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Leadership Strategy and Communication


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A process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task.

The relationship between leadership, strategy and communication. Strategy is formulating an organization's goals. Leadership is articulating those goals in a compelling manner to help everyone involved grasp the vision; that takes communication skills.

Create a compelling vision; communicate that vision and translate it into reality.

People who cannot invent and reinvent themselves must be content with borrowed postures, secondhand ideas, fitting in instead of standing out.

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Published in: Leadership & Management
  • Leadership is a process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task
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Leadership Strategy and Communication

  1. 1. Leadership Strategy and Communication
  2. 2. Managing and Leading People and Organizations • This presentation is based on my book Managing and Leading People and Organizations • Paperback and Kindle version available at Amazon.
  3. 3. MBA ASAP • Check out my website,com for more business skills information and materials • Sign up for my newsletter
  4. 4. Leadership A process of social influence in which one person can enlist the aid and support of others in the accomplishment of a common task
  5. 5. The Leadership Challenge “All enterprises or projects, big or small, begin in the mind's eye; they begin with imagination and with the belief that what is merely an image can one day be made real.”
  6. 6. Strategic Thinking • Leaders, similar to great athletes, must simultaneously play the game and observe it as a whole. • Keep perspective and see the big picture – not get lost in the action. • Vision and a sense of the future
  7. 7. Warren Bennis • American scholar, organizational consultant and author, widely regarded as a pioneer of the contemporary field of Leadership studies • Research in the 1960s anticipated less hierarchical, more flat and adaptive institutions, private and public
  8. 8. In Today’s World… • Flatter organizations • Innovation • Internet • Networks • To accomplish our work and meet our needs: • Rely on dozens, hundreds, thousands of individuals and organizations over whom we exercise no direct control
  9. 9. To Get What We Want… • We are compelled to Negotiate. • Pyramids of power are shifting into networks of negotiation. • Communications revolution • Global “virtual” organizations • Cross-cultural transactions
  10. 10. Negotiating Revolution • From Adversarial to Cooperative • From specialized to general methodology • Wise agreement is better for both sides than the alternative. • Principled Negotiation
  11. 11. Principled Negotiation • Negotiation based on a joint search for mutual gains and legitimate standards. • Process to find opportunities and search for solutions that are better for both sides.
  12. 12. 对事不对人 • Means when you are dealing with a problem or criticize something, try to focus on the problem itself while not being affected by the people who is dealing with or caused the problem • Separate the people from the problem.
  13. 13. Leadership and Management • As the world changes, Negotiation is becoming the primary form of decision-making. – John Naisbitt and Patricia Aburdene – Co-authors of Megatrends 2000
  14. 14. Warren Bennis on Leadership • Create a compelling vision, one that takes people to a new place, and then translate that vision into a reality. • Becoming a leader is synonymous with becoming yourself. It is precisely that simple, and it is also that difficult. • People who cannot invent and reinvent themselves must be content with borrowed postures, secondhand ideas, fitting in instead of standing out.
  15. 15. Leadership vs. Management • The manager asks how and when; the leader asks what and why. • The manager accepts the status quo; the leader challenges it. • The manager has his eye on the bottom line; the leader has his eye on the horizon.
  16. 16. Mindset Strategic thinking requires a mindset – a way of thinking or intellectual process that • accepts change, • analyzes the causes and outcomes of change, • attempts to direct an organization's future to capitalize on the changes.
  17. 17. Be opportunistic Do what you can, with what you have, where you are. Theodore Roosevelt
  18. 18. Constantly Refine and Update the Vision • acknowledges the reality of change, • questions current assumptions and activities, • builds on an understanding of systems, • envisions possible futures, • generates new ideas, • considers the organizational fit with the external environment
  19. 19. Translational Thinking Entrepreneurship is the pursuit of opportunity without regard for resources currently controlled. Bismarck defined statesmanship as the art of the possible. TS Elliot: Between the idea and the act lies the shadow. The Hollow Men. Crossing the Chasm book. Geoffrey Moore Wayne Gretzky "Skate where the puck is going, not where it's been" Timing. The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese!
  20. 20. Assessing Change • Assess the changing needs of the organization's stakeholders and the changing technological, social and demographic, economic, legislative/political, and competitive demands of its world.
  21. 21. 三十年河东,三十年河西 • The Chinese saying "sometimes the river flows East and sometimes the river flows West" is "三 十年河东,三十年河西". • It means things change with time and the situation, someone can not be successful forever and someone will not be hapless all the time, just like an English saying "Every dog will have his day". • It is not only a metaphor pertaining to one's life, but also can be used to describe the changes in larger fields.
  22. 22.
  23. 23. Leaders are always questioning: • “What are we doing now that we should stop doing?” • “What are we not doing now, but should start doing?” • “What are we doing now that we should continue to do but perhaps in a fundamentally different way?”
  24. 24. These questions are applicable to everything the organization does • Products and services, • Internal processes, • Policies and procedures, • Strategies • Dealing with complexity and change • The fit between the enterprise and the environment • Product/market fit
  25. 25. Penetrating Vision • Examine assumptions, • Understand systems and their interrelationships, • Develop alternative scenarios of the future
  26. 26. Forecast • External technological, social and demographic changes, as well as • Critical changes in the legislative and political arenas
  27. 27. Strategic Thinking vs. SMEs • Strategic thinking is very much a leadership activity and quite different from what subject matter experts do. • Strategic thinkers specialize in relationships and context whereas expert thinkers specialize in well-defined disciplines and functions. • Strategic thinkers act on intuition and “gut feel” when data is incomplete – focus on action and moving forward where as experts pay rigorous attention to knowledge, evidence, and data – focus on understanding.
  28. 28. Philip Tetlock • American political scientist and psychologist • Fox and Hedgehog differences
  29. 29. Sir Isaiah Berlin • British Philosopher • There are two kinds of thinkers in the world: • Hedgehogs: who know on big thing • Foxes: who dart from idea to idea.
  30. 30. Reference • fragment attributed to the ancient Greek poet Archilochus: πόλλ' οἶδ' ἀλώπηξ, ἀλλ' ἐχῖνος ἓν μέγα • "the fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing".
  31. 31. Accuracy in Forecasting Tetlock draws heavily on this distinction in his exploration of the accuracy of experts and forecasters in various fields – politics – International affairs – Economics in his 2005 book Expert Political Judgment: How Good Is It? How Can We Know?
  32. 32. Studies • Interviewed hundreds of experts and asked them to make prediction about the short-term future: • The next five years
  33. 33. Low Scorers Look Like Hedgehogs • Thinkers who know ‘one big thing’ aggressively extend the explanatory reach of that one big thing into new domains. • When you have a hammer, everything looks like a nail
  34. 34. High Scorers: Foxes • Skeptical of easy historical analogy • More probabilistic in the their thinking • Comfortable updating their models • The more wide ranging their curiosity, the more accurate they tended to be • Fast updating Foxes
  35. 35. Management of the Strategy • Strategic thinking is supported by the continuous management of the strategy and documented through the periodic process of strategic planning • Feedback and measurement is critical
  36. 36. Guidelines • Decision consistency is central to strategy • When an organization exhibits a consistent behavior it has a strategy • Low cost provider • CEO of Southwest Airlines Herb Keller
  37. 37. Analyzing and understanding the situation (1) external environmental analysis; (2) internal environmental analysis; (3) the development or refinement of the organization's directional strategies.
  38. 38. The Innovator’s Dilemma • Sometimes the river flows East and sometimes the river flows West. • Discern the tides • Go with the flow • Look for enabling and converging technologies and trends
  39. 39. Resources, competencies, and capabilities of the organization Strategy is additionally influenced by the internal resources, competencies, and capabilities of the organization and represents “what the organization can do.”
  40. 40. Directional Strategies Driven by a common mission, common vision, and common set of organizational values and goals – the directional strategies • What the organization wants to do • Ability to communicate it
  41. 41. Implementation Implementation plans are made up of strategies developed in the key areas that create value for an organization – • service delivery • support activities Making Strategy Work Buy-in and Ownership
  42. 42. Leading in a Rapidly Changing Environment • It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the one most responsive to change. CHARLES DARWIN
  43. 43. Dealing with rapid, complex, and often discontinuous change requires leadership • understand the nature and implications of external change, • the ability to develop effective strategies that account for change, and • the will as well as the ability to actively manage the momentum of the organization
  44. 44. Strategic Management • Strategic Thinking • Strategic Planning • Business Planning • Managing Momentum • Execution of Plan • Feedback and Measurement • Iterate (Rinse and Repeat)
  45. 45. If you want to predict the future, create it. • not simply be responsive to changes, you must create the future. • Health care leaders must see into the future, • create new visions for success, and • be prepared to make significant improvements
  46. 46. Making Strategy Work • Strategy is usually viewed as an annual exercise at best, an event that creates a ‘product,' and not a process to be used to actually run the business • Disconnect between Strategy and Tactics
  47. 47. Achieve the organization’s goals Managing the strategy to achieve the strategic goals of the organization • Eyes on the Prize • Leadership • Communicate the goals and how to get there • Turnaround or Growth: getting your people focused on the Goal
  48. 48. Maintain the Momentum • the actual work to accomplish specific objectives, • concerns decision-making processes and their consequences, • provides the style and culture, • evaluates strategy performance, • is a learning process, and • relies on and initiates new strategic thinking and new periodic strategic planning • Iterative
  49. 49. The Epic Fail If the strategy is not actively managed, it will not happen.
  50. 50. Henry Mintzberg A key to managing strategy is the ability to detect emerging patterns and help them take shape.
  51. 51. Unrealized Strategy Rational strategies do not always work out as planned..
  52. 52. Emergent Strategy An organization may end up with a strategy that was quite unexpected as a result of having been “swept away by events” (an emergent strategy) • Be Opportunistic • Carpe Diem
  53. 53. Learning Leadership, vision, and “feeling our way along” (learning) • Groping
  54. 54. Reformulating and Groping • There is a reformulation of the strategy during implementation as the organization gains new information and feeds that information back to the formulation process, thus modifying intentions en route. • The external environment is in a period of flux and strategists are unable to accurately predict conditions; the organization may therefore find itself unable to respond appropriately to a powerful external momentum. • Organizations in the external environment implementing their own strategies may block a strategic initiative, forcing the activation of a contingency strategy or a period of “groping.”
  55. 55. “Leaders are obligated to provide and maintain momentum” The only legitimate work in an organization is work that contributes to the accomplishment of the strategic plan. It takes the orchestration of management as well as leadership to perpetuate these capabilities into the future. Max DePree
  56. 56. Plans and Planning Plans are useless, but planning is invaluable. Winston Churchill
  57. 57. Effective Communication
  58. 58. The Original Mad Man: David Olgilvy Good writing is not a natural gift. You have to learn to write well. Here are 10 hints: 1. Read the Roman-Raphaelson book on writing. Read it three times. 2. Write the way you talk. Naturally. 3. Use short words, short sentences and short paragraphs. 4. Never use jargon words like 'reconceptualize,' 'demassification,' 'attitudinally,' 'judgmentally.' They are hallmarks of pretense. 5. Never write more than two pages on any subject. 6. Check your quotations. 7. Never send a letter or a memo on the day you write it. Read it aloud the next morning—and then edit it. 8. If it is something important, get a colleague to improve it. 9. Before you send your letter or your memo, make sure it is crystal-clear what you want the recipient to do. 10. If you want ACTION, don't write. Go and tell the guy what you want."
  59. 59. CIA Writing Rules • Keep the language crisp and pungent; prefer the forthright to the pompous and ornate. • Do not stray from the subject; omit the extraneous, no matter how brilliant it may seem or even be. • Favor the active voice and shun streams of polysyllables and prepositional phrases. • Keep sentences and paragraphs short, and vary the structure of both. • Be frugal in the use of adjectives and adverbs; let nouns and verbs show their own power.
  60. 60. Edit • Look at every word in a sentence and decide if they are really needed. If not, kill them. Be ruthless • Don’t be afraid to kill you babies. – Bob Cooper
  61. 61. Power Positions • Title • First Sentence • Introduction • Transition sentences • Argument sentence • Theme sentence • Conclusion • Final Sentence
  62. 62. So What? • Emphasis on what is significant • The Purpose • The Call to Action • The Take-away • The Promise • Think of the reader asking “so what?” after reading your piece
  63. 63. Point Towards • Future Directions • Rally call • Inspire • The Challenge • What you are asking the reader to do.
  64. 64. Recap • Recapitulation • Not a repeat • State it differently
  65. 65. Last Sentence • Finish Strong • Make it Memorable • Link back to the intro
  66. 66. HR People Power • There are two ways of being creative. One can sing and dance. Or one can create an environment in which singers and dancers flourish. • A’s hire A’s and B’s hire C’s
  67. 67. Lead Wisely • Because the awakened one puts himself behind, he steps ahead. Because he gives way, he gains. Because he is selfless, he fulfills himself. The still is the lord of the restless. Lao-Tzu
  68. 68. Leadership Strategy and Communication