In your December board meetings, how many conversations began, "Let’s not change anything about our business next year, we’ll just hope for more of the same and tick along"?
Thought not.Well, hopefully you have had time to wind down and reflect on the year that's passed and to think about plans for this next year. At the start of a new calendar year, the desire to make progress is a natural stimulant for change, whether small tweaks to processes or major changes in strategy or personnel.
Here we share three aspects to consider at the start of this year:
1. As we enter 2022, what’s your vision?
Effective leaders don’t just plan tactical necessities or pursue arbitrary goals for growth. They hold a vision; a version of the future they intend to create with others.
Creating your mission and a clear vision are the fundamental building blocks for every business. This has to be constructed at the highest level among the top team. Then it must be communicated effectively, in order to be understood and relevant to every individual so that they can play their part in realising the vision.
Forming your vision is not just what to do and how to do it, but it also involves why it is important. It is an expression of purpose. In creating your vision, think five to ten years ahead. What will the world be like and what’s your part in it?
2. How will you innovate and ‘get ahead of the curve’?
Innovation isn’t confined to white lab coats or busy R&D departments filing patents. It’s a spectrum of activity from ‘radically new’ to fresh thinking in the pursuit of ‘better’. Indeed, innovation needs to run through as the blood of an organisation, across everything you do, to ensure success.
From the outset an organisation should consider innovation as part of its strategy. It’s about creating winning products or services, in the right markets and for the right audiences. And, doing this faster and better than your competitors. Delegates on our innovation and competitive advantage program, GAIN™, explore what innovation and continuous improvement means to their business as part of their leadership.
3. How successfully is your organisation bridging the generations?
Leadership holds the key to unlocking our untapped human potential, not least through developing truly engaged employees. Research shows that not only are firms with highly engaged workforces 18% more productive than those with low engagement, but innovation grows too. In fact, 59% of engaged employees said that their job brings out their most creative ideas, against just 3% of those less engaged.
It's common for today’s workforce to bring together baby-boomers, generations X, Y and Z. At different life-stages, with diverse perspectives and motivations, creating a culture that appreciates diversity and engages all, requires the careful attention of the leadership team.
Recent research suggests that many employees are increasingly looking towards their own employers, and businesses generally, to be creating positive societal change. What does ‘responsible leadership’ mean to you?
Finally, if we may offer our own insight, don’t get too hung up on things that are outside of your control. There’s always going to be competition, dips in the economy, issues with customers, cash and employees, to a greater or lesser degree. A leader needs to be visionary and this is a skill that can be learned and developed through enhancing their leadership, growing in skills and increasing their self-belief.
Injecting ‘newness’ and fresh thinking can help us all to see a challenge from a new perspective, and that’s one of the huge benefits of participating in LEAD™, GOLD™, GAIN™ and LEADlight. The opportunity to share knowledge & insights with other business leaders, many from different sectors, is rare but has consistently proven to be fruitful for our Alumni.
So when you plan the agenda for your next board meeting, try adding ‘fresh thinking’ as an agenda point, tell your colleagues about what we do and decide who will join one of our programs. The next LEADlight program for junior managers starts in March, and our senior leadership program, LEAD™, begins after Easter in April. All the programs bring together like-minded business people. Joining them could be a game changer for you and your business.
If you'd like to talk to us about our training and development programs, please get in touch with Jo Draper here.