Business leaders urged to focus on developing strategy

Tuesday 28 May 2013


The UK's business leaders and entrepreneurs need to become more strategic in their leadership style in order to promote greater commercial success.

This is the view of the Cranfield School of Management (CSM), which believes company bosses need to alter their approach in order to see improved returns.

Professor Andrew Burke said that in his organisation's experience, the majority of owner-managers are characterised as artisans, heroes or meddlers.

He claimed that just a small proportion naturally achieve the ideal strategist role.

"Becoming a strategist is necessary for leaders to outline a vision in order to grow the business and effectively motivate employees," Professor Burke claimed.

He pointed to related research conducted by the organisers of the National Business Awards, which shows that 30 per cent of UK employees think their boss is only doing 'ok'.

A further ten per cent of survey respondents rated their boss as poor – reiterating the notion of how important strong leadership is to business success.

CSM explained that strategists give their managers the tools to do the job, whilst they plan for the future.

The other type of business leaders - meddlers, heroes and artisans - are too pre-occupied with other tasks and functions within the business to give sufficient attention to strategy, it stated.

Jon Thornes, founder of Cool Milk, explained how becoming a strategist revolutionised his enterprise:

"Changing my leadership style from a meddler to a strategist has been key in realising growth from 60,000 to 800,000 customers," he claimed. 

"I now work on the business instead of in the business. Initially, this involved replacing myself as managing director and then as chair. I now employ people better than myself and hold them to account for my vision, by letting them develop their team and get on with producing the results."

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Posted by Jenny Arthur