Strategies for Executive teams

Management Team, Senior Leadership Team, Executive Leadership Team


The function of an executive team is often misunderstood. They are there to lead, not to manage and need to spend most of their time engaging inside and outside the business to understand both the needs of customers and staff – or they risk becoming disconnected from reality.

Their role includes working as a team, setting strategy, identifying opportunities, encouraging innovation and setting the tone for the whole global organisation.

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Overall Corporate Performance and Balanced Scorecard

Maximising corporate performance can be achieved through aligning all departments to the end-to-end delivery of services.

This requires a high degree of collaboration and cross-functional working with a common mission.


Corporate Strategy and Direction

Best developed with input from the top and bottom (all staff): making it easy to implement, coherent, sensible and meaningful to all staff. Strategies are theory and should be piloted to be tested with real feedback.

Managing Key Stakeholders

Bring them into the party and involve them early and often in exploring changes and give them a clear role in influencing change.

Make it clear they don’t make the decisions but they are consulted and their input is valued. Maximise face-to-face interactions and minimise heavyweight reports.


Corporate Culture

Culture cannot be engineered, it is an emergent property.

What can be engineered is an environment that encourages the desired culture with meaningful rewards – credit, responsibility, autonomy and rapid promotion are more important than money. Culture changes needs to be led from the top by example.


Communication and Reputation

Communication is principally about listening (internally and externally) rather than broadcasting messages – it should be an interaction.

Engagement with people face-to-face is far superior to other media. Good reputations are founded on listening, rapidly responding and follow-through.


Value Delivery & Growth

Of course revenue and profit matter, but long-term success is created on the back of a deep understanding of how the business creates and delivers value and where its sources of growth lie.

Executive teams need to look well beyond headline reports to discover this and must play a highly active and visible role in teaching the whole business what they learn.


The executive need to unite the enterprise across functional boundaries. This makes sure that overall corporate objectives are fulfilled and not lost in local considerations within departments or divisions.

The key is to line up the whole business working together to deliver the best end-to-end services to customers. That means reminding each department that it is part of a bigger whole.

A mature executive must have a firm grasp of how the business operates. That means spending time on the shop floor learning the different roles and what the challenges are – challenges which keep changing. No executive should be too proud to do this, it sets a great example. Relying on reports and staff for second-hand information is dangerous and leads to an executive team who no longer understand how the business works and will them make poor decisions despite their best intentions.

Developing a detailed strategy will also depend on local circumstances. I’d welcome the opportunity to work with you to define a specific approach to your team.

Posted in Leadership, Strategy.

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