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Successful Leadership Strategies

Layne McDonald. Ph.D.

I cannot give you the formula for success, but I can give you the recipe for failure: Try to please everybody. - Herbert Swope

Ensuring Successful Analysis by analyzing the operating environments regularly, and additionally when significant changes occur; using legal and ethical means to gather information; using experienced specialists to collect and analyze the data; using an appropriate range of information gathering tools and techniques; gathering information from a proper degree of sources; ensuring that forecasts, trends, predictions, are supported by sufficient evidence. The aim is to conduct an analysis that provides the organization with a clear picture of the current environment in which it runs and a forecast of impending changes. This will enable the organization's leaders to amend existing operational aims in response to the findings on the current situation and longer-term plans in preparation for the predicted changes. A thorough analysis should be conducted at least annually, with quarterly reviews. This will ensure that the organization's leaders are always fully informed and equipped with information that will enable them to respond appropriately to organizational changes.

Analyzing The External Environment by finding the components and the boundaries of the external environment in which the organization runs; considering the current political, economic, social, technological, and environmental situation; gathering proper, sufficient, dependable, and valid information; finding and evaluating trends; evaluating the impact of current influences on the organization; forecasting the impact of potential changes on the organization. The aim here is to gather the information that highlights or predicts changes in the world in which the organization runs. Thousands of local and international influences and forces affect the organization. Indicative examples include demographic, cultural, and social behavior changes, leading to changes in customer markets and buying patterns. Another example is a potential or forecast change in a technology that could end demand for specific products or services. Gathering and analyzing this information is critical for almost any organization of any size and sector.

Evaluating Competitor Behavior by finding current and potential competitor organizations; gathering correct information on current and forecast competitor activity; evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of individual current competitors; considering the potential impact of new entrants or changes in competitor behavior. The purpose of this is straightforward. Competitors are, by default, competing for the same customers, and if they are worthy competitors, they will conduct the same type of analytical activity and respond to their findings. Competitor activity can be a vital part of the information gathered, as it shows how similar organizations are responding to current and forecast changes.

Considering The Needs of Stakeholders by finding all stakeholders within and outside the organization; evaluating the importance of support from each stakeholder group; consulting with stakeholders to see and understand their needs; explaining to stakeholders the organization's strategies and values; resolving conflicts and misunderstandings through discussion. Stakeholders include operational staff, managers, trade unions, shareholders, suppliers, customers, clients, sponsors, funding organizations, partner organizations, local government departments, and regional or national media. There can also be sector-specific stakeholders, such as relatives of patients, in the hospital sector, residents affected by major construction projects, or parents of schoolchildren. This activity aims to ensure that the needs of the stakeholders are known and that their views are considered.

Evaluate The Internal Condition of The Organization by analyzing the organization's current internal condition and reviewing strengths, weaknesses, opportunities, and threats. The aim is to build a detailed picture of the organization's current state of inner health. This should be comprehensive, looking at all internal aspects of the organization, including, for example, the physical location(s) in which it runs, condition of buildings, equipment, vehicles, plant, funding, operational performance, recruitment, retention, training and development, policies, procedures, products, services.

Adjusting Current Strategies, by considering the findings of the analysis activities and then evaluating current strategies and direction against these; consulting with specialists and key stakeholders about the proposed changes; adjusting current plans and strategic aims or replacing them with new ones; implementing a management system that will check, control, and adapt where necessary, the new design. The aim here is precise. To survive, the organization must have in place a proper system. Unless strategic direction, specific plans, and related purposes are regularly evaluated, kept, and adjusted, the ability to compete will deteriorate, and eventually, the organization will fail. To survive, the organization must have in place a proper system. Adjusting Systems and Structures by evaluating the appropriateness of the current systems and structures in meeting the demands of the new strategies; consulting with all affected stakeholders on proposed changes; planning and implementing changes to operational, quality, and cultural systems, policies, procedures, and structures; implementing procedures to check, control, and adjust these, as necessary. This purpose is to implement a proper infrastructure to support the new strategic and operational aims. Unless this infrastructure is compatible with and supports the achievement of these aims, the strategies will run into difficulties and certainly fail.

Adjusting Current Operational Objectives by adjusting operational aims and activity in response to the changes in strategic direction; implementing a proper quality assurance management system to keep operational quality standards; implementing procedures to check, control, and adjust functional activity and aims, as necessary practical, exceptionally highly damaging, if not fatal, to allow available training to continue unchanged when the strategic direction and purposes of the organization have changed. The action must support and help achieve the strategic dreams.

Adjusting Personnel Capabilities by comparing key individuals and teams' current and potential performance capability against the forecast performance requirements; improving personnel capability by re-training and developing where proper; replacing individuals and groups where necessary; implementing an individual and team appraisal and creating a system. This activity aims to ensure that, at all levels, the best possible individuals and teams are in place to support and help achieve the organization's goals. Without the right people, the strategies will fail.

In Summary: analyzing the environment in which the organization runs are the most critically important activity that the organization's leaders undertake. The leaders' sole purpose is to ensure that the organization takes the most proper strategic direction and is equipped with the best resources to achieve its aims successfully. High-quality information is critical to the organization's success, and information about the organization's future changes and challenges is the most valuable.

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