in real time
The modern-day leader must actively seek specialist advice from boards, coaches and counsellors, who play an increasingly important role in agile management.
As each company deploys its unique strategy to overcome the Covid-19 crisis, collective learning and peer exchange become valuable resources for leading tax professionals.
Adaptive Leading: Shift priorities in line with rapid external change
Good decision-making will address short and long-term tax market developments and navigate disrupted business models. This creates a level of complexity that few can master but all must attempt in order to emerge as successfully from the crisis.
Tax leaders who are emerge stronger from Covid-19 are those who evolve with the crisis. Building a culture of trust, empathy and effective communication is vital to enable remote work forces and safeguard specialist teams. Tax executives must reassess their tax operating models, improve the efficiency of tax processes, and leverage foresight and learning to become more agile. It is a time to be resilient, creative, and inspired. To learn from adversity and evolve along with the changing tax market.