Five Key Questions to Prepare for Organizational Transformation
Just about one month into the fourth quarter of 2020, thoughts, budgets, and plans for 2021 are underway. As part of the planning process, organizational leaders would do well to move business transformation higher up on the list of strategic priorities.
It is not by accident that high performing organizations place a priority on developing the leadership capabilities of their key supervisors and managers. Even in trying times (especially in trying times), the focus on preparing future leaders in a planned, systematic, well-defined way moves forward without compromise.
The commonly held notion that leadership skills come naturally by virtue of a change in responsibilities or title is as short-sighted as it is flawed. It is little wonder why leading organizations separate themselves from the “middle-of-the-pack” by the way in which they recruit, select, and prepare supervisors and managers for roles as leaders. They realize that this organizational competency is a requirement, far too important to leave to chance or to the intellectual curiosity of any individual manager.
But where to begin? Here are five questions to get the discussion with your management team started:
- What are the key business challenges your organization is likely to face in the coming year? The next three years?
- Given these challenges, what leadership skills, knowledge, and abilities are required for success?
- Does your organization have an agreed upon profile of the characteristics required of successful future leader?
- How (and how often) does your team discuss whether you have sufficient “bench strength” to compete? Who are the “next in line” team members and what is the plan for their development?
- Do you have a written plan, process, and budget for developing future leaders?
Development of organizational leaders is a boardroom issue which should not be delegated to other areas of the enterprise. While successful implementation of the development plan may be a task for the human resource professional, prioritizing, planning, budgeting, and setting expectations for outcomes is best left to the highest levels of management. The reason for this is simple. To become an organizational priority, it must have the enthusiastic endorsement and support of the CEO and of the executive team. Anything less will be met with skepticism, or worse yet, cynicism and will likely fade away as yet another “flavor of the month,” half-hearted initiative.
The challenges ahead for businesses of all sizes are likely to be significant as people and organizations alike attempt to understand and work with changing requirements and a largely uncertain operating environment. Leadership organizations are not immune from these conditions; they are simply better positions and far better prepared to make the most of them.
As you look to a bigger, better 2021, what better time than now to put your organization on a pathway toward leadership development and sustained success? To find out to get started, contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Joseph P. Truncale, Ph.D., CAE, is the Founder and Principal of Alexander Joseph Associates, a privately held consultancy specializing in executive business advisory services with clients throughout the graphic communications industry.
Joe spent 30 years with NAPL, including 11 years as President and CEO. He is an adjunct professor at NYU teaching graduate courses in Executive Leadership; Financial Management and Analysis; Finance for Marketing Decisions; and Leadership: The C Suite Perspective. He may be reached at Joe@ajstrategy.com. Phone or text: (201) 394-8160.