How can one think about improving the quality of leadership in
an organisation other than through conventional leadership development
programmes? People who are concerned with improving organisational
performance can experience a surprising revelation when asked
to reflect on the distinctions between leadership and leadership
development. Many factors contribute to the quality of leadership in an organisation. Development programmes and processses are just one of these factors.
The question is: what are all the ingredients that comprise the
recipe, and how can they best be integrated? Personal competence
is only one of these. And the leverage it possesses on organisational
performance is relatively weak - especially if used in isolation.
The problem is that there are so many vested interests in the
provider lobby that makes it convenient to gloss over difficult
questions concerning definition and design. Many providers imply
that training and development programmes for individuals are the
sole route to improvement and the only action that organisations
can take to enhance leadership and management. The truth is that
organisations can do a great deal, instead of, as well as, and
in conjunction with, individual development. The attached chart
reveals the wide scope of the leadership agenda.
The first video in the eight-part BBC for Business series is on the subject of Leadership in Tomorrow's Company. The chart below sets out the contrasting beliefs that characterise leadership in yesterday's and tomorrow's company.
|Yesterday's leaders believe...
||Tomorrow's leaders believe...
|in building company strength around their own capability
||in building the company's capability for the long term
|in relying exclusively on their own abilities, experience and judgement
||in designing, building and then serving inclusive communities by liberating human potential
|they have few learning needs and should hide them from others
||they need to continue learning, just like everyone else, and should be open to that
|they should hold their position for as long as possible, and need to give little thought to grooming potential sucessors
||they should only retain their position as long as they can add unique value, and should develop potential successors
|a key part of their job is to hide unpleasant truths from those they work with
||a key part of thier job is to help people face reality
|they should have all the necessary ability to get things right themselves
||the potential ability to get things right lies with everyone
|in singling out shareholders as deserving of their prime attention
||shareholders will only be served if the company develops and balances strong relationships with key stakeholders
|they are accountable only to shareholders
||in the legitimate needs of all stakeholders and see themselves accountable to them
|values are of little practical use in determining what people do on a day-to-day basis
||companies need a strong set of shared values to give consistency to behaviour throughout the organisation
|espoused values set at the top of the organisation are what matters most
||espoused values and those practised in the organisation should be congruent
|in command and control
||in inspiring and enabling
|that directors' remuneration is the sole concern of the board
||that directors' remuneration is a proper concern of employees and other stakeholders