The Power of Strategic Vision 6. Strategy in Uncertain Times 7.
How to build the mental habits that enable you to make a living while making a better world.
Developing a Strategic Culture 8. The Use - and Abuse - of Methodologies 9. What of the Future? Survey of Strategic Management Practices App. Schools of Strategic Thinking App. Strategic Planning Methodologies.
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THE FIVE COMPASSES OF STRATEGIC LEADERSHIP
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Instead, according those who study change management, they succumb to natural human reactions such as denial, avoidance, and failure to react, which can lead many organizations to flounder or fail.
The seven stages of strategic leadership
These are traits that business schools also must address in their courses, these experts emphasize, if they want to prepare their students to lead and thrive in the face of change. Great leaders first must recognize where they are now and understand their long-term goals, says Maury Peiperl, who this February becomes director dean of the Cranfield School of Management in the United Kingdom. What are we afraid to lose? The success of this process depends on the level of emotional intelligence people possess, he says. For that reason, change-focused leaders must first establish a stable foundation for themselves and others, says Rita Gunther McGrath, professor of strategy at Columbia University in New York City, as well as a leading thinker on change management in uncertain times.
With that reference point in place, they knew the path their solutions should follow.
Once they establish a clear point of reference, successful changemakers put systems in place to prepare their organizations for change before it comes. For instance, McGrath has studied companies that create new budgets every quarter, rather than once each fiscal year. She points to one large consumer products company that has a team working on what the company should do if washing machines no longer need detergent. Leaders also must take steps to help their teams handle the emotions and consequences of change, says Ines Temple, who is the president of executive coaching firms LHH—DBM Peru and LHH Chile and known for her work helping executives master career transitions.
One way is to ask employees to remember how they coped with major changes in their personal lives, such as the move from one house to another. This strategy works because the biggest changes—such as the loss of a home or the deaths of loved ones—usually happen outside of work. Unfortunately, when facing threats to their business models, too many companies take steps that actually instill fear, not dispel it. Leaders can reduce the fear of change by communicating a clear and consistent vision to each group and individual.
If they are ambivalent, uncertain, or lack vision, people will recognize that very quickly. When an organization is fragmented, sudden changes can enlarge any rifts between leaders, departments, or individuals. By making sure people feel connected to each other, leaders can create stronger cultures of collaboration that can weather any change more successfully, says Davidson, whose research focuses on diversity and leveraging differences within organizations. Even so, Davidson recognizes that in organizations where connection is not the norm, bringing people together might not be as easy as it sounds.
Leaders themselves also have to connect to others, says Thomas H. Those who rely solely on their own judgment are likely to see their plans fail, while more nimble and adaptable leaders seek out and value perspectives other than their own to better ensure their chances of success. For instance, Davenport, known for his work in analytics and more strategic decision making, recently met someone he classifies as a true changemaker: Shigeru Nakani, chairman of the board of Tokyo University of Science in Japan.
Nakani, who is committed to repositioning his school in the market, regularly seeks advice from experts outside the organization—the reason he requested a meeting with Davenport on a recent trip to Boston. To help business students develop that skill, Davidson often forces his students to improvise in his courses.
Ian Graham Wilson
Peiperl agrees that responding well to change requires one part planning and one part extemporization. He draws an analogy to jazz. That interplay makes some people uncomfortable.
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To be masters of change, individuals and organizations must have systems in place that support experimentation. Nakani thrives on change, which is a rare characteristic among leaders, Davenport acknowledges. The question is, can business schools help those who fear change learn to become more like Nakani? Yes, by providing them with the same opportunities to experiment themselves. To produce individuals ready for the future, these experts agree, business schools must create more tools that put students directly into center of change, both slow and subtle and the sudden and unthinkable.