This is a time of year when many of us will reflect on the year that’s passed and make plans for the next.
For more than seven years, I’ve had the privilege of sharing many ‘game-changing’ insights from business leaders in a column for Gloucestershire Echo and Citizen. Today, I invite you to consider, what could be a game changer for you in 2020? Here are three aspects to think about:
As we enter a new decade, what’s your vision?
Effective leaders don’t just plan tactical necessities or pursue arbitrary goals for growth. They hold a vision; a version of the future they intend to create with others.
Creating your mission and a clear vision are the fundamental building blocks for every business. This has to be constructed at the highest level among the top team. Then it must be communicated effectively, in order to be understood and relevant to every individual so that they can play their part in realising the vision.
Forming your vision is not just what to do and how to do it, but it also involves why it is important. It is an expression of purpose. In creating your vision, think five to ten years ahead. What will the world be like and what’s your part in it?
How will you innovate and ‘get ahead of the curve’?
Innovation isn’t confined to white lab coats or busy R&D departments filing patents. It’s a spectrum of activity from ‘radically new’ to fresh thinking in the pursuit of ‘better’. Indeed, innovation needs to run through as the blood of an organisation, across everything you do, to ensure success.
From the outset an organisation should consider innovation as part of its strategy. It’s about creating winning products or services, in the right markets and for the right audiences. And, doing this faster and better than your competitors. Delegates on our GAIN™ programme explore what innovation and continuous improvement means to their business as part of their leadership.
How successfully is your organisation bridging the generations?
Leadership holds the key to unlocking our untapped human potential, not least through developing truly engaged employees. Research shows that not only are firms with highly engaged workforces 18% more productive than those with low engagement, but innovation grows too. In fact, 59% of engaged employees said that their job brings out their most creative ideas, against just 3% of those less engaged.
It's common for today’s workforce to bring together baby-boomers, generations X, Y and Z. At different life-stages, with diverse perspectives and motivations, creating a culture that appreciates diversity and engages all, requires the careful attention of the leadership team.
Recent research suggests that many employees are increasingly looking towards their own employers, and businesses generally, to be creating positive societal change. What does ‘responsible leadership’ mean to you?
Finally, if I may offer my own insight, don’t get too hung up on things that are outside of your control.
There’s always going to be competition, recessions around the corner, issues with customers, cash and employees, to a greater or lesser degree. A leader needs to be visionary and this is a skill that can be learned and developed. There’s plenty of evidence of this among those who take part in our leadership development programme, LEAD™. They are developing their businesses through enhancing their leadership, growing in skills and self-belief.
The next LEAD™ programme begins in April 2020, bringing together another small group of MDs, owner-managers, directors, senior managers and partners to explore their leadership and grow their companies. Joining them could be a game changer for you and your business.