leadership, strategy

Is it still leadership if the management doesn’t buy it?

Ian Farrington on 3 November 2021 0 Comments

Oh, no! The bosses are launching another ‘inspired vision’ that will sound great and fashionable, use up time and resources and end in tears. Sound familiar? Too often, leaders may see their strategies run aground and the price of failure can be costly:
· The leaders responsible can be left confused and demotivated – and their credibility damaged
· People in the company feel alienated – and some at least will likely leave as a result
· The company’s cultural health degrades – that sounds a bit ‘so what’ until it hits your brand, productivity, resource churn (and the extra costs that incurs) etc
· And the bottom line can take another hit.

Communications and consultation are among the more common fall guys when the inquiry into failure begins. They certainly play their part. But organisations can easily forget that:
· Leadership – setting strategy and direction – focuses on where we going
· Management – business operations – focuses on what we’re actually doing.

And that difference matters. If management, management practices, performance metrics and reward systems don’t reinforce the (new) strategy, things won’t change. The race for innovation falls at the hurdle of existing rules to ensure conformance. The search for bolder risk-taking gets lost in the range of penalties for failure… and on it goes. Leadership that doesn’t secure active management buy in tends not to secure success.
Leadership – setting the company direction – is not just about pointing the way; it’s about motivating and reinforcing the right resources at the management and delivery level to adapt to deliver new goals. Good leaders find an effective sounding board – such as colleagues or an independent coach – to help them identify and anticipate what their company needs in order to get on board with the next stage of the company’s future. #leadership #strategy