All of your business problems are caused by ineffective leadership: the gap between the type of leadership that success demands and the capability that actually exists and is deployed from your team; the difference between what’s happening in practice today, and sourcing, developing and utilising leadership talent that can build effective teams and sustain outstanding business performance moving forwards.
Staff turnover, skills shortages, customer dissatisfaction, loss-making sales and the endless list of frustrations that persist in your business can be attributed to numerous external factors. There are many things out of your control, however, the way in which those factors manifest internally and affect your business performance are down to you and the people you share responsibility for running your business with.
Leadership is happening, whether we spend time and money investing in it or not. People in your organisation are leading, being led and the natural dynamics of those relationships are contributing to your current success (or otherwise). So the question is, are you paying attention to how effective that leadership is, in the same way that you would pay attention to where money is being spent and the return you see on capital investments or expenditures? Where do you get that leadership insight from, and how do you know that leadership is working? How do you identify ways of improving performance through more effective leadership?
Leadership skills insights
Simplifying your leadership needs to a generalised set of skills and behaviours assumes there is either ‘one best way’ of leading, or that people expected to lead within your organisation can determine the detail themselves. We don’t think leadership is something that should be left to chance, no more so than you would leave the financial management of your business to chance.
Like most aspects of business, leadership requires some focus and effort to get it right and there are plenty of other priorities competing for your personal and collective time. The absence of time (capacity) to spend on identifying the specific leadership needs of your business is often cited as a reason for not doing it.
However, whether you focus on it or not, the way in which thoughts and feelings spill out into what is said and done is influencing how others in the business think, feel and behave. It’s happening, so you can either hope that every leader in your business is getting it right (and possibly spend time on the consequences of getting it wrong) or you can invest a small amount of time defining your leadership needs. It is simply at odds to say that identifying the leadership needs of your business is not relevant if you separately accept that leadership is a critical organisational attribute.
The magnitude of identifying leadership needs will depend on the scale and complexity of the organisation – your approach to leadership needs analysis should fit the context. However, the core principle of understanding what kind of leadership is necessary for your organisation is relevant wherever there is a social group expected to work coherently towards common goals – a team.
Our clients aspire to be market leaders and prioritise their time and effort on enabling their business to achieve its full potential, valuing data-based insights to improve performance. If you intend to assess current capability and develop leadership to help enable your business strategy, then it is worth taking some structured time to get the needs analysis right . This will allow focus in your endeavours to then assess and develop relevant capability.
Identification of the leadership skills and behaviours that are directly relevant to your business is a fundamental component of making sure you develop a leadership approach that is fit for purpose. To do that, it is useful to include a range of stakeholders in identifying your leadership needs and developing actional insights that are meaningful and have real-world application.
We are passionate about being able to apply the idea of leadership in real terms, in a way that makes sense for your organisation and has direct impact on your business performance. We identify leadership skills and behaviours that are most relevant and critical for achieving our client’s ambition. We establish if and where those skills and behaviours already exist to the extent required, and how to effectively utilise, improve or add capability where required. We use science-based methods and tools to provide actionable insight and solutions that have a measurable impact.
Blackmore Four are an independent Essex-based consulting company, offering specialist advice and tailored solutions to businesses looking to improve business performance. Our approach is based on a deep understanding of human behaviour at work and an ability to identify and address the specific leadership and organisational development needs of your business.
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