Normal Course-of-Business Situations. There are five normal course-of-business leadership situations during a given year that call for the sort of external support I provide, which can catalyze the CEO and top management team’s ability to play at the top of their game.
Special Situations. In addition, five related special situations arise frequently where further support can make a significant difference in leadership’s ability to execute strategy.
|Normal Course-of-Business Situations||Special Situations|
Take the top management team (TMT) out of the flow of day-to-day business to build better teamwork. Identify and tackle the toughest issues before the team and develop more effective team play in the process.
Much organizational work happens in meetings, but meetings are often dreaded and unproductive. Design governance so that meetings at every level match the topic with the time frame, participants, preparation and discussion process. Pick topics to ensure attention to both strategic and tactical concerns
|Q1 Launch session.|
With the strategy and operating plan set for the new year, hold a TMT working session early in Q1 to ‘de-risk’ strategy execution. Clarify dependencies between team member goals, establish connect points for execution down within the organization, and anticipate moments of opportunity or crisis in the plan.
|Organizational engagement campaign.
A successful growth strategy unleashes organizational energy at every level. Orchestrate a continuous campaign of involvement with strategy execution at every level, generating excitement and engagement around performance goals and objectives.
CEOs of course get feedback, but it can be episodic, inaccurate, incomplete and is often unspoken. Conduct a systematic 360 to build a comprehensive action list of what’s working / should continue, what’s not working / should stop, and what new to try.
Responding to feedback and learning new behaviors takes practice. Engage an objective observer to provide ongoing feedback and coaching for the CEO to develop new patterns that build success on success.
Few TMTs match the ‘best team’ performance their members have seen on previous teams. Assess team roles, structure and process to engage the TMT in figuring out why, where and what to do about it.
Teams need coaching as well, and while the CEO plays a major role in that, it’s often not a significant CEO skillset. Engage an outside coach so that the CEO can be a full player on the team, reinforcing ‘leadership as a team sport.’
|Annual / strategic planning.|
Strategies don’t necessarily need to change every year, but each new annual business plan needs to reflect the strategy — and change it when necessary. Hold a series of purposeful planning meetings in Q2, Q3 and Q4 to enable the TMT to develop / reflect on strategy without losing focus on in-year results.
|Talent management system diagnostic.
If leadership is the art and practice of getting results through people, the supply and growth of talent must be a strategic business process. Conduct a best practice review of your talent management ‘system’ to improve both impact and retention of company leadership.