By Jeff Brunings
Make Leaders out of New Leadership Teams

How do you get a new leadership team to make collective, strategic decisions?

Whether it be an organizational restructuring or a company merger, many organizations will face the challenges that come with creating a new leadership team. Growing pains and an unclear process can weigh down strategy and render it un-strategic.

Bringing together a new group of people is challenging in itself, but adding the weight of leadership and strategy can create crushing pressure that will hinder the success of your team. Combat these pressures by using these four steps to create a group of confident, inspired leaders:

  1. Establish Trust. Leadership teams, especially those brought together to drive continuous organizational strategy need trust; they need to trust themselves and each other. Grab yourself a copy of Patrick Lencioni’s “The Advantage: Why Organizational Health Trumps Everything Else in Business” and you’ll gain incredible insight into why transparent, honest and naked trust is vital.
  2. Create a criterion that defines what is strategic. The role of a strategic leadership team is to think and act strategically. So, you better lay down some ground rules on what being strategic really means. Consider adopting this three-pronged definition: does it address the strategic issues arising from your SWOT analysis, does it support your vision, and does it exploit your competitive advantages.
  3. Define the decision making process. How will this team make decisions? Will it be by consensus, majority vote, or a single decision maker within the leadership team? It’s only fair for the strategy team to understand what their decision-making authority is, and isn’t.
  4. Manufacture early wins. A newly established strategic leadership team needs early victories. During the preliminary gatherings, set short-term, easy to execute goals and actions for the team to complete. When these goals have been completed, communicate the achievements throughout the organization, because staff needs reassurance the team can make and follow-through on its decisions.

Newly formed strategic leadership teams have a tough challenge. They’re new at working together under the focus of organizational strategy; processes aren’t defined and expectations in individual roles and responsibilities are unclear. Don’t tackle building a vision with roadmaps until you’ve set the team up for success, first.

Jeff Brunings

With over 20 years management experience in multi-industry environments, Jeff drives customer experience by advancing the effectiveness of OnStrategy’s cloud-based platform and services.