How leaders and their organizations could develop their strategic capability to win
Why is Strategic Leadership important for organizations in challenging times?
Organizational success depends on making the best choices available – this is the art and science of strategy – determining the method for long-term success. More than ever in the 21st Century, understanding and charting the strategic choices for an organization are fundamental to success. We live in the ‘exponential age’ where business rules are being rewritten, and all organizations need the rigour and creativity of strategic leaders to steer them to success. Of the top 10 most valuable businesses globally, only one is not an ‘exponential age’ company.
How could leaders and their organizations develop strategic capability?
The strategic capability of an organization comes from its ability to understand the future business environment and imagine a creative roadmap to ‘win’. This requires leaders to develop their analytical and critical thinking skills, be able to ‘scan the external business horizon’ and make sense of it, craft a method to meet customers’ needs better than the competition and have the leadership skills to engage and inspire their people through this process of exploration and execution of strategy. In addition, even governmental organizations need to offer superlative service delivery for every naira invested by the taxpayer; otherwise, they will be scrapped or merged-See Nigeria’s oil and gas regulatory landscape post-PIA!
How can leaders spot, act on, and legitimize distant opportunities in turbulent times?
Leaders operating in the strategic domain need to be curious and constantly exploring the external business environment to spot the ‘weak signals’ of powerful new forces that will shape the world. Tapping into these weak signals early on allows for the organization to experiment and consider the implications for their organization – if appropriate, they can scale effectively to take advantage of these new forces ahead of their competition.
How could functional managers become effective strategic leaders?
Strategy plays at every level in the organization. The key opportunity for functional managers is to become adept at ‘translating strategy into action’ – taking the organization’s big goals and interpreting them effectively in their functional area. However, operational managers might aspire to general management in which there is a move from implementation to developing strategy. Thus, to be an effective strategic leader, you need to develop more conceptual skills. Those conceptual skills include having a holistic outlook and the capability to develop a vision and identify and quickly deploy resources to harness opportunities in the external environment. Also, they need to be conversant with the change in the role that is required as a strategic leader-I.e. operating at the central stage as when you lead an organization compared to when you lead a division in which you lead from the wings. For example, you can transition from being problem solvers to agenda setters through capacity development, such as TEXEM’s forthcoming programmed and mentors.
How could leaders bridge the gap between creating a direction and effective strategy implementation?
The key to effective strategy implementation is ‘alignment’. The strategic goals will only be delivered if the organization is aligned with the appropriate leadership capabilities, processes and systems, people skills, organizational structure, and culture. Remember the powerful adage credited to Peter Drucker that ‘Culture eats strategy for breakfast!’
From your work in the public and private sector, what can strategic leaders learn from the covid19 crises?
Some observations are that strategic leaders have been:
Clear on the purpose of their organization- this has been the ‘touchstone’ for decision making
Able to let go of ‘old mental models’ and adapt/pivot to the new reality of the operating environment
Embrace a more innovative rather than mechanistic management approach.
Why should executives attend TEXEM, UK’s forthcoming programmer?
Executives will engage in a powerful and engaging programmer where they can develop strategic capabilities through exposure to key theories and frameworks and experiential learning processes using TEXEM’s dynamic and impactful methodology. The TEXEM methodology comprises Games, Simulation, Group Discussion and Role Play. Other tools deployed by TEXEM to optimize the learning experience are Observation, Case studies, Panels, Self-Reflection and competition.
The TEXEM, UK’s programmer on Strategic Leadership For Optimized Organizational Performance In An Era Of Uncertainty content is specifically tailored to help leaders in developing countries to turn challenges into opportunities. This programmer will also be delivered by world-class faculty who will share actionable insights that executives could apply directly to their organization for immediate impact. The programmer comprises self-study and live engaging sessions, which makes this programmer flexible and suited for busy executives’ schedules. For more information, visit the TEXEM website or email [email protected] or call +44 7425 883791
Professor Paul Griffith is one of the world’s first Management Professor to lead a team that launched a rocket to space twenty years ago. As Professor of Practice at Ashbridge Executive Education at Hult International Business School, Paul works with hundreds of executives and organizations in strategy, innovation, digital transformation and customer-centricity.
He has led a range of custom programmer for national and global organizations in the private (including aerospace, financial services, pharmaceutical, manufacturing, retail, technology, telecoms, energy sectors) and public sector. Before joining the Ashridge team, he held leadership roles in product management, marketing, business development and corporate strategy for global enterprises, start-ups and turnaround businesses, including BT, First Mark and was CMO at Datapoint.
In addition, Paul has extensive international experience leading cross-cultural teams and global programmer serving the enterprise and SME markets.