Leaders need to be able to identify gaps and opportunities to ensure that the organisation is continually refreshed, relevant and forward looking.
As the world changes, so the organisation needs to change. Undertaking environmental scans, keeping up with changes in the sector and introducing cutting edge offerings and innovative projects and programmes is part of the leader’s strategic role. Leaders need to be able to identify gaps and opportunities to ensure that the organisation is continually refreshed, relevant and forward looking.
It needs to be a leader in its field, pushing against its limits and often being the first to move into uncharted territory. Essentially, it should be a vanguard on the front line in its field. This can involve risk and it is important for the leader to assess those risks. However, without change, organisations eventually fall into a decline that needs to be addressed urgently or they eventually close. A leader needs to ensure that the organisation is refreshed before it moves into the declining stage.
Identifying innovations, strategic interventions that are appropriate and offer challenges to the status quo are often attractive to funders as they seek new solutions to social concerns. Leaders need to ensure that the organisation is able to offer such solutions and has the capacity to do so.
Author: Shelagh Gastrow , Executive Director – Inyathelo: The South African Institute for Advancement