LeadingStrategically Capability Model
LeadingStrategically Capability Model
A capability model is a framework for understanding your sophistication in a particular competency area. The LS Capability Model divides strategic leadership into six dimensions and capability into five levels.
When you review the definitions below, you will see that the dimensions are intertwined. They are not independent. They are not meant to be.
Awareness measures two aspects of leading strategically. It measures how well you understand your company's strategy and how effectively you use strategy to lead your organization.
Company strategy can be understood at different levels. You may simply be able to describe your company's strategy to outsiders. On the other hand, you may be capable of explaining the rationale for your strategy and its risks. You might be able to say how it differs from your competitor's strategy or how the market will react to a particular choice of strategy.
Using strategy to lead is the second aspect of awareness. You might be aware that you need a strategy without knowing exactly why, you might know how to use strategy to motivate employees, or you might understand that strategy helps decentralize decision making.
The LeadingStrategically model distinguishes the different levels of capability that make up the Awareness dimension.
Awareness is a basic building block for the other five LeadingStrategically dimensions.
Alignment is a measure of how consistent your goals* are with your company's strategy and how much those goals contribute to the successful execution of the strategy.
Your goals might have a tentative connection to the strategy and a minor impact on your company's targets. At the other extreme, your goals may be necessary to the company strategy and failure to achieve them could undermine the company's success.
When your company's strategy falters, consistency with the new strategy must be established. You will either be told how to adjust your goals or be expected to find alternatives and make changes yourself. In that sense, your autonomy and responsibility are elements of consistency.
Alignment builds on Awareness. Higher levels of awareness make it easier to bring and keep your goals in line with the company strategy.
*In the LeadingStrategically Model, your goals include your personal goals, your team's goals, and your staff's goals.
The Communication dimension takes account of the discussions you have with colleagues and the content of your conversations. As we use the term communication it includes both how effectively you deliver your message and how well you listen and learn.
Here are a few examples. Regarding getting your message out, your conversations may be cursory or in depth, you may simply tell a subordinate what the strategy is and what it means to him or her, you might discuss alternate strategies with colleagues, or you might use strategy to motivate your staff. When you are looking for information and ideas, you could get suggestions from your staff, request that your boss clarify rationale, or you might get insights from your work and life experience.
In other words, there are levels of communicating strategy. The Communication dimension measures how broadly you spread your message, how complete your message is, and how adept you are at assimilating new ideas and information.
Communication is not independent of the other dimensions. For example, if you don't have a thorough understanding of strategy (Awareness), you can't use it to motivate staff and if your team sees its goals misaligned with the company's (Alignment), your message will be lost.
LeadingStrategically Communication is concerned specifically with strategic leadership. We are not using communication in the broad sense of keeping staff informed about promotions or changes to the benefits plan or the casual conversations that help a leader build relationships with staff.
Time Horizon (TIM)
Time Horizon measures the reach of your vision into the future and the breadth of the perspective you bring to strategy. Extending your vision further into the future makes it possible for you to consider more alternatives and bring more resources to bear. For example, organizational changes, acquisitions, and raising capital are usually long term options.
There are levels of capability with respect to Time Horizon. A leader might, for example, have a 6-month plan for projects but the project goals may have only a fiscal-year impact on company results, a leader might have a 2-3 year view and take into consideration market direction, share price, and competition, or a leader might believe that a merger is the best strategic approach and need sufficient time to find and vet the right partner.
The LeadingStrategically Time Horizon measures the reach of your vision in time and perspective.
Building Capability (BLD)
The LeadingStrategically Building Capability dimension measures how well a leader organizes his or her team to devise, formulate, and execute strategy. As a leader you must anticipate the need for staffing and other resources and you can make your choices with different outcomes in mind. You might hire new staff solely based on needed skills or you might hire staff with the potential for assuming more senior roles in the future. You may want members of your team to exhibit the behaviors you will need to formulate and disseminate your strategy, you may look for individuals who will work effectively together, or you may may prefer individuals who will operate independently on your behalf.
LeadingStrategically Building Capability isn't simply about hiring or assembling a team. It takes into account whether you are able to influence decision-makers and other stakeholders. A key organizational resource is the approval of colleagues. Gaining insiders' agreement is an element of the this dimension.
The Building Capability levels have to do with how well you anticipate need and organize resources to meet it. Building Capability is not independent of the other dimensions. You need a solid understanding of strategy to understand what capability you need on your team.
Engagement is a measure of your involvement in developing the company strategy and the strategy for your team or staff. A leader's role might be primarily operational or related to the execution of strategy or a leader might be responsible for developing a departmental strategy that meets a specific company need. A leader might be responsible for reviewing strategy or providing an analysis of alternatives. At the executive level, a leader might be expected to make the case for a strategy with the board or with investors.
As with the other dimensions, there are levels of involvement in strategy making. The LeadingStragetically Engagement dimension pinpoints what level a leader has achieved.
The Engagement dimension is not independent. If you make a significant contribution to the company's strategy then you certainly understand the strategy and its rationale. If you develop a unit strategy then one of your responsibilities is to make certain it aligns with the company's effort.
Click on each level to see a sample list of jobs for that level.
- Level 1: Operational
- » Individual Contributor
- » Worker
- » Staff Member
- » Associate
- » Analyst
- » Manage yourself and your own work
- Level 2: Individual/Team
- » First Line manager
- » Supervisor
- » Staff member
- » Individual contributor
- » Manage your own work and perhaps others
- Level 3: Team/Company
- » Middle Manager
- » Associate Director
- » Department Manager
- » Manage your work, and you manage people who manage others
- Level 4: Company/Business
- » Vice President
- » Director/ Senior Director
- » Division Manager
- » Senior Manager
- » Executive Director
- » Business Unit Manager
- Level 5: Strategic/Industry Leader
- » CEO
- » COO
- » Chief
- » Senior Vice President