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Building a Successful Board & Senior Management Team

Building a Successful Board & Senior Management Team

Your organisation’s Senior Management Team (SMT) is a unique human resource tasked with the collective leadership of the organisation.

Effective SMT teams work together to develop the corporate vision and manage corporate resources such as capital expenditure. As such, an effective SMT is a unique resource, and an ineffective SMT can be very damaging to performance and the corporate culture.

Leadership development is, therefore, a critical activity in harnessing and developing leadership in the organisation.

Leader Development is Not the Same as Leadership Development

Individual development of leaders is often termed wrongly, as leadership development. It should be termed ‘leader development’. This is because such programmes are focussed on developing an individual’s leader skills and their individual performance. For example, a training course to develop an individual’s planning skills or a course aimed at improving an individual’s ability to delegate effectively.

Developing Shared or Enterprise Leadership

Whilst leader development is important, many organisations do not address the need to develop the collective leadership capability of the board or SMT through carefully designed leadership development interventions.

We are increasingly being asked by clients to help facilitate performance at SMT and board level, as they recognise the opportunity to develop the strategic capability of this unique resource.

We use a simple model of Shared Leadership which we term as Enterprise Leadership. This is shown in the image above.

Effective Leadership at the Enterprise Level Simply Cannot Be Delivered by One Individual

Organisations are complex and no one individual alone can effectively lead a business at enterprise level. Instead, the focus should be on building shared leadership.

Shared or Enterprise Leadership is the ability to influence and lead beyond immediate reports and to play an active role in leading the enterprise.

We provide a flexible approach to enterprise leadership development which often includes:

  • Defining roles, responsibilities and board charters. Having clarity is key to success.
  • Working with the SMT to design and deliver a shared leadership development programme aimed at developing enterprise leadership. This typically involves an assessment of Enterprise Leadership competencies followed by feedback and executive coaching.
  • Helping clients to identify opportunities to design leadership development interventions around the 70-20-10 model such as opportunities for secondment, mentoring etc.
  • Analysing the Enterprise Leadership assessment data to understand gaps in the SMT/board. This could be skills, diversity, future potential or accountabilities, for example. We then write an analysis which can be used to help address these issues.
  • Using the leadership development to help build motivation and moral.

Developing a Shared Purpose, Social Support, and Voice

The key outcomes of effective Shared or Enterprise Leadership development is threefold:

  • To create a shared purpose for the SMT who in turn lead the organisation in the design and execution of corporate strategy.
  • To provide social support through leaders working together.
  • To build a collective leadership voice which provides effective top down leadership and communicates a united vision and strategy for the organisation.

We have extensive experience of working with clients to design and deliver strategic leadership development programmes which look beyond just leader development.

If you’d like to find out more about our work simply click here to get in touch.

Matthew Davis

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