Adapted from the white paper: Bridging the Performance / Strategy Gap: How leadership strategy drives business results
Walter Bayly, CEO of Banco de Credito and COO of Credicorp Group:
“Credicorp is diversifying and entering into new lines of business in new markets. Our leadership strategy must guide us in structuring our business, developing our people and shaping the culture that is right for the different industries and markets that we enter.”
If crafting a leadership strategy is so important to strategy execution and achieving superior performance is so essential – what is leadership strategy all about? How are business and leadership strategy linked? How do we “craft” leadership strategies to achieve superior performance?
I like to describe the relationship between leadership and business strategies like inter-woven strands of DNA that, together, link the performance potential of the organization and superior performance over time.
If the business strategy sets the direction for moving the organization from today’s competitive position to tomorrow’s enduring success; the leadership strategy is the human enabler of strategy execution.
So, lets take a quick look at the distinct elements of a comprehensive leadership strategy.
Element 1: Leadership Drivers of Business Strategies
What is absolutely essential for leaders of the organization to accomplish together in order to execute successfully its business strategy?
The starting point of a leadership strategy is to review the business strategies and identify the leadership competencies and capabilities that are needed to implement them. These are the leadership drivers that require strategic investment in order to lay the foundation of enduring organizational success.
Drivers are the levers that – if pulled – will catapult the business strategy forward. They are areas to prioritize and invest in to ensure the organization’s capability to execute the strategy. They are the essential factors that – with dedicated time, energy, and funds – will determine success.
Element 2: Leadership Culture
What type of culture is necessary for leaders to create in order to foster organizational success?
Leadership culture is the self-reinforcing web of individual and collective beliefs, practices, behaviors, and patterns in an organization. It is the way in which leaders interact, make decisions, and influence others in their efforts to create direction, alignment, and commitment. The leadership culture has a direct impact on your organization’s ability to achieve the business strategies you have set.
Element 3: Talent Systems
Are the organization’s current talent systems and leadership architecture aligned with desired organization competencies and leadership culture?
A leadership strategy must address the need to attract, retain, and develop the talented people – throughout the organization – who are critical to meeting the organization’s goals. It looks beyond the current business needs and sets into motion talent sustainability.
Element 4: Organizational Design
Do the organization’s structures, systems, and processes strengthen the ability for culture and leadership to evolve in support of business strategies?
Organizational design may strengthen or inhibit the ability of leadership to enact change, transform the organization, and achieve enduring performance potential. Structures, systems, and processes should be designed to serve strategy – not the other way around.