«Our business strategy was perfect…we have just failed at implementation».
«We know exactly what needs to be done in this market….but for whatever reason we do not do it».
«People are not aligned…we need to better communicate our strategy».
I would like to share two complementary executive development paradigms I´ve been exploring for years with clients when working on business future conversations or business strategy conversations, but also when helping them in executive and/or team development. They are based on alternative beliefs I summarize here below.
Strategy generation and executive development get different status
Executive development should be deployed just after the business strategy is generated and to support the strategy execution. The underlying belief here is that business strategy is usually generated under the “most perfect individual and team conditions” (i.e.: executive team cohesion, good emotions, presence, listening, deep inquiring, commitment, no fight for power at senior level). There is little room for learning under this alternative: strategy generation and executive development get different status, business strategy subordinates executive learning.
Executive development and business strategy should be part of the same generative process
They become allies. This second alternative is supported by two underlying beliefs:
- The quality of business strategy generation is interdependent with the quality of the co-creation process, which is strongly linked to executives ability to connect mind, heart and will. In other words, the quality of the output generated (business strategy plan) is strongly interdependent with the quality of individual outcomes (perceived benefits), which again are strongly interdependent with the quality of the co-creation process (presence, listening, exploration, etc.);
- The quality of business strategy execution is strongly interdependent with the alignment achieved between the self, the team and the business at strategy generation. There is room for learning here, whether this refers to the self (mind, heart and will), the team or the large system.
What traditional business strategy consultants usually do
While they often talk about complexity, traditional business strategy consultants usually follow the first alternative here above. They are still assessing the single-perfect leader («God») as if they were in a simple and predicted ecosystem. Complexity becomes here a “posture”, as French’s say (in Spain, we call this attitude “postureo”). Business strategy consultant’s still assessing organizations under masculine-patriarchal patterns while presenting complexity as a bad mother (feminine-matriarchal) either poisoning her Children with too much uncertainty or hurting their self-esteem by repeating they are not skillful enough to understand complexity.
What organizational learning consultants would actually do
Organizational learning consultants believe the second alternative here above is most appropriate in current times. More precisely we adopt collaborative approaches with the purpose to give birth to triplets:
- A committed individual executive, acting as container for subordinates. This is a necessary condition to become an inspiring leader.
- An executive team containing individual members and sharing a common vision. This is a necessary condition to become a high performing team.
- A business strategy container. This is a necessary condition for promoting people alignment to business strategy.
Aligning the three systemic circles
The three previous complementary containers represent feminine-matriarchal archetypes. We also follow masculine-patriarchal archetypes in the way we articulate the co-creation process (i.e. collaborative conversations) and in our commitment to produce results.
When aligning the threre circles, we see strong connection between thelearningperson from Etienne Collignon, the gender archetypes research https://geronimocoaching.me from Marion Chapsal, the Collaborative Conversations from Ken Homer and the business futures conversation www.elsentidocompartido.com from myself. We are teaming for giving birth to a joint Collaborative Leadership or Collaboration as Leadership process to align self, team and large system.
Collaboration as Leadership
For further learning, please join us at the Collaborative Leadership Workshop