people in office PE041

Driving “One-Company” Results through Enterprise Leadership

Target leadership development by uncovering critical gaps in transactional, transformational, and network capabilities.

Today’s leaders are required to run their businesses by performing transactional leadership tasks, such as setting objectives and goals, monitoring performance, and managing employee work through strategy execution. Simultaneously, they are required to drive change in their business through performing transformational leadership tasks, such as setting direction, inspiring others to foster change, and shaping the organization’s mission, culture, and strategy. Both are required whilst maintaining strong performance and revenue growth.

What is often overlooked, and undervalued, is network leadership tasks. These include establishing strong network performance by building, aligning, and enabling broad networks both internal and external to the organization, as well as creating a work climate in which direct reports are encouraged to build their own networks through the creation of conditions that encourage the achievement of organizational goals through innovation, collaboration, and mutual exploration of competing interests, ideas, and goals.

With the change in leadership expectations, and timeframes for success, disruption, and innovation, today’s leaders require further development to meet these new expectations. Thinking beyond the here and now and focusing on the future of the business is no longer a “nice-to-consider” approach, but critical for organizations to remain relevant, sustainable, and profitable.

Organizations need to have real-time views of their leadership talent in terms of their pipeline and bench strength for the future, but also real-time visibility on who the leadership talent is and their readiness (ready now vs. ready soon vs. ready future), but this cannot be viewed in silos. In order to have a truly effective and impactful approach to leadership talent and succession management, organizations need robust, on-demand talent intelligence across organizational boundaries.

In this blog post, I will unpack why enterprise leadership is important for organizational success, what deters leaders from becoming enterprise leaders, and what you can do to shift this. I will also share how enterprise leaders drive “one-company” results as well as enterprise leadership outcomes that can be achieved through effective enterprise leadership. Lastly, I will touch on a best practice approach to developing enterprise leadership within this context.

Why is enterprise leadership important for organizational success?

For organizations to be effective in today’s world of work, they can no longer afford to operate in silos and rely on individual business unit results to roll up into a profitable organization. There is an opportunity for organizations to be quicker to innovate and transform, create shared value, drive multiple revenue-generating initiatives and support the individual through career opportunities. This also encourages internal mobility and development, which could not be accessed or realized through individual or siloed business units.

So, what makes enterprise leaders different?

Organizations without enterprise leaders often have conflicting strategies in order to maximize their own business unit growth. These leaders also tend to deprioritize cross-functional projects as “side-of-the-desk” work and compete for resources, allocating these according to what benefits their business unit. Another challenge within these organizations is talent hoarding— the reluctance to share who the top talent is and identify which internal talent from other business units might further individual business unit goals.

An enterprise leadership approach calls for connected strategies, cross-functional coordination, and task forces to solve group-wide problems and challenges, align resources strategically, and share talent across the group instead of cannibalizing this or losing this talent externally. Despite the importance of enterprise leadership in creating sustainable organizations, many organizations continue to battle with developing enterprise leaders.

Organizations without enterprise leaders often have conflicting strategies in order to maximize their own business unit growth.

What deters individuals from becoming enterprise leaders?

  • Lack of control - leaders do not have the control they believe they need to lead their business and teams successfully (perceived loss of ‘power’ and making the shift to enabling/ delivering through others).
  • Incomplete information - leaders are uncertain about what is required to perform as an enterprise leader (unclear views of requirements of what it takes to perform as an enterprise leader or the structure/ environment not articulating/ driving this).
  • Rewards risk - leaders do not believe they will be fairly rewarded for being an enterprise leader (this could be a symptom of how performance is measured and defining what success looks like).

What can be done to shift leaders to becoming enterprise leaders?

Through directed efforts, organizations can help to shift leaders to enterprise leaders by moving from:

  • Building new leadership skills to help leaders adjust to having less control
  • Updating universal expectations through new leadership models
  • Reward leaders for enterprise leadership behaviors.

towards: ·

  • Shifting leaders’ mindsets about their roles through leadership development
  • Increasing transparency into relative strengths of peers and teams through leadership assessment and role design
  • Rewarding leaders for enterprise leadership outcomes through leadership rewards

What does an enterprise leadership approach lead to?

Organizations that effectively manage these shifts see the benefits. Following an enterprise leadership approach not only supports individual leaders and their own task and network performance but also their team’s task and network performance as well as the spill-over of this overperformance across other business units resulting in compound value creation on revenue growth.

Our research indicates that enterprise leadership within organizations leads to:

  • 68% more innovative teams,
  • 21% more adaptable teams, and
  • 35% higher employee engagement

A best practice approach: What a leadership development journey could look like

  1. Define - start by defining and understanding your leadership context and what good looks like in terms of leadership competencies
  2. Measure - measuring and assessing your leadership talent through online, unbiased, science-based assessments
  3. Benchmark – comparing and benchmarking yourselves against the identified leadership competencies relevant to your industry and sector, both from a local and global perspective
  4. Improve – identify key strengths and development areas through leadership development feedback and comprehensive development reports
  5. Evaluate – monitor and quantify success and measure leadership impact, change, and ROI

Talk to us to explore how we can support your organization in your journey.

headshot suhail ramkilawan


Suhail Ramkilawan

With over 10 years of experience, Suhail is a Global Talent Management Solution Leader and a Registered Psychometrist. He is experienced in providing data-driven people measurement solutions to answer key talent questions, and support talent management initiatives within organizations. He is passionate about utilizing technology, data and insights to inform people decisions and drive business success.

Explore SHL’s Wide Range of Solutions

With our platform of pre-configured talent acquisition and talent management solutions, maximize the potential of your company’s greatest asset—your people.

See Our Solutions