The Leadership and Design “Blueprint” is a flexible framework that helps leaders design, build, and lead the organization they really want. Leaders today face increasing demands from a variety of stakeholders. The challenge is to figure out ways to create value for all the key stakeholders without taking from one to serve another. Pressures from stakeholders combined with increasing competition and advances in technology provide many dilemmas but many opportunities for the organization designer. We must get beyond the attitude of a zero-sum game and self-serving functional silos and create organizations with integrated and aligned systems and a culture of service. In other words, we need leaders who can design organizations that create value for multiple stakeholders.
Leading the journey to sustainable excellence requires the combination of leveraging the forces and facilitators of change with leadership system and style, a culture of service, and individual leader development. The blueprint combines two award-winning, peer-reviewed frameworks, one for leadership and one for organization design. The Blueprint is described in detail in the [Re]Create book and the application of the 14 blueprint components is the focus of the Leading Transformation Lab™.
The framework begins and ends with leveraging the Forces and Facilitators of change to overcome the inertia of the status quo (1 and 14). The forces and facilitators of changes are also integrated into the other 12 components and provide the energy to move your organization and your leadership to the next level. Leaders who have successfully led organizations to achieve sustainable excellence focused their time on nine key activities. The leadership system is the centerpiece of the Leadership Framework, and stakeholder value is the centerpiece (focus) of the leadership system. The leadership system is composed of nine interrelated components that describe WHAT leaders do. While these are presented in sequence, the actual use of the leadership system is often iterative, and you can begin and end anywhere on a given day. These nine key activities form a Leadership System (2-10).
The center of the leadership system is an understanding of stakeholders and their needs, wants, and desires. This understanding informs all eight other components starting with the compelling directive that incorporates the stakeholders (2) into the purpose, mission, vision, and values of the organization (3). This directive, in turn, is the starting point for the development of a focused strategy (4) that will address the stakeholder requirements.
Once the foundation is established, the workforce is enabled, empowered, and engaged (5) to carry out the strategy in a way that is consistent with the compelling directive. Also, this workforce executes the operations of the organization to deliver the products and services in a way that creates value for the multiple stakeholders. At the same time, they continuously improve the organization systems and processes by designing and redesigning them to improve performance (6). The Design Framework that guides the [Re]Design Systems process is the focus of the Management Design Lab™ where you learn to use the framework as you [re]design a key organization system.
The success of the strategies, people, and systems is measured by a comprehensive scorecard (7) that provides feedback on both the performance and the progress in each area. This information is then analyzed and reviewed as part of a collaborative performance review process (8) that translates the information into a deeper understanding of the organization and informs changes to operations and strategy. Based on the organization performance review, individual performance is reinforced with rewards and recognition as well as remediation (9). The last component is a continuous learning and improvement process (10) that is embedded into all the key systems and processes.
The leadership system is energized by the collaborative Leadership Style (11) that describes HOW leaders do the activities in the leadership system. These activities and behaviors become embedded into the Culture of Service (12) that increases the sustainability of the transformation. The Individual Leader (13) often has to personally change to be credible and effective. Finally, the journey (14) is planned, tracked, managed, and adjusted to achieve sustainable excellence. Learn more about the 14 components.
Latham, J. R. (2013a). A Framework for Leading the Transformation to Performance Excellence Part I: CEO Perspectives on Forces, Facilitators, and Strategic Leadership Systems. Quality Management Journal, 20(2), 22
Latham, J. R. (2013b). A Framework for Leading the Transformation to Performance Excellence Part II: CEO Perspectives on Leadership Behaviors, Individual Leader Characteristics, and Organizational Culture. Quality Management Journal, 20(3), 22
This article is based on an excerpt from the Introduction in the book [Re]Create the Organization You Really Want! Leadership and Organization Design for Sustainable Excellence. Available on: