There is no old "normal" anymore. Learn how to embrace inevitable change with three steps.

Many organizations now more than ever want to change their direction, and to do so, they need an effective leadership strategy to spearhead their initiatives and get results.

A leadership strategy is a specific plan that identifies a company's major goals and details how many and what type of leadership positions will be needed to support future modifications. A leadership strategy can also call for the restructuring of previous systems so they reinforce the desired changes.  Organization leaders can follow three simple steps to define their strategy:

1.  Determine your organization's unique and vital characteristics.

Every organization has key leadership drivers which are the things that set your business apart from others. They are essential to the daily functions of your business, and also give you an edge over competitors. They are fundamental to the mission of your organization. Select three to five key drivers to give your leadership strategy direction and focus. Examples could include:

  • Product innovation
  • Good quality for fair prices
  • Customer satisfaction

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2.  Determine the implications of these leadership drivers.

Now that you know the key components of your company's mission, what do they look like in practice? What concrete actions will leadership and employees do on a daily, weekly, monthly, or even yearly basis to accomplish them? The implications that you generate should be detailed, specific, and pertinent to how your company functions. For example, if great customer service is one of your key drivers, then some of the implications could be:

  • Facilitating routine professional development and mentorship opportunities in this area for employees
  • Working actively toward a positive and supportive company staff climate to encourage a culture of accommodation and hospitality
  • Designing and enforcing fair and universal customer service policies for anticipated situations

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3.  Predict what leadership positions will be needed to implement these initiatives

Now that you have a detailed idea of what tangible steps should be taken to accomplish your key leadership drivers, consider how you will structure leadership to promote these initiatives. Ask yourself these guiding questions:

  • Quantity: How many formal leadership positions will be needed? How many informal leadership positions? Where will they be located? How are they positioned in the broader hierarchy of the organization?
  • Qualities: What kinds of traits should these leaders possess? These could range from personality to demographic. Consider all the types of diversity you may wish to represent. 
  • Skills and Behaviors: What knowledge and core competencies should each respective leader possess?
  • Collective leadership capabilities: How will the leadership positions interact to collaborate, respond to problems, and create change?
  • Desired leadership culture: What kind of workplace culture will leadership facilitate? What actionable steps can they take to create the desired culture?

By following these guidelines, you can reinvigorate your company's goals, and rest assured you are effectively channeling the organization's energies to support your overall mission. When you follow a leadership strategy, you imbue your organization with purpose and take true stock of the assets you already have in ways you may not have previously considered. 

Are you a business leader looking to spark change? Have another good tip to share? Let us know in the comments below.