Let’s Talk About…Strategic Leadership & Engagement

An organisation is not an inanimate ‘thing’ – it is a collection of living, breathing, thinking human beings who need a purpose to what they do.

Every organisation should have a culture and a strategy in which all employees feel invested and involved, and an organisational design that supports this. If you don’t tell your employees the ‘big picture’ of where you want to go, how can they work with you to get there? This requires real strategic Leadership – not just from one person at the top, but throughout the organisation – and effective Strategy, supported by various Learning & Development, Communication & Engagement, and Performance Management processes.

Organisations need to recognise that they employ people: real human beings, and all that comes with that. Businesses should develop – and benefit from – their people in the most effective ways possible, for everyone’s gain. Impose a limit on the dispatch of staff to endless, generic training courses as the backbone of a ‘development’ plan, I say! Give employees the opportunity to dig deep to create their own tools for handling difficulty and change; to bring their full selves to the workplace, understanding how all aspects of their existing skill and personality can contribute to organisational momentum. Find and define their talents – and then use those talents. In other words, coach!

Every organisation should have a clear vision and accompanying core values, with which staff can engage so that the operation can truly live and breathe. Employees need to be involved in the design of these Values, and they must be actively discussed and periodically revised, so as not to feel like hand-me-downs to staff arriving later. This permits self-motivation – a push from below, rather than a pull from above.

Junior management need support in finding their feet – and their voice – as they commence their rise through the ranks (promotion fears, post-promotion changes in peer dynamics…), and that this support is often best provided by a non-line resource to whom they feel comfortable admitting their perceived weaknesses. Coaching is the perfect solution for quickly building strength in an organisation, underlined by a display of investment in the individual by the company and a feeling of focused responsibility on the part of the employee (unlike training, which tends to be forgotten once we leave the room).

Middle, Senior and Executive management need to take time to ‘step out’ of the mechanics of their business to maintain regular focus on the bigger picture, ongoing strategy and meaningful leadership. A coach is the perfect aide in facilitating the required ‘thinking space’ whilst encouraging momentum and challenging negative thoughts – whether you prefer a coach experienced in business, or a coach who knows nothing about your world and asks truly open, ‘human’ questions about what he or she is hearing, is entirely up to the coaching client. Both work well.

Almost every person within the four walls of an organisation has a topic suitable for coaching. Ireland is lucky enough to have several major international companies on our shores, and so we are lucky enough to have experienced modern Human Resource Management & Development approaches earlier than many other countries – many have become familiar with coaching as a development tool in the past 10 years. Long may it continue. Coaching serves to enhance an employee’s personal path within the organisation, via enhanced understanding, sense of direction and focus. This then leads to a smoother path to the achievement of business goals by an engaged and positive workforce. And who doesn’t want that?


Interested in investing in your own personal – and personal strategy – development? Check out www.MyStrategy.me!