Leadership development

Outcomes, strategy, process and projects will not drive change without senior leadership's engagement.

A strategy requires the organisation's leadership to be fully behind it. Trustees, Senior Management Team, Leadership Group, Heads of Department, key operational roles, influential volunteers, powerful beneficiary voices. People will be led from multiple points of your organisation and multiple messages will undermine strategy. Engaging all the leaders within is important, but if the Board and Senior Management Team are not in agreement then the strategy will not reach its potential.

Ideally spend time as senior managers exploring the drivers for the strategic direction, identifying what information is needed, setting parameters for consultation and agreeing the spirit of the strategy. Will it be informed by 'coal face' experience, beneficiary defined or a top down directive outlining corporate priorities. It may be useful to work on dynamics before embarking on strategy if the senior managers are not functioning as a team.

When forming strategy there are many opportunities to consult widely, and the end result will be much richer for it. Engagement begins the leadership of the change process and is an opportunity to generate followership of the strategic direction. It will also provide useful intelligence about the needs within the organisation and any resistance to change that may require strong leadership in the near future.

Consider: Is the Senior Management Team and Board functioning well together? Is your strategy understood, agreed and lived by your Board and senior managers? Are top-level decisions guided by your strategy?