Developing a Strategic Leadership Plan
Strategic Leadership Plan
The first step is for any CEO is to set a strategic plan for the organisation (Kotter, 2001, p.87) that has a clear purpose (Montgomery, 2008, p.3). The strategy of any organisation should focus on a clear value proposition to the customer (Nohria et al, 2003, p.48): it needs to be aligned to what customers, partners and investors say about the firm (p.45) and it needs to be clearly articulated to the organisation (p.48).
Strategic leadership forms part of the strategy. Hitt and Ireland define strategic leadership as the ability to “anticipate, envision, maintain flexibility, think strategically, and work with others to initiate changes” (2002, p.4) in order to create a sustainable organisation. For CEOs this means working with the team to improve their capabilities (p.8) and to continue to recruit the right person for the role (p.9). The strategic leadership plan also needs to utilise the full talents of the Management Team (p.10) and continually promote the opportunities offered by the change (p.10). It is also about offering a vision to people that will lead to a better future (Buckingham, 2005, p.39).
Incorporated within the plan, according to Heifetz et al (2009), is the need to:
- Foster adaptation, developing practices that enable change (Heifetz p.65) and motivate staff (Kotter, 2001, p.93)
- Embrace equilibrium, inducing change that creates discomfort, but doesn’t lead to employees leaving the organisation (Heifetz p.67)
- Generate leadership, giving people at all levels the opportunity to lead and foster adaptation (Heifetz p.68), to be a part of the shared vision (Kouzes & Posner, 2009)
The strategy as a learning process model (Centre for Creative Leadership, 2004) will enable a CEO to drive both the current performance and the future capability of the firm, with leadership as a key driver (see side panel picture).
By implementing a strategic leadership plan it will enable an oraganisation to have a leading indicator on the performance of the entire strategic plan and can led to competitive advantage (Goldsmith, 2007).