Influencing Leadership

Section of the competency map featuring Influencing LeadershipFor example:

  • Building consensus, buy-in and ownership for corporate responsibility (CR) among senior leadership

  • Ensuring that leaders visibly lead by example and walk the talk

  • Driving cultural change and getting people to look to their manager to lead on CR, rather than the CR team

What are your Desired Business Outcomes?

  1. Getting buy-in from senior leaders

  2. Employees see leadership from the top

  3. Integrating CR through the organisation

Select an outcome, and then browse the Knowledge, Behaviours and Resources to help you overcome the associated challenges.

1. Getting buy-in from senior leaders.

For example, to get board and senior managers' support, to broaden awareness of CR among the senior management team so that they appreciate that it's about more than charitable giving and environmental management, to achieve consensus among senior leaders across the company when adopting new CR policies and programmes, to ensure leaders feel comfortable in making decisions that support CR intiatives

Challenges

Knowledge and understanding

  • Convincing senior leaders of the value of CR

  • Demonstrating the value of CR objectives – especially soft objectives

  • Overcoming strong preconceptions and finding ways to educate people on a new topic

  • Getting someone from the board to drive the agenda

  • Getting time with senior managers

  • Good knowledge of the organisation's culture,

  • norms, particular business language and politics

  • Understands the industry, business strategy and the link between the corporate plan and CR

  • Knowledge of how the business works (E.g. what

  • are the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats and how does the company win business)

  • Understands the need to listen and learn about the business as well as facilitate learning on your area of expertise.

  • Knowledge of what has worked in other companies to back up arguments

  • Financial literacy

Key CR Knowledge icon - head with cogsKey CR Knowledge

Behaviours

Resources

Achievement

Builds relationships

Change driver

Collaboration

Communication

Influence

Integrity

Organisational awareness

BITC resources

The Value of Responsible Business

The Prince's Seeing is Believing programme

 

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2. Employees see leadership from the top

For example, leaders demonstrate their commitment to responsible business practice through their actions, so CR is seen as business as normal, there is high visibility of the CEO and directors' involvement in CR, the CEO and directors understand the business benefit of CR and their role in leading on it, easy criticism of the organisation by observers who only see actions of the leaders is deflected, leaders take ownership of CR and integrate it into standard business processes.

Challenges

Knowledge and understanding

  • Winning over directors that don't see the connection between CR and good business and their role in championing it 

  • Gaining a broad and in depth knowledge of the business, enough to be challenging

  • Challenging and getting visibilty at senior level

  • Getting leaders to change behaviours and use symbolic acts of leadership to set the tone for the organisation

  • Balancing the risk of overselling something that is symbolically important but not materially significant

  • Identifying the actions for leaders to take that are significant, not just symbols (although these can be important)

  • Getting leaders to act on their promises regarding CR when the business focus turns to cost and efficiency

  • Finding ways to engage senior managers

  • Broad and in depth knowledge of the business and the operating environment, in order to ask the right questions and be challenging.

  • Understands who the decision makers and influencers are in the organisation.

  • Aware of symbols that will send strong messages to the rest of the organisation.

  • Knowing what the motivational drive of leaders is

  • Knowledge of future risks and opportunitites


Key CR Knowledge icon - head with cogsKey CR Knowledge

Behaviours

Resources

Change driver

Communication

Influence

Organisational awareness

Self confident

BITC courses

Leading on Sustainability

BITC resources

The Prince's Seeing is Believing programme

Leadership teams

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3. Integrating CR throughout the organisation

For example, to get people to look to their manager, to ensure CEOs lead the CR agenda, not the CR team/practitioner

Challenges

Knowledge and understanding

  • Getting specific commitments from managers rather than asking them to support CR generically.

  • Getting middle managers to see the benefits of CR and thinking of it as part of the business rather than an add on

  • Get middle managers to make decisions considering CR

  • Giving middle managers the confidence to take a lead

  • Understands employee motivations and marketplace expectations / requirements

  • Understands the power dynamics inside the organisation

  • Detailed knowledge of particular business processes and their impacts

Key CR Knowledge icon - head with cogsKey CR Knowledge

Behaviours

Resources

Achievement

Builds relationships

Communication

Engages others

Influence

Integrity

Operational

BITC training resource:

Driving change for CR course

 

 

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