To successfully reach the wanted position, leaders need to take a system approach when it comes to defining and implementing the strategic direction. Direction, learning and implementation are dimensions that constitute the system of a strategic direction. In order to develop and secure quality in these dimensions, leaders need to base their leadership capabilities on the challenges in such a system.

Low quality in these dimensions leads to lack of clarity in the path towards the wanted position, lack of essential learning to make successful progress along the strategic direction and lack of focused execution. Key capabilities for leaders to develop are:

For quality of direction:

  • Predict and assess continuity or discontinuity
  • Identify and make strategic decisions
  • Lead to motivate and engage people for the chosen direction

For quality of learning:

  • Secure systematic learning and integration of knowledge
  • Utilise the organisation´s collective intelligence
  • Lead to encourage learning and development

For quality of implementation:

  • Make the strategic direction operational
  • Balance management by objectives with management by values
  • Lead to ensure involvement and experimentation

Generating a common purpose and a unified and energetic behaviour are fundamental to overcome the challenges in each dimension. Leadership is about compassion and deep understanding of the organisation’s own reality and the environment in which it must compete and win. To ensure this, interlinking the development of leaders and operations becomes important. Running an operations-based leader development program, which covers the operations, leadership and “me as a leader” in an integrated and structural way, does this effectively and secures:

  • Understanding of the operations and how it works as a system
  • Real challenges
  • Horizontal, vertical and circular learning – the collective intelligence
  • Dynamics of leadership in its entirety rather than a few separate pieces
  • Cooperative leadership – dialog culture
  • Trust-based steering and leadership
  • Accuracy in the organisation’s performance
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