Human systems that drive business strategy
As everyone in business knows, for any organisation to function efficiently it needs a set of systems working co-operatively to reinforce the right things. Every business has a financial management system, designed to support its financial stability and performance. Of the many systems a typical business needs, the people and culture systems are often the least specific and evolved. The benefits of a systems approach are clear – sharper focus, more context, greater ability to plan and clear lines of accountability.
It is strange to us at Maximus that human systems are rarely effectively utilised as a critical system contributing to the strategy and performance of an organisation. We strongly believe they should be differentiated, focused, simple to understand and intrinsically valued by the leaders of any effective organisation. A focused and aligned approach to leadership directly impacts better business performance, a strong culture and helps drive accountability to deliver the business strategy. In fact, leadership is more than just a system, it’s an ecosystem with its own leadership culture.
As we work with our clients, they increasingly understand and act on the reality that leadership is not just the spine for communication, the skills to manage people, but a system above and beyond the individuals within it. Like any other system it should be hardwired into the organisation. This means taking a holistic approach to all levels and aspects of leadership within the organisation. We link leadership layers and create access and interdependencies that build the strength and resilience of the leadership and culture.
Organisations that have invested in a high-performing leadership ecosystem are able to respond faster and reorganise better in the face of disruption. An ecosystem approach to leadership is also valuable when there are significant changes in leadership because there is an underlying structure that is able to absorb some of the shock and offer the cultural stability for the organisation to recover faster.
The system your organisation could evolve to will depend on the business strategy, the make-up of your people and the best methods for them to perform to the plan. The system is intended to serve both the company and stakeholder outcomes. There is no ‘one size fits all’ at Maximus. Everything is created or configured for the context.
A 13-year partnership builds a powerful leadership ecosystem
‘Building futures and protecting what matters’. Suncorp’s purpose is a positive statement about banking and insurance. But it’s more than that – it’s a broader ethos that underpins its commitment to better leadership and a 13-year ongoing strategic partnership with Maximus.
Preparing the next generation of Urbis leaders for a bold future
The difficulty many professional services firms experience as they grow, stems from the fact that the senior people remain heavily involved with client projects. This is understandable as they are technical specialists in this work and they’ve likely built their careers on it. However, unless they migrate to greater leadership responsibilities, or surround themselves with others with strong leadership skills, the risk is that the business is growing, but also growing weaker.
Building better leaders in a resource-constrained environment
One of the particular challenges we face in working with a hospital is the many different styles of leadership at work. We’ve observed what leadership looks like in the ongoing drama of ER, scrubbed up to view it live in the operating theatres, and spent time with leaders in the hospital kitchens. Leaders in these different parts of the hospital have grown with different workplace cultures and dynamics, so their skills cannot be developed in a single, uniform way. It’s important for us to be able to shift gears and design programs tailored to each work environment.
Growing a culture of trusted leadership
Hort Innovation is the peak body for plant-based agriculture in Australia, representing the interests of thousands of growers across hundreds of types of fruits, vegetables, grains and other plant products. As an industry-owned, government co-funded, not-for-profit organisation, it’s not the usual client for Maximus, but good leadership is critical in any organisation.