WEEK 01 – DQ
According to Pasmore (2009) very few organizations have a clearly stated leadership strategy with no room for ambiguity; and by that is meant that the top management of organizations are required to be able to take on their task of first recognizing the direction their company is going and ensure that the leadership is sufficiently able to deliver on their strategies through problem-solving and decision-making, a sound knowledge and awareness of their operating environment with the requisite skills and capabilities. Leadership it seems to me is a prerequisite for good strategy as it is an uphill task in the turbulent business environment to make the most out of opportunities and threats (Leavy, 2014). It therefore means that organizations are to learn constantly and proactively to gain a competitive edge and succeed (Dierkes et al., 2003).
Leadership and Strategy
Marx (2013) sees strategy as a key responsibility of a leader and inseparable from his function, and leaders in organizations should formulate, implement, monitor and improve on strategies. I wonder if the leaders or senior managers within an organization are not part of the entire strategy, how such an organization would succeed (ibid.). The issue in addition includes also preparing the leaders adequately to take up this strategizing function particularly in our very dynamic business environment which will require planning, effort and investments (Pasmore, 2009). Northouse (2013) identifies the key elements of Leadership as a process that involves influence and occurs in groups targeted at a common goal. Leadership involves leading organizations that have people, social roles, values and expectations (Crooke et al., 2015); businesses are expected to do more than providing goods and services and will have to in addition deal with issues on a continuous basis such as sustainability, stakeholders management, financial viability and corporate social responsibility (ibid.). The role of a leader is complicated and delicate in deciding how to allocate resources efficiently in achieving these strategic objectives in a sustainable manner and this is why I think strategy is very important to any leadership (Vance, 1970).
In my company ENI in Nigeria, we have an assessment centre that is primarily targeted at first identifying high potential and performing employees and later developing their skills and capabilities in preparation for succession planning in their career paths. These employees are usually exposed and progressed through the company in an accelerated manner to enable them be in tune with the strategic objectives of the company and take up bigger responsibilities. I see this as akin to the relationship between leadership and strategy because employees and top managers are a strategic resource of an organization (Pilbeam and Corbridge, 2010) that can foster organizational learning, development, innovation and change in line with its strategic objectives (Dierkes et al., 2003).
In conclusion, the article by Pasmore (2009) reiterates that the synergy within the leadership of an organization will enable it meet its organizational goals. I am of the opinion that an organization should be able to design a system that will identify emergent leaders (Northouse, 2013) and position them to make a difference in line with its strategic objectives.
Crooke, M.; Csikszentmihalyi, M. and Bikel, R. (2015) ‘Leadership in a Complex World: How to Manage ‘‘The Tragedy of Choice’’’, Organizational Dynamics, 44(1), pp. 146—155.
Dierkes, M., Berthoin Antal, A., Child, J. and Nonaka, I., (eds.) (2003) Handbook of Organizational Learning and Knowledge. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Leavy, B. (2014) ‘Strategy, Organization and Leadership in a New “transient-advantage” world’, Strategy & Leadership, 42(4), pp. 3 – 13. doi: 10.1108/SL-05-2014-0038
Marx, T.G. (2013) ‘Teaching Leadership and Strategy’, Business Education Innovation Journal, 5(2), pp. 12-19.
Northouse, P.G. (2013) Leadership: Theory and practice. 6th edn. London: Sage.
Pasmore, W. (2009) ‘Developing a leadership strategy: A critical ingredient for organizational success’, Center for Creative Leadership. Available at: http://www.ccl.org/leadership/pdf/research/LeadershipStrategy.pdf (Accessed: 22 October 2015)
Pilbeam, S. and Corbridge, M. (2010) People Resourcing and Talent Planning: HRM in Practice. 4th edn. London: Prentice Hall International
Vance, J.O. (1970) ‘The Anatomy of a Corporate Strategy’, California Management Review, 13(1), pp. 5-12
WEEK 01 – DQ