Common Senior Team Challenges
- Given the new strategic direction, how do I ensure continued alignment of my senior leadership in its execution?
- How can I speed up decision-making while ensuring quality and enough input and engagement in those decisions?
- How do I balance the need for focus of my senior leaders on their domain of responsibility goals with my need for their involvement in enterprise-wide issues?
- How do I jump start a culture of game changing innovation as well as flexible adaptation to incremental innovation in our core businesses?
- How do I anticipate and plan for the inherent conflict that will arise from new, growth platforms to the existing business?
Effective Senior Leadership Teams are comprised of three areas: a) the strategic goals and objectives of the organization; b) the operating landscape through which the team and organization functions; and c) the DNA and wiring of the CEO.
- Strategy and Goals: Clarity, feasibility, and agreement about the company’s direction and key priorities.
- Clarity: How clear is management on the strategic direction, vision, and goals of the enterprise as stated by the leader and senior team?
- Feasibility: Does management believe they can achieve the goals and fulfill the vision and mission of the enterprise?
- Agreement: Does management agree with the strategic direction and intent of the senior team?
- Operating Landscape: Internal and external threats to the business and game changing opportunities.
- External Threats & Opportunities: Those external factors that impact success of the leader and senior team. These include key stakeholders and partnerships, perceptions of boards, shareholders and analysts, as well as threats and opportunities in the business environment such as market and customer shifts, technological disruptions, and competitive threats.
- Internal Barriers & Enablers: Enterprise-wide barriers and enablers that the senior team needs to address and/or leverage to accelerate strategy execution in areas of structure, process, and culture.
- CEO: Their DNA, legacy, and impact.
- DNA: Those stylistic traits, behaviors and perspectives that have dictated his or her success in the past and current roles.
- Impact: How the leader is impacting the senior team and organization and what shifts can be made to leverage his or her strengths and mitigate their leadership shortcomings.
- Legacy: What the leader is trying to get done that has personal resonance with him or her and over what timeframe. Issues of succession and career stage of the leader have important implications for the senior team and the organization.
This sets the context for how senior teams operate. The path to achieving high performance and accelerated organizational change requires three factors:
- Form the Structure: Forming a strong senior team by getting the right people in the right roles with the right focus.
- Norm the Process: Norming the bedrock of effective teaming with processes that ensure high quality decision making and high levels of commitment.
- Drive Performance: Performing the responsibilities of the senior team by cultivating a climate at the top that drives innovation and organizational adaptability.
The Alignment Process
Aligning Individuals, Teams, and the Organization: Aligning the CEO’s and senior team’s agenda is the most potent accelerator of organizational change. Senior teams have the ability to touch every level and every individual of an organization. We partner with our clients to drive this alignment.
Intentionality and the Decision-Making Funnel: CEOs energize their senior teams or lose their commitment based on how they engage them in the decision-making funnel.
We help CEOs hone the art of intentional leadership by:
- Creating a senior team agenda that moves the enterprise
- Knowing when and how to include their senior executives in the most critical decisions facing the enterprise
- How to make the most effective decisions
- How to execute and learn from decisions put into action
Cascading Change: We help senior team members own the change agenda for the enterprise and take accountability for their leadership impact. They learn to tie changing the enterprise with changing their individual and their team’s leadership behaviors, cascading change throughout the organization.
How We Work
Our consultants engage senior leaders, their teams, and organizations through our firm’s senior team effectiveness methodology. We use our framework to diagnose and make recommendations about:
- Clarity of the CEOs agenda
- Impact of the CEO’s DNA on the senior team and the organization
- Adaptability of senior team given the demands of the operating landscape
- Alignment of business goals with senior team purpose, accountabilities, and membership
- Effectiveness of senior team performance
Our interventions are customized based on the needs identified in the diagnostic phase.