Today's leaders are faced with unprecedented organisational change and an unforgiving business environment that puts considerable pressure on a company's ability to be agile. Due to this, there's been a change in the make-up of mangers that are taking control of the world's most powerful companies.
Business strategists, those that anticipate changes in the market and advise others to act upon their insights are not leaders of strategy. True leaders of strategy build commitment, empower and mobilise their workforce, all essential facets when looking at disruptive innovations which often breed fear within a company's employees.
This Chief Strategy Officer has become the role that personifies this notion. The position is based around the execution of organisational strategies and giving a company's workforce a platform form from which to accomplish the company's goals. This means that leaders of strategy are generally inspiration figures that determine what a strategic unit does well and what can be done better.
The inspirational leader takes on increased importance when we factor in how essential pro-activeness is for today's successful companies. A reactive stance to strategy will often be ineffectual, especially in regard to a company's products and services. Market leaders are often the company's that are first to the market - in a Forbes article by Jerry McLaughlin, he states;
'Think about all the brands that have become synonymous with their function: Scotch tape, Kleenex, Xerox. It’s no accident they were also the first. Did you play with a Slinky as a kid? Slinky is a brand name but what else would you call a stretchy spring toy?'
This doesn't always mean that a company has to come up with something completely original, many of today's disruptive strategies are improvements on existing products and services. Take Netflix, a company that's rightly seen as one of the most innovative in the world - their business model is an online advancement of Blockbuster's.
Netflix is an example of a disruptive innovation that requires a management team that isn't scared of taking the occasional leap of faith.
For companies that want to be proactive in the marketplace, a leader of strategy must be present that drives the rest of the company towards innovation and positive disruption. These types of leaders rely on their ability to inspire and mobilise their workforce.