Leadership Capability


In this article written by an expert in the field of Workplace Culture, Mary Buckley, the Managing Director of Culture by Design discusses leadership capability below.

Leadership Capability – taking the purpose of Leadership to a whole new level of excellence.

Are you achieving excellence in the world of individual leadership? Great! Now it is time to take your leadership approach to the next level by developing a Leadership Capability profile at the organisational level.

What is Leadership Capability & why is it important?

Many organisations out there have invested heavily in ensuring their people leaders receive individual leadership development, which supports leaders to feel confident and equipped in their role of leading a functional team. Great! What doesn’t happen often enough though, is where an organisation takes the time to examine and identify what kind of leadership is strategically required across all tier levels of leadership and then bring this leadership to life. In other words, what kind of leadership does the organisation itself need, to ensure a high probability of success in what the organisation is attempting to achieve at a strategic level. Leadership capability is all about ensuring that there is consistent leadership language, expectations, and behaviours all aligned to strategic objectives and across all tiers of leadership, which enables all employees to receive a

predictable leadership approach. The power of aligning all tiers of people leadership (not just the senior Executive team) is simply formidable, creating organisational-wide clarity, direction and meaning, and yet for many organisations out there, they are sadly not realising this untapped potential.

Determining the bespoke purpose of Leadership Capability at your organisation

So where to start in examining and identifying your bespoke Leadership Capability requirements. It begins by exploring the organisation’s core anchors, that is, your company core purpose, what your organisation aspires to be and the resulting strategy for your business. When you understand these key anchors, you are in a good position to start analysing what kind of leadership would make sense for your organisation and it is through this analysis, you can create your own bespoke Leadership Capability profile.

Aligning Leadership Capability to core anchors enables a better leadership fit.

By aligning your organisation's Leadership Capability profile to your core anchors, it will enable you to think a lot more intelligently about the actual purpose of leadership at your business and which key leadership elements are required to create the ideal leadership culture and climate. Additionally, identifying the bespoke leadership culture and climate you want to create in your organisation will enable you to significantly increase

your ability to recruit and develop people leaders that are a strong cultural fit for the business.

Ability to deploy & cascade clarity throughout the organisation

Once your organisation has developed its Leadership Capability profile and is clear on what the organisation requires in its leadership model to provide clarity and direction, existing and future leaders can be developed into the bespoke leadership model. When this happens, there is a much higher probability that all functional teams will receive a crystal-clear, cascaded understanding of an organisation's core purpose, and future direction by-way of all leaders communicating the same messaging and expectations. With this clarity and direction in place, people will have much more meaning in their jobs and role responsibility, and as a result tend to experience a lot more job satisfaction because they know that they are a part of the bigger plan and the individual / team part they play in this bigger plan.

Benefits of smarter, more focused Leadership Development initiatives

Having a clear view of the required bespoke Leadership Capability across all tiers of leadership enables the organisation to think more clearly about focussed investment in relation to intelligent leadership development initiatives. In addition, it stops the age-old problem of placing people in leadership roles without them firstly receiving the appropriate leadership development to ensure proper, fit for purpose leadership skillset, which is required to be successful in their leadership roles.

It is so important for any organisation to recognise that being a leader does not just mean daily management of operational tasks. Intelligent leadership also includes leading the clarity of the organisation's purpose, vision, and strategy, setting the standards and values for all team members, and providing an environment of personal development and ongoing coaching. In addition, having a leadership toolkit of skills, knowledge, and abilities (in line with your bespoke Leadership Capability profile) to develop each team member will enable each leader to delegate more to their functional team members. This in turn allows for leaders to step up, and for team members to stretch their current capabilities and excel beyond their present job description. Creating opportunities for your leaders and team members to step up will undoubtedly lead to a higher level of discretionary effort, enjoyment, with greater efficiency and strategic focussed productively in the workplace.

In a nutshell

Establishing a bespoke Leadership Capability profile will fundamentally support any organisation to lead successful strategy execution of core anchors. In addition, workplace culture starts and finishes with having fit for purpose leaders and investing in the design and development of a bespoke Leadership Capability profile, which helps to identify fitting leaders, takes your organisational leadership to a whole new level of excellence.

Once you are clear on your profile, it's all about bringing it to life through a bespoke leadership development programme. It’s important to note, that when developing your leaders according to your Leadership Capability profile, where possible, bringing your leaders together in person for this

type of development has a huge impact on the success factors of the learning and development initiative.

Leadership can be a tough, dauting, lonely place and smart leadership development initiatives include, allowing safe space for leaders to learn from other leaders and this is difficult via an individual on-line learning platform. On-line learning platforms definitely have their place in the world of learning & development concepts, just not when it comes to leadership development. It is crucial that you can get your leaders in the same room so they can share their experiences, fears and leadership aspirations and together learn through skilled facilitation, on how to create an inspiring workplace environment, which includes aligned, bespoke leadership behaviours, language and expectations.

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