Mesmerized by industry innovators like Google, Apple and Uber, business leaders of all sorts want to become "disruptors" within their respective industries. Easier said than done!
Interestingly, the key to unlocking the kind of breakthrough thinking needed to support an aggressive agenda of innovation lies with the leadership and culture of the organization. These are the only elements that can be leveraged to differentiate a firm from its competitors and enable the possibilities required to disrupt an industry.
Why does it come down to leadership and culture? The answer is simple, leadership drives behavior, behavior establishes culture. It's that simple! So, here are some basic questions to begin to ask yourself about your organization. The answers to these questions will establish the platform from which to disrupt.
1. What are the leader attributes required to drive transformation to achieve your Vision?
2. Which of the attributes do you believe are strengths among your mid-tier management?
3. Which of the attributes do you believe are weaknesses among your Leaders? How would you begin to transform the weaknesses into strengths?
1. How is the current culture (beliefs, behaviors, assumptions) facilitating or hindering movement of your teams towards achieving transformation objectives?
2. How are definitions of responsibility, decision-making, and structure facilitating or hindering movement of your teams towards your Vision?
3. How do you navigate competing internal priorities and drive innovation?
On Transformation and Change
1. Do you feel your organization is agile enough to be competitive? Can you move at the speed required to drive change with velocity? If not what needs to be done to increase agility?
2. What is your approach to drive transformation for enhancing the customer experience?
3. What is your strategy to move your team to optimize its interactions with its internal customers?
On Talent and Development
1. Do you think that attracting, inspiring, retaining and deploying top talent is a priority for the firm? What are you doing to facilitate that?
2. How do you develop your team, engage and develop junior levels, show you care?
3. How do you mentor staff to build high performing and diverse teams?
On Client Relationship, Opportunities and Innovation
1. How do you innovate at the firm?
2. How does the firm influence its industry? What more should be done?
3. How do you inspire entrepreneurial thinking and behavior?
On Breaking the Current Paradigm
1. What 3 things should the firm stop doing to enable to achieve your vision?
2. What 3 things should firm do to enable its leaders to accomplish transformation objectives?
3. What keeps you up at night when thinking about the state of your organization? What are you doing about addressing those concerns?
To close, it is important to recognize that these questions are only the beginning for your journey towards creating a culture that can innovate and disrupt. The "fun" begins when an organization commences the hard work to transform. As always, please reach out to me directly if you would like a sounding board to assist you in your efforts.