The economic news these days does not induce a lot of smiles. I was at a presentation last night given to members of one of the associations I manage about economic indicators, and the analyst joked at the beginning of his presentation that there was an 85% chance that people would cry during the presentation (the projection was flat and down for the rest of 2011 at least).
As a strategy guy, when faced with news like this, I start to think about business models. Is the association that I manage embracing a business model that will work in an environment of flat growth or decline? We obviously made adjustments over the last few years of decline, but did we shift the model enough? Or were those just designed to be temporary shifts? I have the same questions about my own consulting practice?
But this kind of thinking is not only applicable to business strategy. What about leadership? Whether we make it explicit or not, we all have a “business model” of leadership. We have assumptions about what leadership is, how it works, and what our own individual roles and responsibilities are in contributing to leadership in our organization.
How often do we shift our views on that? Is leadership timeless? Do all situations call for the same approach to leadership? It’s not necessarily limited to changes in the economic landscape (though those are relevant too). What about generational shift? What about leadership in a small organization where you have significant turnover and bring in new personalities? What about when you get a new boss? All of these situations can require you to shift your leadership business model. Are you doing that?