background preloader

Strategy & Leadership

Facebook Twitter

How to Prepare Your Company for Growth. Many companies aren’t ready for growth: They haven’t clearly articulated the specific strategies they need to compete and win in the market, channeled their resources to bolster their differentiating capabilities (the few things they do better than anyone else), or aligned their organization to execute their plans. Meanwhile, years of across-the-board cost cuts have enabled them to meet short-term profitability pressures—but only at the expense of long-term priorities.

And they haven’t gained or sustained a competitive advantage. These organizations have become bloated bureaucracies that are really just doing one thing: preventing substantive change. On the other hand, companies that are ready for growth know the secret to their success lies in this three-pronged and mutually reinforcing approach: • Cutting costs in less critical areas to invest in the capabilities critical to success—in a significant and sustained way. The Key to Being a Creative Leader? Job Security. The Power of Structured Procrastination. The Conscious Lifestyle: A Leader Must Be Aware. 11 Simple Concepts to Become a Better Leader.

The team leader's role. What are the critical knowledge and skills for a team leader? Team diagnostic knowledge and skills – observing and understanding team dynamics and team development Team leadership and intervention – knowing how and when to respond to the team, given the team’s stage of development Interpersonal and team skills – establishing effective team processes in the areas of alignment, decision making, communication, problem solving, conflict management, performance measures, values and norms An effective team leader will Create a positive climate with a shared vision Help develop a set of principles Liaise between the team and upper management Encourage team member growth Be fair Be supportive Give direction where needed.

There are several ways in which the team leader can contribute to creating a positive climate within the team. One of the most powerful forces is to put forward, in cooperation with team members, an exciting vision/purpose of what the team is to achieve. Use the Theory of Seven to motivate others. Institute of Organization Development. The Leadership Development Certificate Program (LDCP) is for those who are assigned the responsibility for implementing leadership development programs. Using an OD approach, we will show participants how create a strategy for leadership development and then provide them with tools, templates and latest trends to design and implement their unique Leadership Development Program. As a result, they will be able to apply the concepts and use the tools and techniques immediately. This online program provides eight unique topics critical to Leadership Development. The Program is conducted online over eight months-- for three hours per month.

Participants earn 24 HRCI Strategic Business Credits which help them promote their skills as leadership development professionals. Learning Objectives Who Should Take This Course? Benefits of This Certificate You'll learn how to plan, design, and implement a program to support leaders to achieve greater success. Course Topics Calendar. Leadership and strategy. Article: Breaking Through The Barrier Of Hardnosed Workers, Part 2. September 29, 2012 — 2374 views by Ron Newton Summary: What the Cycle of Rejection illustrates is the futility of thinking that command will result in the control of hardnosers. Quite the opposite. But while it's folly to follow this path of thinking, there is an even more damaging option to choose: doing nothing. Photo courtesy of Lachlan Hardy Righting The Ship Wrongly For torturous purposes, let’s say that you are an executive manager who has inherited the type of hardnosed workforce described in Part 1 of this series.

Your laborers are largely emotionally repressed, unsympathetic, narcissistic, uncontrollable and prone to permanently go AWOL. As risk strategist Greg Pena suggests, you set about to correct the obstructionist nature of your workforce. Which quick-action strategy do you choose? Create and enforce more rules designed to secure better worker behavior? This is not a trick question. Damage Control Assess where the most "damage" is being done by the most resistant workers. A. B. Article: Breaking Through The Barrier Of Hardnosed Workers, Part 1. September 28, 2012 — 4664 views by Ron Newton Summary: A hardnosed worker is a self-destructive, emotionally self-centered, uncontrollable person who would rather cut-and-run than commit.

Our 'Troubled Kids' The tone of the general manager's phone call to the author of this series of articles revealed the deep defiance to authority that he sensed in his workers. "Are you the camp program that helps troubled kids? " "Yes," came the reply. "Good. The manager was desperate enough to ask help from the author's wilderness camp program that rehabilitated troubled youth. He proceeded to state that most of the drivers in his transportation company were acting irresponsibly, dragging morale down to a level that affected safety performance and caused high rates of personnel turnover.

The complaint sounded familiar to the author. But was the manager simply a grump who was reaping the just "rewards" of his poor employee management skills? To find out, the author agreed to help the manager. Findings 1. 2. Article: Breaking Through The Barrier Of Hardnosed Workers, Part 3. September 29, 2012 — 2645 views by Ron Newton Summary: Dysfunction brings with it opportunity. The same weaknesses that define dysfunctional workers are the ones that open the door for us to help them personally and to improve the cooperative nature of the entire workforce. Photo courtesy of Lara604 Turning The Corner Admittedly, Part 1 and Part 2 of this series may be a bit discouraging to the solution-seeking reader. So what has our evaluation revealed? First, the dysfunctional nature of the average hardnosed worker employed in traditionally change-resistant work sectors is representative of his greater employment family, both labor and management.

Second, the extent of potential behavioral dysfunction in hardnosers is staggering. Third, management has largely failed in its attempts to wrestle control of the workforce away from hardnosers. Last, management has often chosen the wrong method to seize control of hardnosers. Capitalize On Dysfunction One word points us down the right path. 1. Twitter - tools. Leadership. Leadership. Perform With Excellence. Is Your Leadership Showing? Most members of a team know when they’re doing their work well. They often have a particular area of expertise, and they have deadlines and deliverables.

For leaders, it’s a bit different. How do you show that you’re leading? Here are five competencies that good leaders demonstrate. 1. We know that leaders need to be seen by followers--from formal presentations and announcements, to a crisis, to simple “managing by walking around.” As a leader, when do you feel out of your comfort zone?

Ask yourself, “How am I visible to others when I don’t want to be?” 2. Many leaders are great at preparing the logistics of leadership (the facts and figures in a plan, or the pitch for a presentation). Just as athletic activities involve physical, mental, and emotional energies, leadership is a “whole-body practice” and requires preparation of the whole person. 3. This is closely related to preparation, because leadership discomfort is greatly enhanced by a lack of preparation. 4. 5. Mad about Leadership. Barbara Kellerman has every right to be mad as hell. Indeed, as you’ll see below, she is not being the least bit intemperate when she claims that our leaders have failed us of late.

And she isn’t just talking about Ken Lay, Donald Rumsfeld, and others of their sorry ilk whose egregious behavior generated headlines about corporate bankruptcy and needless wars. She cites a recent poll showing that only 7 percent of all employees trust their leaders. Kellerman’s main point is that those of us in the education racket deserve a full share of blame for this state of affairs. With a few notable exceptions, we’ve failed to recognize or acknowledge that the enterprise in which we are engaged is about as effective as faith healing. And, as she usefully notes, “the metrics are mostly missing” from the field of leadership development. In other words, we have no idea what works and what doesn’t when it comes to the education and training of leaders.

. — James O’Toole. The 6 People You Need in Your Corner. Strategy: Why Most Companies (and People) Stink At It. What do McKinsey, BCG, and Bain all have in common? Other than being the employer of choice for hundreds of thousands of CIBs, they are also strategy consulting firms. It’s their focus on strategy that separates them from KPMG (operations and finance), Accenture (IT consulting primarily) and numerous other firms. Given this focus on strategy is such a key differentiator; I’m surprised how infrequently I’m asked just what is strategy?

I’ll start by saying most everyone think they know what strategy is (including most MBAs and nearly all of your senior clients). Yet surprisingly, very few companies ACTUALLY have a good strategy. This has always puzzled me. Similarly, I find that few people give much thought to their own personal career strategy — including some MBB consultants! How can there be so much focus on strategy in business school, so much focus on strategy firms in recruiting, and so much focus on strategic plans in corporate, and yet most companies have pretty crappy strategies? All Hail the Generalist - Vikram Mansharamani.

By Vikram Mansharamani | 10:53 AM June 4, 2012 We have become a society of specialists. Business thinkers point to “domain expertise” as an enduring source of advantage in today’s competitive environment. The logic is straightforward: learn more about your function, acquire “expert” status, and you’ll go further in your career. But what if this approach is no longer valid? Approximately 2,700 years ago, the Greek poet Archilochus wrote that “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.” In the six decades since Berlin’s essay was published, hedgehogs have come to dominate academia, medicine, finance, law, and many other professional domains. For various reasons, though, the specialist era is waning. Secondly, specialists toil within a singular tradition and apply formulaic solutions to situations that are rarely well-defined.

Finally, there appears to be reasonable and robust data suggesting that generalists are better at navigating uncertainty. Creative Leadership: Humility and Being Wrong. Empathy Is The Most Powerful Leadership Tool. Anything we’re trying to make happen as a leader involves other people, and the fact is, most people don’t have to follow us. They don’t have to believe in our great ideas, buy our great products, or do what we want them to do. Even when we have authority--as parents of teenagers will tell you--our power doesn’t go very far without others believing that what we want them to do is in their best interests.

The pull of connecting to others and their interests is far more powerful than the push of control, especially when we find the intersection between their interests and our goals. How do we know what’s truly in someone else’s interests? “Become the other person and go from there.” Once we become the other, we can sense what’s in her interests, and influence becomes a matter of showing how our idea connects with those interests. And that I will come away unchanged, I’ve mistaken it for control. . · Become the other. . · Go from there. [Image: Flickr user Cloud_nine] The One Skill All Leaders Should Work On - Scott Edinger. By Scott Edinger | 11:30 AM March 29, 2012 If I had to pick one skill for the majority of leaders I work with to improve, it would be assertiveness.

Not because being assertive is such a wonderful trait in and of itself. Rather, because of its power to magnify so many other leadership strengths. Assertiveness gets a bad rap when people equate it with being pushy and annoying. But that shouldn’t stop you from learning to apply it productively (that is — in service to your strengths). More harm is done when people aren’t assertive enough than by being too assertive. At least you know what pushy people think, but those who don’t assert themselves can be keeping vital ideas hidden and useless when they don’t speak up or speak too softly. Here are some specific ways in which assertiveness complements a wide range of the critical leadership skills you may already have: • Leading change: Constructive change rarely happens passively.

4 Secrets of Great Critical Thinkers. In 2009, J D Wetherspoon, a chain of more than 800 pubs in the UK, was facing declining sales. Demand for beer had been down for five years. In addition, pricing pressure from super market chains was intense, and higher alcohol taxes further squeezed its already tight margins. What would you say is the company's real business problem? Most people see it as a sales problem and recommend better marketing and promotion. But this reflex may be wrong. In Wetherspoon’s case, the company examined the problem more deeply, looked at data, and framed the situation from multiple angles. The strategy worked. If you fail to do this, you risk solving the wrong problem.

Ironically, the more experience you have, the harder it will to break from conventional mindsets. In his book Thinking, Fast and Slow, Nobel laureate Daniel Kahneman attributes shallow framing to people substituting easy questions for hard ones. 1. 2. 3. 4. The best problem solvers see a complex problem through multiple lenses. 6 Habits of True Strategic Thinkers. In the beginning, there was just you and your partners. You did every job.

You coded, you met with investors, you emptied the trash and phoned in the midnight pizza. Now you have others to do all that and it's time for you to "be strategic. " Whatever that means. If you find yourself resisting "being strategic," because it sounds like a fast track to irrelevance, or vaguely like an excuse to slack off, you're not alone. This is a tough job, make no mistake. After two decades of advising organizations large and small, my colleagues and I have formed a clear idea of what's required of you in this role. Anticipate Most of the focus at most companies is on what’s directly ahead.

Look for game-changing information at the periphery of your industrySearch beyond the current boundaries of your businessBuild wide external networks to help you scan the horizon better Think Critically “Conventional wisdom” opens you to fewer raised eyebrows and second guessing. Interpret Ambiguity is unsettling. Decide. Strategy: An Executive’s Definition. This article was written with Kasturi Rangan and Evan Hirsh. The question “What is strategy?” Has spurred numerous doctoral dissertations, countless hours of research, and hearty disagreement among serious management thinkers. Perhaps this is why many executives also struggle with it. Nonetheless, decision makers seeking to steer a business to sustained success need a succinct and pragmatic response. So, what is a business strategy? “Where to play” specifies the target market in terms of the customers and the needs to be served. This article is featured in the strategy+business compendium “The Executive Guide to Strategy,” designed exclusively for smartphones and tablets.

To download, select your device: Having a differentiated approach to a target market can be a source of great advantage. Or consider Sir Brian Pitman, the former CEO of Lloyds TSB: He had a policy of defining the company’s target markets at one level of segmentation lower than the competition did. How Hard Times Affect a CEO’s Career. Management Secrets: Core Beliefs of Great Bosses.