If I were a betting man, and I’m generally not, I’d take actions that will support the changes I’d like to see over the long term.  Vegas is out!

OK.  How is this relevant to leadership development and the learning strategy we set and wish others?

It seems exceptionally relevant to me as I participate in the marketplace with functional HR & OD leaders, business owners and executives.  I see the decisions they make, those they delay, and those they delegate to others.

In today’s economic and financial crisis, I see owners who have shut off the spicket when considering investments in leadership development.  Others have delayed decisions.  Still others, have eliminated some leadership initiatives, but accelerated others.  Who’s right?  Which choices will pay off today and into the future?

I don’t claim to have the answer.  Still I wonder what the smartest leaders in the capital region are doing?  Will you let me know?  Will you respond and let us know which path will help you continue the strategic journey, and what you’re willing to bet on?  A simple reply is all it takes.

Yet…if I were a betting man – here are some choices I’d highly consider:

  1. First, I’d call a meeting with my best customers.  I’d tell them how important they and their work is to our company.  I’d ask them questions about their world.  I’d ask them the relevance of what we do, and how we could partner to develop innovative solutions to new areas of pain.
  2. Second, I’d engage my executive team in the same customer dialogue, and have them all circle back to a strategy review meeting where we would collecitvely review the data from our customers, their insight and suggests.  With that, we would adjust our strategy and develop new contingency plans.
  3. Next, I’d support executives – who have never been in such a place – with executive coaches, who could help advise them and support the leadership characteristics and values that the organization claims.  They will be expected to make tough decisions, but need to make those with our customers and organizational values in mind.
  4. In addition, we’d talk about strategic choices to make within the budget, not across the board cuts as I see many making.  The key strategies must live on, but in a very different way.
  5. Finally, I would drastically increase the communication and dialouge between management and employees at all levels.  Everyone needs to be informed of what we have decided, why we have made those decisions, how long the actions will last, what we are hoping to achieve, and how they can help us row in the same direction.

Again, what do you think?  Do these make sense to you?  Let us know.