Leaders can be trained to lead strategically by developing and following a Strategic Frame of Reference which involves:
• Drafting their team's current Mission - including their primary customer and the key products, services and value they provide to that customer
• Utilizing a Situational/SWOT Analysis - identifying their team's internal/current strengths and weaknesses and their external/future opportunities and threats
• Determining where their customers want their team to make changes - completing an Importance/Performance Matrix to identify the areas where the team needs to excel, make improvements, place low priority and redirect resources
• Establishing their team's Vision - a realistic future worth striving for and built off of their customers' feedback
• Obtaining team member input and involvement in developing the Departmental Strategic Frame of Reference - generating commitment to the new plan and overcoming the natural resistance to leaving their comfort zones
In today's competitive business environment senior leaders consistently say they have too few strategic leaders and plenty of operational managers. The desire and need exist.
Both research studies and the high priority senior leaders place on strategic management and leadership reinforce the importance of enhancing this mindset and these skills within leadership teams. The great news is that there are practical initiatives that work in developing strategic leadership skills - with significant payback to both the organization and the leaders themselves. And multiple studies have determined that leaders who think and act strategically are viewed as the most effective.
A leader is acting strategically when he/she weighs their day-to-day issues in terms of what’s best for the competitive advantage & long-term success of their organization. And operational leaders can do just that by employing the following proven five step process:
#1. Identifying the current state of their function by:
• drafting a mission statement referencing the products, services & value they are currently providing their internal customers
• completing a SWOT Analysis to identify their function’s:
o strengths to be leveraged & weaknesses to be bolstered
o opportunities to be harnessed & threats to be neutralized
#2. Determining their customers’ perceptions of the function’s current performance through:
• electronic surveys
• face to face interviews
• focus groups
• a customer advisory board
• complaints, etc.
#3. Envisioning a preferred future for their function that is:
• feasible, brief & easily remembered
• a compelling aspiration that their team can relate to & be inspired by
• supportive of their corporate vision
#4. Establishing their function’s Critical Success Factors which are the:
• few proficiencies at which the function most needs to excel
• initiatives that will make the greatest contribution to the organization’s long-term success
#5. Executing their new strategy collaboratively by:
• creating a common understanding throughout the team of the new vision & strategy as translated into Critical Success Factors
• utilizing metrics to create alignment & provide feedback to team members on the progress being made toward those Critical Success Factors
Although we don’t have a common definition of ‘Strategic Leadership’, any leader can “be more strategic” by implementing these steps.
Functioning strategically is a challenge for leaders today due to:
• the complexity of today's business issues and the speed at which those issues change
• everyone expecting instant results pulling leaders into reactionary fire fighting
• and leaders being given tasks with a short-term focus and rewards tied to accomplishing those tasks - in essence, encouraging leaders to not be strategic.
However, this reactionary culture carries a huge downside for organizations - not to mention leaders' careers. This leadership development program will address proven methods for fostering strategic thinking and functioning within your organization.
Any Leader, Manager or Supervisor who wants to improve their ability to strategically achieve enhanced business results.
Years of Experience: 25+ years
Areas of Expertise: Leadership Development and HR Management
Pete Tosh is Founder of The Focus Group, a management consulting and training firm that assists organizations in sustaining profitable growth through four core disciplines:
The Focus Group has provided these consulting and training services to manufacturing and service organizations across the U.S., Canada, Europe and the Middle East. Pete has worked closely with the leadership teams of organizations such as Exxon, Brinks, EMC, State Farm, Marriott, N.C.I. and Freddie Mac.
Prior to founding his own firm 25 years ago, Pete had 15 years of experience — at the plant, divisional and corporate levels — in Human Resource and Quality functions. Pete held leadership positions — to include the V.P. of Human Resources and Quality — with Allied Signal, Imperial Chemical Industries, Reynolds Metals, Charter Medical and Access Integrated Networks.
Pete also frequently facilitates a variety of leadership development programs for organizations such as the American Management Association — including Strategic Planning, Moving from an Operational Manager to a Strategic Leader, Strategic HR Management and Utilizing HR Metrics. Employees from over 3,000 organizations have benefited from Pete’s experience and perspective. Pete is co-author of Leading Your Organization to the Next Level: the Core Disciplines of Sustained Profitable Growth.
Pete holds a B.A. degree in Psychology from Emory and Henry College and Masters degrees in both Business Administration and Industrial Psychology from Virginia Commonwealth University.View all trainings by this speaker