Nowadays, for-profit businesses are increasingly realizing their long-term interests in creating positive value for the communities in which they operate. They see that organizational success depends on making a positive impact on key societal challenges such as food and water resources, poverty, governance, employment, education, disease, and conflict.
These organizations also find it necessary to understand, develop, and mobilize their leadership capabilities in new ways to be both profitable and responsive to societal challenges.
We are hearing from more companies who are asking new questions: How does our organization impact society? How should it impact society? Is our growth as a business, healthy and sustainable in a changing world? What is our business strategy and leadership strategy for creating positive societal impact?
As organizations ask these questions, they are increasingly collaborating with other organizations, across sectors, to find answers. Coca Cola, Novo Nordisk, Unilever, PepsiCo, Nestle and Nike are just some of the organizations that are taking a collaborative approach to enhance their societal impact efforts while driving profitable business practices.
Leadership Strategy for societal impact can support those collaborative efforts by exploring the organization’s implicit and explicit choices about the leadership culture, its beliefs and practices, and the people systems needed to ensure success.
What does leadership strategy for societal impact look like, and what could be the various steps in crafting one, for your organization?
In our newly published white paper, “Leadership Strategies for Societal Impact“, we offer a 3-phase approach to developing a leadership strategy:
Phase 1: Begin with discovery
A discovery process takes a close look at the realities—the opportunities and challenges—facing the organization. The process drives dialogue on the topics of mission, business strategy, leadership, society, and impact. It clarifies how these topics are understood within and beyond the organization.
Phase 2: Form a 4-level leadership strategy
Leadership strategy for societal impact requires a systemic and collective approach. This means that leadership must be developed within and across all levels or scales of human activity—individual, group, organizational, and societal, which includes external collaborators in your network.
Phase 3: Design leadership solutions across 4 levels
A leadership strategy represents a set of choices in developing leadership in support of mission and strategy. Leadership solutions are the specific means for enacting the leadership strategy. If a leadership strategy for societal impact addresses four levels of leadership, then leadership solutions for societal impact must be implemented at the same four levels: individual, group, organizational and societal.
To find out more about leadership strategy for societal impact, please read our white paper, Leadership Strategies for Societal Impact.