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Currently viewing the tag: "Leadership"

TM1Enterprises worldwide face problems selecting, staffing, developing, compensating, motivating, and sustaining their key talent.  Building a sustainable Talent pipeline is quite strenuous even for large multinationals.

Replicating best practices from somewhere and applying them alone isn’t sufficient for organizations to build a Talent pipeline and achieve Competitive Advantage.  This warrants overcoming arduous challenges associated with this digital age, including:

  • Adjusting to varying dynamics in global markets
  • Handling the expectations of varied customer segments in different geographies
  • Managing the preferences of key Talent
  • Acquiring new technologies
  • Building novel capabilities
  • Achieving Operational Excellence by streamlining operations and improving processes
  • Exploring new markets
  • Devising strategies to attract, select, develop, assess, and reward top Talent.

Developing Talent Management practices helps the organizations build and retain talented people available in the job market.  The term was first used by McKinsey & Company in 1997, and it pertains to planning and managing strategic Human Capital through activities, i.e. attracting, selecting, developing, evaluating, rewarding, and retaining key people.

Executives use diverse Talent Management strategies and career pathways based on various departments, levels, and roles in their Talent pool.  Multi-year research on Talent Management practices conducted by an international team of researchers from INSEAD, Cornell, Cambridge, and Tillburg universities studied 33 multi-national corporations, headquartered in 11 countries.  The study revealed that successful Human Capital practitioners and workforce planners adopted 6 core principles.  These principles act as the 6 pillars to effective Talent Management implementation:

  1. Alignment with Corporate Strategy
  2. Consistency of Talent Management Practices
  3. Integration with Corporate Culture
  4. Involvement of Leadership
  5. Global Strategy with Localization
  6. Branding and Differentiation

Let’s discuss the first 3 pillars in detail, for now.

Alignment with Corporate Strategy

Integrating Talent Management with Corporate Strategy is imperative as the need for future Talent depends on the company’s long-term strategy.  Corporate Strategy should guide the identification of Talent required to accomplish organizational goals, since it’s the right Talent that drives the key strategic initiatives rather than strategic planning.

For example, GE’s Talent Management practices have been a great assistance in implementing their strategic initiatives.  The organization regards its Talent Management system as their most potent execution tool and has integrated TM processes into their strategic planning process.  To sustain its image as an innovation leader, GE targets technical skills as a priority in its annual Strategic Planning sessions.  Individual business units lay out their business as well as the Human Capital objectives in GE’s annual strategic planning sessions.  Significant time is spent on reviewing its Innovation pipeline, its engineering function’s structure, and Talent requirements.  To achieve its vision, GE promotes more engineers in its senior management than its rivals.

Consistency of Talent Management Practices

Talent Management practices must be consistent and synchronous with each other.  It is critical not only to invest in advancing the careers of key Talent but also to invest in processes to empower, compensate, and retain them.  Human Capital practitioners utilize various tools to ensure consistency of Talent Management practices, including Human Resources satisfaction surveys and qualitative and quantitative data on TM practices implementation.

For example, the success of Siemens is based on consistent monitoring of its systems, processes, and key performance metrics across its subsidiaries.  Every element of Human Capital Management is connected, continuously assessed, and linked to rewards.  This goes from recruitment of graduates each year, to their orientation, to mentoring and development, to performance evaluation and management, and compensation and benefits.

Integration with Corporate Culture

Corporate culture is regarded as important as vision and mission by renowned global organizations. These companies hold their core values and behavioral standards very high and promote them among their employees through coaching and mentoring.  They strive to embed this into their hiring, leadership development, performance management, remuneration, and reward processes / programs.  So much so that they consider cultural adaptability a crucial element of their recruitment process—as personality traits and mindsets are hard to develop than technical skills—and evaluate applicants’ behaviors and values rigorously.

For example, among other leading companies, IBM has a special emphasis on values while selecting and promoting people.  To ensure consistent values across the board, it organizes regular values jam sessions and employee health index surveys.  These sessions encourage open communication and debate on values and organizational culture and their importance among employees.

Interested in learning more about the other pillars of Talent Management, the various approaches to TM? You can download an editable PowerPoint on 6 Pillars of Talent Management here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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VUCA2VUCA relates to threats that people and enterprises often encounter.  The acronym reflects the constant, dramatically-transforming, and unpredictable world.  The concept originated in 1987, based on the theories of Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus.  The term was first used by U.S. Army War College to describe the volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous general conditions globally.

The acronym found traction after 2002, when it was considered an emerging idea to be discussed among the strategic leadership.  The term VUCA stands for:

  1. Volatility
  2. Uncertainty
  3. Complexity
  4. Ambiguity

The 4 VUCA challenges reflect the unpredictable forces of change that affect organizations, necessitating new skills, approaches, and behaviors to mitigate them.  The 4 elements of VUCA relate to how people view the situations where they make decisions, formulate plans, respond to challenges, cultivate change, and solve issues.

VUCA is a practical code for anticipation, understanding, preparedness, and intervention in the wake of uncertainty and confusion.  One of the biggest challenges of managing in a VUCA world involves team members who resist change.  Simply training the leaders on key capabilities isn’t adequate to avoid failures resulting due to not handling the VUCA issues properly.  What differentiates sound Leadership from mediocre management is the leaders’ ability to ascertain key elements that prevent them from adopting resilience and flexibility.

In this age of disruption, Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity are widespread.  These elements will be more prevalent across industries and enterprises in future, and if not managed properly can sap an organization’s and its employees’ strengths.

Let’s discuss these VUCA elements individually.

Volatility

The Volatility element of VUCA talks about the distinct situational categorization of people due to their specific traits or their reactions in particular situations.  People react differently in specific settings due to social cues.  Volatility describes the influence of situations on stereotypes and social categorization, which is the reason why people perceive others differently.

Two factors connect people to their social identities: Normative fit and Comparative Fit.  Normative fit is the degree that a person relates to the stereotypes and norms that others associate with their specific identity.  For example, a Hispanic woman cleaning a house does not get gender stereotypes from others in this situation, but when she eats an enchilada ethnic stereotypes emerge and the gender is forgotten.  Comparative fit relates to specific traits of a person that are prominent in certain states compared to others, which are obvious as others around a person do not have those traits.  For example, a woman in a room full of men stands out, whereas all the men are grouped together.

Uncertainty

The Uncertainty element of VUCA pertains to the unpredictability of information in events, which often occurs in the intention to indicate correlation between events.  Uncertainty is often counteracted by using social categorization (stereotypes), as people tend to engage in social categorization when there isn’t much data about an event.

For instance, when there isn’t enough information to clearly appreciate someone’s gender—as in case of an author’s name when discussing written information—majority of people presume the author is a male.  Social categorization also occurs in case of a race, when people stereotype a certain race to a particular trait.  For example, basketball players are most of the time assumed as black people while golfers are expected to be white.

Complexity

The Complexity element of VUCA relates to the inter-relatedness of several factors in a system.  Complexities due to interactions and dependencies within groups and categories bring unexpected results even in a controlled environment.  There are certain identities in individuals that are more dominant than others.  Other people distinguish these identities, make their assumptions about them, and create stereotypes.  However, complexity in a person’s personality makes it difficult to socially categorize that individual accurately.

Different categories trigger in the mind of the observer, creating positive and negative perception.  It is that positive perception that the observer is more open-minded despite stereotypes and think past the target’s dominant social trait.  Complexities in social identities cause some identities to lessen the noticeability of other identities, making the targets unnoticeable and overlooked.

Interested in learning more about the elements of a VUCA environment, its mitigation, and Robert Johansen’s leadership framework “VUCA Counterweight” or “VUCA PRIME?”  You can download an editable PowerPoint on VUCA (Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity) here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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Supply Chain InformationSupply Chain Management is getting more and more complex.  The pressure on the Supply Chain information to be made public is also increasing day by day.  With the popularity and widespread use of social media, it has become more and more difficult for organizations to hide information pertaining to supply chain practices, employees’ treatment, suppliers’ processes, or waste materials generated that could affect the environment.  Social media often publicizes negative reports on companies’ supply chain practices—its best to have a robust information disclosure strategy before anything like that ever happens.

Executives must appreciate these external forces and information transparency demands, and react proactively to build and maintain competitive advantage for their organization.  They need to be able to, first, accurately predict the data requirements of various stakeholders and then unanimously decide on the type and frequency of the information to be shared.  A reactive information disclosure strategy is less time and planning intensive, but it does limit the chances of first-mover advantage over competition.

Supply Chain information can be classified into 4 categories:

  • Critical
  • Strategic
  • Non-critical
  • Optional

Critical Information

Organizations using this information category know that they have certain glitches in their Supply Chains that could potentially be a source of criticism from NGOs and the media and may bear adverse effects on their reputation.  This includes information concerning unhygienic or inferior quality products; unfair supply chain practices; or environmental problems.

Strategic Information

Even though stakeholders do not ask for this information, this information category is considered strategic as disclosing this data can boost brand value and product differentiation.  The strategic information category is high value to the organization but is low on risks for the supply chain.  For example, in the beauty, fashion or food products industry, sharing information about organic ingredients may be instrumental in achieving product differentiation and brand reputation.

Noncritical Information

Disclosure of this information category is typically un-called for and has negligible effects on brand value.  This information category has low value for the company and has low risks for the Supply Chain.  For instance, needlessly sharing child labor data in regions with actively enforced child welfare laws.

Optional Information

This information category is a matter of internal supply chain consideration and has no bearing on the customer.  The optional information category is low value to the organization and is actually highly risky for the Supply Chain.  For instance, potential quality issues and defects in the supply chain that are identified and resolved during quality control, and do not affect the finished product.

There isn’t a one-size-fits-all strategy that organizations can adopt to ensure a viable and high-quality Supply Chain Information Disclosure.  However, the approach needs to be evolving based on individual circumstances.  Senior executives should promptly respond to public inquiries, ensure fair treatment of employees, and guarantee compliance with basic human rights to protect their organizations’ reputation.  Experts suggest the following 8-phase approach to address and improve Supply Chain Information Disclosure.

Appreciate the criticality of Supply Chain information disclosure

The first step is to analyze the forces that demand increased supply chain transparency and ascertain the importance and priority of information for the stakeholders.  Once it is established, the leadership must take actions to address the information requirements of key stakeholders.

Appraise Supply Chain data collection abilities and resource requirements

The next step is to assess the competence of the organization—and that of the suppliers—to gather quality supply chain data.  The executives should also evaluate the costs and resource requirements to enable improved information disclosure.

Determine the existing and desired levels of Supply Chain information

The third step is to ascertain the existing knowledge of supply chain information among the executives and suppliers.  The leadership needs to identify the desired levels of supply chain data collection and sharing capabilities, and invest to fill any gaps between the existing and desired supply chain data collection and sharing competencies.

Interested in learning more about the remaining phases of the Supply Chain Information Disclosure Strategy?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on Supply Chain Disclosure Strategy here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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mind - guy

Technology, Internet, growth, and globalization have metamorphosed the way we work, play, and live.  They have even changed the fundamental laws of economics.  We are living in an economy that is quite different from the old manufacturing-based economy of the 1980s.  Fewer people are now employed in the manufacturing sector, who are anxious about the prospects of being replaced by machines soon.

The “New Economy” is a term economists started using in the 1990s to describe new, high-tech, high-growth industries that have been the driving force of economic growth since that period.  The new economy is also heralded as the Digital Economy, the Knowledge Economy, the Data Economy, or the eCommerce Economy.  Top technology enterprises—including Google, Facebook and Apple—have outpaced traditional firms around the globe by taking advantage of the new economy.

Leadership Development in this age of Digital Economy is a key challenge for most organizations.  More and more organizations, today, are revisiting what they are about and the meaning of leadership for them.  It’s not about one person or even those residing at the top anymore.

MIT Sloan Management Review conducted a study of 4,000 executives from 120 geographies around the world to understand what defines a great leader in this changing world.  The study revealed striking results with most executives believed that their leaders lacked the mindset needed to produce the strategic changes essential for leading in the Digital Economy.  Enterprise-level transformation is what majority of leaders feared to embark on.

Mindsets are established set of attitudes held by someone that shape how a person interprets and responds to experiences.  A mindset arises out of a person’s view of the world or philosophy of life.  To know about the Digital Economy leadership mindsets (i.e. leadership mindsets critical to survive in this new economy), the MIT Sloan Management Review’s global study identifies 4 critical mindsets—based on in-depth interviews from executives worldwide and detailed analysis of data:

  1. The Producer
  2. The Investor
  3. The Connector
  4. The Explorer

Let’s define these first 2 leadership mindsets.

The Producer

Leaders with a producer mindset evaluate each of their customer touch points painstakingly.  These leaders exhibit a passion for producing customer value.  Producers concentrate on analytics, digital know-how, implementation, results, and customer satisfaction.  They focus on analytics to fast-track creativity.  The resulting innovation helps them tackle shifting customer preferences and enhance customer experiences.  The Producers strive to create all the customer journeys enjoyable.

The Investor

The leaders with an investor mindset make people appreciate the higher purpose they serve by their work.  They constantly struggle to instill motivation and teamwork among their teams in order to achieve their overall organizational goals.  The leaders with an investor mindset are concerned about the communities that surround them.  They look after the well-being and constant advancement of their employees, and devote their efforts to improve value for their customers.

Fostering these types of mindsets is critical to building the right Organizational Culture for an organization to be successful in the Digital Economy.

Interested in learning more about the leadership mindsets required to win in the new economy?  You can download an editable PowerPoint on Leadership Mindsets Critical to Succeed in the Digital Economy here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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Never before has Crisis Management been considered important.  With businesses being exposed to a disruptive environment, the emphasis onCrisis Management Pic2 Crisis Management has never been more profound.

“The secret of Crisis Management is not good vs. bad, it’s preventing the bad from getting worse.”- Andy Gilman of Comm Core Consulting Group

An organization is considered to be undergoing a crisis when there is a sudden and unexpected event leading to major unrest amongst the individuals at the workplace.  It is an emergency situation that disturbs the employees as well as leads to the instability of the organization.  When this occurs, organizations are expected to have critical documentation and process, e.g. Crisis Management Plan, Disaster Recovery Plan, Business Continuity Plan, etc., in place.

Crisis Management is the art of dealing with these sudden and unexpected events which disturb the employees and organization. Yet, often companies are like the metaphorical frog that doesn’t notice the water it is in is warming up until it is too late.  There are managers who either do not realize that they are in a crisis or their crisis situation is worsening.  The early signs of distress are often missed.  While they are not bad managers, these are managers that are under a set of paradigms that no longer apply and just let the power of inertia carry them along.

As a result, organizations in crisis find themselves faced with a potential cost that is greatly significant.  This can lead to longer recovery time, a direct impact on downtime, and lost revenue.

First Things First: Taking a Good Handle of Crisis Management

Crisis Management is the application of strategies to enable organizations to deal with a disruptive and unexpected event that threatens to harm the organization or its stakeholders. It is a situation-based management system with clear roles, responsibilities, and processes. In Crisis Management, it requires a crisis mindset. A crisis mindset is the ability to think of the worst-case scenario while simultaneously suggesting numerous solutions.

Being well prepared for a crisis is the epitome of Crisis Management. It ensures a rapid and adequate response to a crisis and maintaining clear lines of reporting and communication in the event of crisis.

Yet, often the organization and communication involved in responding to a crisis in a timely fashion provide the most challenge to business. Responding to crisis in the most effective way can be done by taking the 10 First Steps.

The 10 First Steps to Crisis Management

The 10 strategic First Steps are the organization’s guide when in crisis and there is a strong call toward initiating organizational change.

The first 4 steps focus on Culture and Leadership.

  1. Establish a Wide Perception of Distress
  2. Establish a Crisis Mindset
  3. Activate the Board as a Crisis Detector
  4. Change Top-Team Members

The first 4 steps will widen one’s understanding of distress and move people to actions at the time of crisis. It is at this stage that the Board will be empowered to see the forest for the trees and can enable organizations to focus on tough movers that can successfully make organizational changes.

The 5th step focuses on Change Management.

  1. Communicate a Great Changed Story

Communicating a Great Changed Story can create positive motivation to spur action towards change. When Change Management starts evolving, the organization is now ready to advance towards Business Transformation.

The 6th to 9th steps focus on Business Transformation.

  1. Integrate Trigger Points
  2. Have a Strong Cash Position
  3. Focus on Quick Wins
  4. Make Target-focused Incentive Plans

Business Transformation starts when trigger points are integrated and a strong cash position is maintained. Management can focus on quick wins to create a trajectory effect to spur actions and develop target-focused Incentive Plans to achieve a successful turnaround.

The 10th and final step is sustaining the gains through effective Talent Strategy.

  1. Retain your Talent

The final step is Retaining your Talent. It is recognizing those that can make a difference and finding the next level of talent that can create and sustain change.

Organizations can build its Crisis Management capability following the 10 first steps.  Crisis Management is not anymore a matter of choice; it has become a necessity.

Interested in gaining more understanding of the first 10 steps to surviving a crisis?  You can learn more and download an editable PowerPoint about Crisis Management: 10 First Steps here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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Staying competitive in the face of increasingly accelerated disruption can be a challenge to 21st-century companies.  Many companies have removing organizational silos picstarted to rethink and retool their offerings and operation.  This kind of transformation, however, requires a collaborative effort from all parts of the organization, no matter how different their processes, systems, and cultures have been in the past.

Often, the transformation effort falls flat due to problems that arise when disparate parts of the company fail to work together with a shared sense of mission. Most large companies have divisions, or even groups and functions within divisions, that operate in silos.  This can be for a good reason.  In the knowledge economy, professionals need to work with people who possess similar professional skills to fulfill specific mandates.  Organizational silos can exist to harness knowledge-based skills or specific job functions, or they can be geographic.  In many industries, silos are vital to productivity. But when an organizational transformation is needed, it is a different story.

Silos, during Business Transformation, mean that the very parts of our company that must work together are unaccustomed to doing so, and are even unable to communicate with one another.  They are culturally misaligned, inherently mistrustful, and territorial.  These problems can complicate change efforts, or delay or derail the delivery of their benefits.

Understanding Organizational Silos

Conventional wisdom holds that silos are flawed business construct: a legacy of command and control leadership symbolizing outmoded and inefficient management. But, in truth, silos can help establish boundaries and maintain order.

During normal operation, the positive effect of silos outweighs the negatives. However, during transformation, silos can be stubborn obstacles to creating a more effective path to growth and profitability.  Organizational silos need to be deconstructed during times of significant change to support growth.

Breaking Down Silos: The 7 Strategies

When faced with potential market disruption, siloed companies must take action and break down these silos. There are 7 Strategies to Breaking down Organizational Silos that companies must take. These strategic interventions must be undertaken to achieve change.

Strategy 1: Align leaders

The first strategy in breaking down silos is Align Leaders.  When there is a warring, competing agendas among Leadership and there is confusion among the rank-and-file about what to do day-to-day to enable organizational strategy, then this action is most effective.

Strategy 2: Create cross-functional teams

Strategy 2 is more geared towards encouraging individuals to think of the future state and collaborate.  Most often, siloed teams struggle with cross-functional problems. As such, there is a failure of individuals from different functions to successfully work together.

Strategy 3: Create clear roles and responsibilities

Creating clear roles and responsibilities is a third strategy that aims to clarify priorities and expectations. It can be a challenge when teams are confused about what are the priorities and expectations. As a result, employees do not know what to do, whom to listen to, or how to balance the demands of a day job with a new company or team needs.

Strategy 4: Co-locate teams

Strategy 4 is co-locating teams. It can be a challenge if the organization is global as well as the teams.  Often, global teams run into complexity with scheduling and limited time together.

Strategy 5: Create Joint Incentives

Strategy 5 is creating Joint Incentives.  A challenge often faced is cross-functional teams do not work well together.  When cross-functional teams do not work together, there is cliquishness that can border on high school lunchroom behavior when confronted with new team members or new ways of working.

Strategy 6: Create a “two in a box” Leadership

Creating a “two in a box” leadership is the 6th strategy. When there is a single leader, this can create political challenges.  The choice of a single leader coming from one of the silos can appear political and this can generate resistance.

Strategy 7: Clarify decision rights

The 7th strategy is clarifying decision making rights. This is an effective strategy when consensus is not reached. When consensus is not reached, there can be conflict and when there are two leaders, a standoff can result.

Understanding the 7 Strategies will enable organizations to effectively break down silos. Being able to break down organizational silos can revolutionize organizations to achieve successful transformation. This can be achieved by learning how to balance the effect of organizational silos, as well as knowing how to effectively implement the strategies of breaking these down.

Interested in gaining more understanding of how to remove Organizational Silos? You can learn more and download an editable PowerPoint about Removing Organizational Silos here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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