As CEO, you are the one person who can launch your company’s Mobilization. But moving a great ship of state in a new direction to create and capture value is not a one-person job. Mobilizing an entire company requires more energy than just you alone can provide.
Nowhere are a CEO’s powers of judgment and discernment as important as they are here. Strategic choices are the big bets that will define the future of your company. Carve out a series of choices that the company cannot do in time, given its capabilities and capacity for change, and you set everyone up—including yourself as CEO—to fail.
Data informs decision-making. And now big data is making its way into a domain previously dominated by small data: the search and selection of C-suite talent.
For many employees, distinguishing the signal from the noise can be hard. This year’s initiatives get piled on top of last year’s, today’s executive priorities on top of yesterday’s. If you want to mobilize people to go and capture value, you as CEO have to help them tune into the signal and tune out the noise.
Mobilizing a company to achieve significant, sustainable shifts in performance is hard work. More often than not it involves transforming the organization so that it can move faster than it has before. The odds, however, are often stacked against CEOs.
Business as usual doesn’t work when it comes to Mobilization. That’s because mobilizing your company to deliver a significant increase in value is a hybrid sport. Its integrated goal: build a better business while you aggressively create and capture new value.
When IBM conducted their biennial survey of global CEOs in 2010, they found that the biggest challenge facing leaders around the world was complexity*. Six years in and complexity is accelerating—outside and inside our organizations. If complexity is the water in which we all are swimming, what can you do to help your people swim smarter and faster?
Warren Bennis once said, “Management is getting people to do what needs to be done. Leadership is getting people to want to do what needs to be done.”* I would add that, in today’s wired world, a vital part of the CEO’s job is about getting people intensely aligned behind wanting to do what needs to be done.
Once seen as a necessary, but mundane function of the business, HR leaders were the people with “soft skills”. The traits of a great CHRO have evolved again as CHROs are now at the core of the business, reporting directly to the CEO. That means new skills and abilities are required to help propel the business forward.