Strategy is about preparing what to do next whether it
is preparing for certain events, having a common goal or purpose, understanding
where the future is going, the technology driving the direction and being
pro-active and not re-active.
It’s about what I will do next. I need to have a map as to my end goal and a
mirror to be able to honestly reflect.
four components of strategic leadership
is the centre of the strategy, it is looking at the outside factors that can
have an impact on your business. These
could be items such as changes in the economy, consumer preferences, new
technologies or substitute products with high brand image or low cost which
could absorb a portion of the market.
A SWOT analysis would be the starting point, it will
help to highlight a Company’s Internal Environment (strengths and weaknesses)
and External Environment (Opportunities and threats). By identifying these
factors a Company can significantly improve its performance.
The Strategy is the choice of actions and
allocation of resources, it’s about understanding the competition and how the
market gives value. The first law of
strategy is to re-shape the environment, impose your will on the world and
exploit environmental opportunities.
Make sure your objectives are: Specific
the totality of resources, structures and processes. It’s the ability to create
long term strategies with others and being able to make the vision real for
all. The job of a leader is to destroy
the organization, to disappoint the followers, unless you intervene to
destabilize the ship it will continue on the same path, sometimes the old needs
to be destroyed to create the new.
leader represents authentically what is going on around them and when
uncertainty comes about, is able to handle the pressure and keep re-energizing
the team. It’s about knowing the people
in the team and being able to use their strengths and weaknesses to ensure you
have a resilient, stable, skilled team and environment.
The Organization is
about the structure, system and culture:-
Structure is the formal layout of the work. By clearly defining roles, functions, scopes
of authority and systems we ensure that we have an efficient and properly
functioning business. It is the Generals
job to monitor and constantly change and realign as the requirements and needs
There needs to be a core operating system. The system is generally composed of
individual components which have been designed to maximize the performance of
the individual component and the system as a whole. Understanding the nature of
the systems even when they vary vastly ensures that the “pieces and parts”
align with the organization to ensure no additional unintended outcomes or
Culture is the personality of the organization
and when created by authentic leaders culture flows throughout their vision,
value and purpose. Culture gives you a sense of who you are, a collective
purpose which allows an organization to work together as one whole to achieve
their goals. By understanding the
strengths and weaknesses of your resources and putting the right people
together to complete a common task a culture of teamwork is created.
I have had the pleasure of working, learning and
growing in Discovery for 13 years and it is the incredible culture with the constant
certainty of change and learning that keeps me engaged. Just an organization constantly has to change
and adapt, so do we as individuals yearn for that fulfilment that constant
challenges bring forth. To bring this
about I had to ensure I become a more influential part of the game and I
initiated a move to a new team in 2017.
While finding my feet I was able to have an outsider’s view of the environment,
structures, systems and culture of a team critical to the core of Discovery’s
business. A team with the potential to take
our client interactions to the next level as driven by technology and the
changing clients requirements but, currently at the risk of failing due to the following:
structure, everyone is a chief
being placed in roles they are not skilled or equipped to fulfil as senior
resources are not prepared to share their knowledge
constantly re-active to the environment being supported due to a system being built
without the future in mind and possible business risks.
are leapt into without a clear strategy or understanding of the impact to the
environment resulting in deadlines hardly ever being met.
resources having to do standby each day for one environment due to lack of
business perception and understanding of the role the team plays.
the work has to be done by contractors due to lack of skills in the team
leaving us vulnerable and adding additional, unnecessary risk.
The goal for 2018 is to break down and destroy the old in order to
create a new resilient, stabile, highly skilled environment with a culture that
as described by John Maxwell “Smacks you in the face when you walk in”.
Not being the manager of the environment that I will be instrumental in
re-shaping for the future strategies that are already lining up has required
that I have a honest conversation with myself and decide if I want to be in the
room as the game can and at times has been brutal but, I know that this is
where I belong and to succeed I need to make sure I surround myself with the
right people and be an authentic leader. Leadership is more and different to
The below is the starting point of our journey:
Phase 1 is to implement the staff structure which has been documented and
signed off to ensure that there are clearly defined roles, functions and scopes
of authority so that there is a clear view of who does what in order to have an
Phase 2 is upskilling and cross skilling junior resources to be able to
adequately do their job which will allow us to reduce operating costs and
reliance on outside resources.
Phase 3 by stabilizing the environment we will be able to take our focus off
the immediate constant day to day issues and thus be more proactive, this will
allow us to plan for the future and put the strategy in place.
Phase 4 by putting systems, structures and processes in place we will ensure that
we can over deliver on our promise and change the perception of our department.
By painting a vivid picture with a common goal we can systematically
focus on one behavior at a time. Be
prepared to tweak and adapt where required and actively involve and listen to
concerns and fears. The key is to find a few early adopters, then find and
convince the influencers in the team thus creating a chain reaction.
In order to be strategic you need to get out of the
basement and into a room with a view, as the answer is on the other side. You need to decide if you want to be in the
room, have the conviction to be there and make sure you have figured out the
nature of the game and that you are changing fast in the world around you.
It is important to always desire growth, have a
passion for learning and never be afraid to have honest conversations with
yourself, accept that mistakes will be made but fail quickly and move on.
Be authentic, learn from everyone but copy no one.