Executive Leadership, Culture, Strategy: How Are They Aligned?
Executives are faced with challenging economic conditions today with global competition increasing and the need to be number one or two in an industry or fail to keep up with the market place. This new economic environment may have a negative emotionality that can seriously reduce people’s capabilities in changing and overcoming challenging situations.
To offset the negativity associated with widening the gaps of success and failure, executives that act as leaders can manage a firm’s internal resources (corporate culture and corporate strategy) and use them as an important driving force for business success. This may be the answer executives need but may also lack the fundamental fortitude necessary to be an all-encompassing model to predict customer satisfaction, employee or follower satisfaction, and financial profitability. Executives that embrace leadership around the globe realize that they have a positive impact on corporate culture, corporate strategy, and play a critical role to achieve the best climate for implementing strategic changes that create learning and growing the organization. This effective leadership will be covered in-depth throughout the rest of the article with the main focal point being introduced here as the simple application of executive leadership.
How Can Leaders Leverage the Power of a Strategic Approach?
Leaders across the globe have found that corporate strategy is critical to business success. A corporate strategy could be the most important component of success in this ever-changing business environment of today.
Executives evaluate the success of a corporate strategy. The corporate strategy reflects the degree to which a company can expand and determine the right pathway to success. The key function of a corporate strategy is to help executives with the achievement of goals. In this context, corporate strategy is becoming the forefront of success in corporations worldwide. Success, therefore, is dependent upon how executives formulated their organization’s strategy. Thus, corporate strategy has been a focal point of the executive span of control but has not been associated with leadership enough to make it an integral part of organizational success.
One outcome of corporate strategy is to connect knowledge with other companies that want to share successes and failures. Leaders can inspire organizational members to network with more successful competitors by sharing successes to build alliances and not only enhance competition but communicate best practices as a way of keeping the highest standard of operation in the industry. In doing this, leaders implement corporate strategy to develop relationships with external environments to identify new opportunities that occur in an ever-changing hypercompetitive marketplace. Leaders, in fact, implement corporate strategy to expand the growth opportunities available to organizations that may be challenging but important to close the gap between success and failure. This leads to converting acquired knowledge into organizational processes and activities to improve or discontinue processes that contribute success. Therefore, leadership is pertinent to corporate strategy implementation and an organization’s success.
Does Corporate Strategy Really Build Corporate Culture?
Executives focus on individuals as the major source of knowledge. This shows how followers tie together so that they can impact the sharing, storage, transfer, and application of knowledge within organizations. Executives, therefore, see these connections, and the related shared knowledge and memory, as central to the effectiveness of corporate culture. Executives know that corporate strategy through sharing individual knowledge around the organization can positively contribute to building a strong corporate culture. Therefore, executives should build an atmosphere of trust and openness and use corporate strategy to convert individual knowledge into valuable resources. This will allow their organization to close the performance gap and help it prosper. The key is for executives to inculcate corporate culture within organizations so that information can be found and used instantaneously. Corporate culture enables organizations to promote the depth and range of knowledge access within companies.
Corporate culture is enhanced by providing further opportunities and information sharing. Executives can enhance knowledge sharing by providing access to knowledge, stimulate new ideas, transfer an individual’s knowledge to other members and departments, and improve knowledge capturing, storing, and accumulating, aimed at achieving organizational goals. Executives that employ corporate strategy can propel knowledge sharing in the company to generate more innovative ideas for new and demanding issues that come up in our hypercompetitive economic environment. In doing this, executives can employ corporate strategy through implementing coaching and mentoring practices by sharing experiences gained by imitating, observing, and practicing.
Executives that use corporate strategy have found that it builds a strong corporate culture by facilitating knowledge sharing throughout all levels of the organization. Corporate strategy focuses on defining and recognizing core knowledge areas, coordinating expert opinions, sharing organizational knowledge, and scanning for new knowledge to keep the quality of their products or services continuously improving. Corporate strategy, therefore, is an essential requirement of corporate culture by which knowledge is shared among people.
However, executives may lack the required corporate strategy to interact with other organizations or distrust sharing their knowledge. Executives are, therefore, clearly the right focal point for developing networking with environmental components by adopting a corporate strategy to develop relationships and interactions. The key here is to inspire their organizations as a whole to develop networking with more effective enterprises through employing corporate strategy directed at connecting knowledge with other companies. Executives are finding that corporate strategy creates a shared understanding of problems which can develop an effective corporate culture that enhances the knowledge sharing process.
Through the corporate strategy, executives can build a climate inspiring followers to share their knowledge, and facilitate the knowledge sharing process. Thus, executives can apply corporate strategy to enhance knowledge sharing among human capital and stipulate knowledge to be shared around the organization and with other companies. The following figure provides a snapshot of how leadership, corporate strategy, and corporate culture are linked in companies.
Executives can now see how leadership not only directly supports corporate strategy but can also cultivate an effective strategic decision-making process, enabling corporate culture within organizations. Leadership has a significant effect on an organization’s internal resources. Executives can also see that cultivating an effective strategic plan coupled with cultural issues requires developing leadership within organizations—not only at the higher echelons of the organization but at every level. Thus, in light of the increased pressures of the global workplace that inspires leaders to exert effective change at the organizational level, this article points out the vital importance of leadership in reshaping an organization’s internal resources to have access to more effective strategic initiatives and higher performing culture within organizations.
This article also suggests that both internal resources of corporate strategy and corporate culture constitute the foundation of a supportive workplace to improve business success and reduce operational risk. Standing on the shoulders of scholars before us, I indicate that corporate strategy and corporate culture are major internal resources for business success and support the positive impact of these two vital factors on business success.
Mostafa Sayyadi works with senior business leaders to effectively develop innovation in companies and helps companies—from start-ups to the Fortune 100—succeed by improving the effectiveness of their leaders. He is a business book author and a long-time contributor to business publications and his work has been featured in top-flight business publications.