Success means moving forward. Leaders review where they are and where they want to be in the future and figure out how to get from here to there. If a game-changer is needed, incremental changes won’t do; they need to “advance” to a whole new level, by recognizing as Einstein said, that “we can’t solve problems by using the same thinking we used to create them.”
Whether done on-site or off-site, leaders need to take the time to do the hard work:
- Focus on where they want to be
- Acknowledge where they are now
- Determine how to get there from here
- Assign to each member specific responsibilities to make the journey
- Create accountability benchmarks,
- Incorporate systems to measure progress
- Use continuous improvement as the standard to keep moving forward
If you do, you will develop the right strategy, culture and leadership to achieve your company’s vision and mission; and when you do, make sure leaders get to celebrate their accomplishments!
When we facilitate Strategic Leadership Advances (SLAs), we adopt the process advocated by Stephen Covey – start with the end in mind. We first identify where we want to be 3-5 years from now. Then, we acknowledge and analyze our current situation – appreciating the SWOTs (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities and Threats). With this assessment, we map out a strategy to get us from here-to-there. Each individual, team and department leaves with a clearly defined plan-of-action for which he/she/it will be held accountable according to the criteria set by the senior leadership group.
At our SLAs, we often:
- Start by redefining the corporate purpose, vision, mission and strategic 3-5 year goals
- Identify asymmetric competitive advantages and harness them for sustainability
- Articulate behaviorally measurable values that the company should practice
- Clarify leadership requirements to get us from here-to-there
- Reshape the corporate structure to tear down silos and facilitate alignment
- Define the performance culture needed to incentivize people, support teamwork, spur innovation on an ongoing basis, and facilitate individual/team/corporate winning
- Imbed evaluation and accountability systems to drive appropriate discussions between managers and employees to measure goal achievement
- Implement a system to ensure and measure continuous improvement.
The process often requires people to travel through the “Uncomfort Zone” as they stretch into expanded roles and opportunities. It ends with everyone excited to execute their part of the battle plan!
Since achievement takes time, we often become your long-term partners (i.e., “trusted advisors) committed to helping you execute the plan, focusing on communications, collaboration, teamwork, evaluations and accountability – to keep initiatives on target.
For instance, when one client integrated six separate business operations, we worked with members of leadership team for several years. Assignments included: communicating the new Brand to employees, strategic partners and customers, and developing a new, integrative product for the company – which became the company’s most successful product launch ever. In another case, the client suddenly was losing moneyand needed to cut costs, and no department was ready to do so. The key outcome of the SLA was an understanding by everyone that their industry had dramatically changed and the company’s future required them to redefine their business with different, lower-profit products with different staffing needs.