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What is Enterprise Leadership?

What is Enterprise Leadership?Enterprise leadership is one of the latest organisational performance buzzwords, and for good reason. In essence it speaks to the thought that the ‘whole is greater than the sum of its parts’. Aristotle was on to something with this philosophy and enterprise leadership applies it to the workplace.

Put simply, enterprise leadership encourages leaders to focus on organisational outcomes and working on behalf of the whole organisation, rather than only focusing on their own business unit or team.  As an analogy, enterprise leadership uses your peripheral vision (lateral view) instead of only focusing on what’s in front of you (siloed view).  Team strategies are connected to organisational goals and the organisation places priority on cross-functional operations. Similarly, team resources align to the broader organisational strategy.

The Enterprise Leadership Equation

Enterprise leadership does not dismiss the importance of individual team leadership. Rather, it encourages leaders to add ‘network leadership’ to their individual leadership. At the same time as they are producing results for their team, leaders need to be contributing to the performance of the wider organisation and leveraging the work of other teams. The combination of individual and network leadership equals enterprise leadership. In essence, all team goals are linked to organisational objectives, and teams are meeting their own goals as well as assisting other teams to achieve organisational goals. This is represented graphically below.

Enterprise Leadership Diagram_TMS Consulting

Benefits of Enterprise Leadership

In an organisation where its leaders are enterprise leaders, all business units are focused on a common goal and help each other to achieve that goal.  This is the ultimate benefit of enterprise leadership – that there are no competing priorities throughout the organisation, as each individual is contributing to achieving the same priority.  Research by CEB has shown that other benefits of enterprise leadership include:

  • An impact of 12% revenue growth for the leader’s business unit
  • An impact of 5% revenue growth for other business units
  • Teams led by an enterprise leader are 68% more innovative and 21% more adaptable than teams of individual leaders
  • Teams experience higher levels of engagement and customer satisfaction when their leader is an enterprise leader compared to an individual leader.

As you can see, enterprise leadership aligns teams and leaders such that they are working towards the same organisational goal. In turn, this leads to organisational efficiencies and generates more revenue than if leaders only focus on their own teams.

TMS is committed to growing enterprise leadership organisations. Contact us to find out how TMS can facilitate the development of enterprise leadership in your organisation.

Reference: CEB, Creating Enterprise Leaders Report 2013-2015.

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