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The Inside Edge

December 2014

Thinking like a Leader and acting like a Director

Hi <<First Name>>,

So you have started your own company or joined a board of directors?  You want to make sure you are thinking about your role insightfully and decisively. 

This following article will help you to focus your thinking – maybe even encourage you to find out more and join a professional director organisation.

Warning: this article is no substitute for professional training.

Regards,

Greg Pritchard
LEAD N EDGE Consulting
0411 671 030

 

Leading Communication


No matter the size of the organisation in which you have accepted a director’s role, you want it to be successful and the way in which key relationships are managed will contribute to success. Ask the following of yourself and others.
  • What is the evidence that the strengths of board members are being utilised?
  • Are all directors being engaged and their views sought prior to key decisions?
  • Does the language around risk, opportunity and strategic priority inspire action?
  • Are internal relationships with the CEO and the CFO also being leveraged to manage risk and compliance issues?
  • If the company is just you (or just you and a partner) are you methodically planning effort around risk, strategy, opportunity, accountability, critical relationships, sales and cash flow?



 

Leading Edge


The choices you make about how / where you want to be extraordinary will drive customer traffic and your bottom line.
  • How is your organisation identifying and utilising its market advantages?
  • Which key partnerships are being created to further develop a competitive edge?
  • Where / how are the priority opportunities being identified and developed?
  • Are resources realigned regularly and dynamically to pursue opportunities?
  • Have you implemented your top 3-5 initiatives to create your competitive edge?
  • Constantly ask, ‘what is our edge and how do we leverage it?’



 

Leading Strategy


Successful organisations know where they are heading and how they are getting there by ensuring work on any given day contributes to both performance and strategy.
  • Is there evidence that strategic directions are driving decision making?
  • Is the organisation’s trajectory evident by the way resources are allocated?
  • Does your CFO or accountant ask questions about resource allocations to challenge expenditure not aligned to purpose? 
  • Is reporting organised around key strategic drivers to align decisions and purpose?
  • Does the board regularly review strategy and devise KPIs to drive strategy?
  • Are KPIs monitored including non-financial KPIs like customer satisfaction?



 

Leading Tactics


Manage risk conversations around choices so that options are considered ahead of the pressure of implementation.
  • Create and regularly utilise processes to assess organisational health.
  • Document risks, potential crisis situations and the steps to avoid them.
  • Create prevention strategies around disruptive technologies, like cyber risks.
  • Create performance plans, development plans, succession plans around executive roles.
  • Manage conversations to avoid bias and self interest in favour of conversations that foster the level of growth and strategy reflected with strategic directions.


Summary




These suggestions will prompt thinking about the importance of company director roles.  To be effective, a company director requires a focus on compliance and on strategy – along with abilities to read and research, ask searching questions and build quality relationships that get results inside and outside of the board room.

Please click here for further reading.

A Sound Diagnosis


A six year old boy goes to the hospital with his grandmother to visit his Grandpa.
When they get to the hospital, he runs ahead of her Grandma and bursts into her Grandpa's room.

"Grandpa, Grandpa," he says excitedly, "As soon as Grandma comes into the room, make a noise like a frog!"

"Why do you want me to make a noise like a frog?" Grandpa replied.     

"Because Grandma said that as soon as you croak, we're all going to Disneyland."
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