Nested problems, nested solutions (8): the leadership and ownership problem

This is part of a series thinking through the different layers involved in solving real-world problems. It’s a sketch of ideas in process.

The final layer of the onion is about leadership and responsibility for the whole organisation: setting tone, maintaining or correcting course, and thinking about what needs to happen next to grow it has a healthy, impactful and sustainable entity.

This layer is about empowering and managing the managers, and is often shared somewhat vaguely between a CEO or leader, a founder or owner, and the organisation’s board.

It’s about spotting needs before they become urgent and acting accordingly, identifying funding and training needs and doing what needs to be done to meet them.

Leadership is critical here because probably the most important role in “managing the managers” is to maintain and strengthen the values and vision of the organisation.

This layer is also about ownership. We aim to foster ownership of the organisation’s goals at all levels, but ownership at lower levels won’t matter much without a strong sense of direction and a determination to keep things going – and to make things better – at the top.

If you want to build a strong organisation for the long haul, you probably need at least three people with the skills and sense of commitment to operate at this level.

I'd love to hear your thoughts and recommended resources...