Could you imagine an elite sporting team coming together for their weekly senior leadership team catch-up and the captain simply getting an update from each of the key functional heads as to how the team was going? While the captain would be given a sound update on the mechanics of the teams performance, there would also be a great deal of discussion around the culture or key behavioural components that ultimately drive the teams success.
There are a number of functional heads who are being brought together every Monday morning under the guise of the senior leadership team, when in fact all that is discussed and reviewed is the functional progress of each divisionthe mechanics.
Senior leadership teams provide a rich pool of knowledge, talent, experience, and creativity for making organisational decisions. However, divisional business leaders can often feel like they are caught in the crossfire. Not only are they responsible for leading their own business unit; they are also expected to be committed and engaged members of the organisations senior leadership team.
Senior leadership meetings are often just obligatory appearances that have little to do with the teams roles or pressing issues that the organisation faces. Protecting ones turf, intrateam conflicts, and second-guessing is a common feature in these meetings. One major challenge is that senior executives often focus more on their individual roles and the success they have achieved. With wide-spanning roles, these executives often have difficulty pulling together to move the organisation forward. In some instances, they cannot even agree about what constitutes the right path forward. The senior leadership team should use the regular leadership meeting to focus on their shared responsibility, which is to work together to ensure the success of the business as a single unit.
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