Six insider secrets to implementing a successful Enterprise Leadership Culture
By Mona Mitchell, President & CEO
Enterprise leadership. It’s a buzz word you may have heard – but understanding what it really means and how to implement it in your company is the key to success in today’s competitive marketplace.
Here is a definition: Enterprise leadership is when your organization has a culture that is not functionally focused or siloed. Leaders at all layers are aligned to the goals of your organization – rather than their own individual objectives.
The warehouse manager’s dilemma
Imagine you are the manager in a warehouse, entrusted with a goal to ensure inventory goes out on schedule to customers. Certainly, that goal is important. But is it all that’s important? In an enterprise leadership culture, the answer is a resounding no.
What would you do, for instance, if you saw a defective product going out to customers? How would you respond? As a functional manager only worried about your own success, you may just ship it out, figuring customer service can deal with it later, when the customer calls and complains. That’s fair right? Definitely not!
This kind of siloed thinking is the antithesis of enterprise leadership. It is a dangerous mindset that fails to consider the larger goals of the enterprise: client satisfaction, retention, increase in market share, revenue and profitability. And here is the scary thing: one lone individual within the larger organization only focused on his/her own goals could, in fact, be setting your organization on a downhill spiral – towards profit loss, reputation damage – or worse, bankruptcy.
In short, the shipper who ships out on time – but turns a blind eye to defects or bigger issues with quality and customer satisfaction - is by no means doing enough. In fact, he/she is failing to care about how their decisions will adversely impact the enterprise.
The ramifications are serious. There are instances where over a period of just 12 months this kind of thinking has led to half a billion dollars in unforeseen costs, due to defective products being returned. Not to mention, customer dissatisfaction and significant time and productivity losses with resources being diverted to rectify the crisis.
In an organization with an enterprise leadership culture, the warehouse manager would respond much differently. He/she would:
- care less about their shipping numbers – and more that customers were receiving fully-functional, high quality goods.
- go the extra step to collaborate with their peers to help get to the root of why we were producing defective products – and help flag and rectify the issue.
- be careful to congratulate any members of their shipping staff for catching any product glitches – before they leave the warehouse!
So how do you take your organization and its departmental leaders from here to there?
Here are six insider secrets to help your organization successfully implement an Enterprise Leadership culture:
- Begin with the Executive team: As with most things, effective change begins at the top. It is your executive who drive the culture and behaviours that will trickle down through the whole organization. Ensure they are on the same page about alignment, cooperation, collaboration – and that no competitive behaviours or egos are getting in the way.
- Create an open forum for feedback: Always be open to feedback – whether from an outside assessment, management – and your employees at large. Let your team, your peers and your boss tell you what impact or influence you are having on creating an Enterprise Leadership culture and make it easy for people to voice concerns along the way.
- Plan for success: Design a solid plan with workbacks, benchmarks and timelines — for yourself and your team to drive momentum and stay on track with enterprise leadership implementation across your organization.
- Rise above roadblocks: Don’t give up the first time there is an issue with a peer – or someone does not deliver on promises. Shifting your culture can take time, so expect missteps along the way.
- Accountability matters: Hold yourself, your team and your peers accountable to their commitment to drive and successfully implement and uphold enterprise leadership principles and practices.
- Look to outside experts: With something as complex and delicate as an enterprise leadership culture shift, don’t go it alone. Be sure to seek the advice of a reputable Leadership Training organization with whom you establish good rapport. Let the experts guide your enterprise leadership journey!
Interested in learning more about Enterprise Leadership – and how to incorporate it effectively in your organization? Contact Us
Mona Mitchell is the president and CEO of ACHIEVEBLUE™ Corporation. Mona brings over 30 years of experience in facilitation, executive coaching, leadership development and business development. Mona’s passion is working with executive teams to create high performing environments that allow employees to thrive and excel.
It is through this work that Mona has released her first book "7 Elements of Strategy Execution", an Amazon Bestseller. Connect with Mona at firstname.lastname@example.org