Strategic Leadership

Strategic Leadership

Strategic Leadership

Leadership development refers to any activity that enhances the quality of leadership within an individual or organization. These activities have ranged from MBA style programs offered at university business schools to action learning, high-ropes courses and executive retreats.

Developing Individual Leaders

Traditionally, leadership development has focused on developing the leadership abilities and attitudes of individuals.

Just as people are not all born with the ability or desire to play football (soccer) like Pele or to  sing like Luciano Pavarotti, people are not all born with the ability to lead. Different personal traits and characteristics can help or hinder a person’s leadership effectiveness and require formalized programs for developing leadership competencies.

Classroom-style training and associated reading is effective in helping leaders to know more about what is involved in leading well. However, knowing what to do and doing what you know are two very different outcomes; management expert Henry Mintzberg is one person to highlight this dilemma. It is estimated that as little as 15% of learning from traditional classroom style training results in sustained behavioral change within the workplace.

The success of leadership development efforts has been linked to three variables:

  • Individual learner characteristics
  • The quality and nature of the leadership development program
  • Genuine support for behavioral change from the leader’s supervisor

Military officer training academies, such as the Royal Military Academy Sand Hurst, go to great lengths to only accept candidates who show the highest potential to lead well. Personal characteristics that are associated with successful leadership development include leader motivation to learn, a high achievement drive and personality traits such as openness to experience, an internal focus of control, and self-monitoring.

Development is also more likely to occur when the design of the development program:

  • Integrates a range of developmental experiences over a set period of time (e.g. 6–12 months). These experiences may include 360 degree feedback, experiential classroom style programs, business school style coursework, executive coaching, reflective journaling, mentoring and more.
  • Involves goal setting, following an assessment of key developmental needs and then evaluate the achievement of goals after a given time period.

Among key concepts in leadership development one may find:

  • Experiential learning: positioning the individual in the focus of the learning process, going through the four stages of experiential learning as formulated by David A. Kolb:

 1. concrete experience

2. observation and reflection

3. forming abstract concept

4. testing in new situations.

  • Self efficacy: The right training and coaching should bring about ‘Self efficacy’ in the trainee, as Albert Bandura formulated: A person’s belief about his capabilities to produce effects
  • Visioning: Developing the ability to formulate a clear image of the aspired future of an organization unit.

A good personal leadership development program should enable you to develop a plan that helps you gain essential leadership skills required for roles across a wide spectrum from a youth environment to the corporate world.

Action learning

Our approach to what we call “Strategic Leadership” development relies largely upon action learning”, which is an approach to solving problems that takes action — then, by reflecting on the results and the problem solving process as well as the solutions the team develops. The action learning process includes

  • a real problem that is important, critical, and usually complex,
  • a diverse problem-solving team or “set”,
  • a process that promotes curiosity, inquiry, and reflection,
  • a requirement that talk be converted into action and, ultimately, a solution, and
  • a commitment to learning.

In many, but not all, forms of action learning, a coach is included who is responsible for promoting and facilitate learning as well as encouraging the team to be self-managing. In addition, the learning acquired by working on complex, critical, and urgent problems that have no currently acceptable solutions can be applied by individual, teams, and organizations to other situations. The theory of action learning was developed originally for applications to support organisational and business development, problem solving and improvement.

Action learning has many educational applications now. Because Action learning has been demonstrated to be very effective in developing a number of individual leadership and team problem solving skills.  It was been used extensively as a component in corporate and organizational leadership development programs. Because complex problems require many skills, individual team members can develop a customized learning agenda for themselves. This strategy is quite different from the “one size fits all” curriculum that is characteristic of many training and development programs. This is the logic underlying our devising what we refer to as “Strategic Leadership Development” because it utilizes a unique learning plan that is fits the individual within their learning context.

Organization Effectiveness

Organization Effectiveness

Organizational Effectiveness

Organization development (OD,) is a deliberately planned, organization-wide effort to increase an organization’s effectiveness and/or efficiency and/or to enable the organization to achieve its strategic goals. OD theorists and practitioners define it in various ways. Its multiplicity of definition reflects the complexity of the discipline and is responsible for its lack of understanding. For example, it  has referred to as being about promoting organizational readiness to meet change,  and it has been said that Organization Development is a systemic learning and development strategy intended to change the basics of beliefs, attitudes and relevance of values, and structure of the current organization to better absorb disruptive change or exploding market opportunities and ensuing challenges and chaos.

It is worth understanding what OD is not. It is not training, personal development, team development or team building, human resource development (HRD), learning and So, they do involve people – but OD also develops processes, systems and structures. The primary purpose of OD is to develop the organization, not to train or develop the staff.

Organization development is an ongoing, systematic process of implementing effective organizational change. OD is known as both a field of science focused on understanding and managing organizational change and as a field of scientific study and inquiry. It is interdisciplinary in nature and draws on sociology, psychology, particularly industrial and organizational psychology, and theories of motivation, learning, and personality. Although behavioral science has provided the basic foundation for the study and practice of OD, new and emerging fields of study have made their presence felt. Experts in systems thinking and organizational learning, structure of intuition in decision making, and coaching (to name a few) whose perspective is not steeped in just the behavioral sciences, but a much more multi-disciplinary and inter-disciplinary approach, have emerged as OD catalysts or tools. Organization Development is a growing field that is responsive to many new approaches.


OD Framework
Strategy Management

Strategy Management

Strategy Management

Strategic management involves the formulation  and execution of the major goals and objectives taken on by a company’s top management on behalf of owners, based on consideration of resources and an assessment of the internal and external environments in which the organization competes. Strategic management provides overall direction to the enterprise and involves specifying the organization’s objectives, developing policies and plans designed to achieve these objectives, and then allocating resources to implement the plans.

Academics and practicing managers have developed numerous models and frameworks to assist in strategic decision making in the context of complex environments and competitive dynamics. Strategic management is not static in nature; the models often include a feedback loop to monitor execution and inform the next round of planning.

Harvard Professor Michael Porter identifies three principles underlying strategy: creating a “unique and valuable [market] position”, making trade-offs by choosing “what not to do”, and creating “fit” by aligning company activities to with one another to support the chosen strategy. Dr. Vladimir Kvint defines strategy as “a system of finding, formulating, and developing a doctrine that will ensure long-term success if followed faithfully.”



PDCA Cycle
PDCA Process
Search engine optimization

Search engine optimization

Search Engine Optimization

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is the process of affecting the visibility of a website or a web page in a search engine’s “natural” or un-paid (“organic”) search results. In general, the earlier (or higher ranked on the search results page), and more frequently a site appears in the search results list, the more visitors it will receive from the search engine’s users. SEO may target different kinds of search, including image search, local search, video search, academic search,  news search and industry-specific vertical search engines.

As an Internet marketing strategy, SEO considers how search engines work, what people search for, the actual search terms or keywords typed into search engines and which search engines are preferred by their targeted audience. Optimizing a website may involve editing its content, HTML and associated coding to both increase its relevance to specific keywords and to remove barriers to the indexing activities of search engines. Promoting a site to increase the number of backlinks, or inbound links, is another SEO tactic

Every business with a Web site should make Search Engine Optimization — trying to get your site as high up as possible on Google and Bing search-results pages — a part of their growth strategy. At its most basic, as described above, “SEO” means finding ways to increase your site’s appearance in web visitors’ search results. This generally means more traffic to your site. Intense SEO can involve complex site restructuring with a firm (or consultant) that specializes in this area.

Reputation Marketing

Reputation Marketing

Reputation Marketing

Today’s marketing environment is dramatically different from that of only a couple of years ago. Before, you could advertise or use coupons to get customers in the door. People would “give you a try” if they had an emotional motivation or incentive to do so. Treat them well and they would come back.

Currently, people don’t have to give you a try. They let others try for them. All they have to do is look you up on line and dozens of review sites will have the opinions of perfect strangers who are all too happy to let you know the good, bad and, sometimes the ugly. It is great for the consumer. He or she does very little work to get lots of information. When you consider how many searches are made every day, it may be surprising to realize that 25 percent of them are for local businesses.

You have heard radio advertising offering to bury bad online reputations or even to eliminate them. People who respond to those ads are already in deep trouble and are hoping to fool the public into thinking they are not. Rarely can a legitimate negative statement be erased. Illegal or libelous statements can be, but they are rarely the cause of anxiety for the businesses involved. The cost of fixing these things can run into the thousands of dollars. This is reputation management in the extreme.

In fact, that is exactly what those companies who charge thousands of dollars actually do. They create or encourage lots of positive “noise” on the Internet to literally bury the negative on the back pages of Google making it much less likely that a prospective customer will ever see it. The negatives don’t really disappear, they just get buried.

That falls into the category of “Reputation Management”. It is more of a defensive posture; reactionary to overcoming a negative event. On the other hand, “Reputation Marketing” is inherently proactive. It involves actively promoting the positive about a business — and encouraging customers to express that positive experience online..

Proactively encouraging patrons to report on their good experiences will turn the process from Reputation Management to Reputation Marketing. Using various systems or even outsourcing can help business owners to garner more positive comments and resolve about negative experiences before an upset  customer leaves the premises.

Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing

Social Media Marketing

Social media is one of the most cost-effective ways to connect with your customers, to keep your business in front of them in relevant ways. Social media tools make it easy for word of mouth marketing to help your business take off quickly and efficiently.

Social media marketing programs usually center on efforts to create content that attracts attention and encourages readers to share it with their social networks. The resulting electronic word of mouth (eWoM) refers to any statement consumers share via the Internet (e.g., web sites, social networks, instant messages, news feeds) about an event, product, service, brand or company. When the underlying message spreads from user to user and presumably resonates because it appears to come from a trusted, third-party source, as opposed to the brand or company itself, this form of marketing results in social proof rather than paid for social proof.

Success with this strategy involves building your businessí presence on social sites like Facebook and Twitter as well as publishing content on your site that engages your customers and encourages them to take action and to spread the word to their contacts as well.

Just a few benefits of having a social media strategy in place:

  • Build brand awareness and loyalty.
  • Relate with your customers and prospects in a way that is meaningful to them.
  • Gather market research quickly and easily.
  • Display your expert status online.
  • Enhance your customer support efforts.