Center for Behavioral Excellence – Talent Transformation
Strategize Your Way Up
“We can’t solve problems using the same kind of thinking we used when we created them” Albert Einstein
In 2015, Price Water House Coopers (PwC) conducted a study of 6,000 senior executives using a method of research developed by William Torbert of Boston University and David Rooke of Harthill Consulting. Open-ended questions were asked to the executives, their responses were analyzed to determine which type of leaders were the most prominent. According to the analysis, “Only 8% emerged as “strategic thinkers and leaders.”
However, we have many leaders who are working to increase this percentage of strategic intent in people.
Indira Nooyi Chief executive of PepsiCo believes in giving her team the leadership charge of key impactful projects, she makes sure the team goes through a variety of real time learning experiences. This leads to phenomenal visibility and strategic idea generation.
Steve Jobs –the late Leader of Apple, created a fantastic climate for his team to think strategically. He gave clear objectives to his leaders and made them think about the future yet being focusedin the “here and now moment”.
In today’s volatile and ambiguous world, it is important for all of us to think and lead strategically. Let us see how some of the key strategic quotients will help in strategic thinking and leading:
1.SBQ – Strategic Big Picture Quotient:
To improve the quotient in strategic thinking and leading, it is important for the leader to understand the big picture of the organization. The leadercan apply the 5W and 1H methodology and ask key questions to align with the big picture of the organization to think strategically.
Some of the questions could be:
Why does the organization exist?
What do we want to achieve?
Who are our competitors?
Where do we want be 5 years later?
When do we make the profits?
How do we connect with our stakeholders?
The clarity of the big picture helps the leaders to think strategically and take futuristic decisions.
- SNQ – Strategic Network Quotient
Strategic Leader needs to build the network internally in the organization as well as externally with key stakeholders. The saying goes “Network is your Net worth”. The external network will give a lot of visibility to understand the current technologies and the trends in the industry. It might open up new avenues of strategic direction for the organization. It will also help the leader learn about what is new in the market. Networking has to be one of the core strength for being strategic.
3.STQ – Strategic Time Quotient:
The leader has to balance and increase his strategic quotient time to focus in strategic thinking. The operational demand of daily tasks and routine will always be there and pull them away from thinking strategically. It is important to allocate time to read the market, build your knowledge, and focus on activities that will affect strategically both internally and externally. Every leader has the same 24hrs, but how they utilize their time makes a huge difference to the team and organization.
- SCQ – Strategic Change Quotient:
Leaders of today are living in an era of disruptive changes affecting their industries. They need to be vigilant in anticipating these changes. There are many examples of leaders in organizations like Kodak, HMT who did not anticipate or embrace the change and the organization had to facethe consequences. In contrast, the leaders of organizations like Google, Apple, and Teslaare thriving, riding the change, continuously anticipating and embracing the disruptive changes; they are willing to analyze, takethe risksand connect with the latest global trends. To build a strategic future,the leaders need to become the positive change agents from the mind and heart.
- SPQ – Strategic People Quotient:
People are the major asset of an organization; they make or break the success of the organization. The leaders need to create an environment of building their people. They must focus on the key competencies in alignment with the strategic long-term intent of the organization. The leaders should tap into the wisdom of the team to generate ideas by focusing bothon short and long term. They must listen louder to the team’s views and communicate the strategic direction of the organization. They should create a comfortable environment for people to question the status-quo.
- SRQ – Strategic Road Map Quotient:
The leader needs to lay the roadmap to achieve the long-term strategic goals. It is about not only the roadmap, but the major challenge lies in planning and executing them.They need to be clear about the vision and the mission of the organization. The leader needs to communicate the same to the people and create a collaborative environment to execute the plan and achieve the vision and the mission. They need to forecast the future and proactively be ready to handle the obstacles.
Finally. If you are the captain of the ship sailing smoothly, you should be prepared to face the storm, thunder and the rough seas and be able to guide the ship to its destination along with the team. The strategic journey is full of learning with failure and success. For a strategic leader the learning never stops…
The author – Ashfaq Khan Ghori is Consultant with Centre for Behavioral Excellence, Talent Transformation at Wipro Limited
Disclaimer: The views expressed in this post are mine and my employer does not subscribe to the substance or veracity of my views