Quarterly Case Study: The Impact of Powerful Leadership Development Strategy on Organizational Success
In the dynamic and competitive landscape of today's business world, the success and growth of any organization heavily rely on the strength of its leadership strategy. A well-defined and robust leadership strategy serves as the guiding compass, steering the company towards its objectives, shaping its culture, and propelling it to new heights of achievement.
This strategic approach to leadership permeates through every level of the organization, empowering individuals to excel, fostering a collaborative work environment, and igniting a passion for excellence. At The Really Great Teacher Company we recognize that our success is determined by the strength of our leadership, and we are reminded of the significant benefits this unlocks throughout our business.
The Benefits Of Powerful Leadership
A strong, clearly defined leadership DNA can provide numerous benefits to an organization, impacting various aspects of its operations and overall success. Here are some key benefits:
- Cohesive Organizational Culture: It sets the foundation for a unified and cohesive organizational culture. When leaders consistently embody and promote the company's values, principles, and vision, it creates a shared sense of purpose and identity among employees.
- Aligned Decision-Making: It helps align decision-making across different levels of the organization. When leaders consistently make decisions in line with the company's principles, it ensures that actions and strategies are in harmony with the overall mission.
- Employee Engagement and Commitment: It fosters a positive work environment and empowers employees. When team members see leaders living up to the company's principles, they are more likely to feel engaged, motivated, and committed to their roles.
- Increased Trust and Transparency: It promotes transparency and trust within the organization. When leaders are authentic, open, and accountable, it encourages trust and respect among employees.
- Enhanced Innovation and Creativity: A powerful leadership DNA that encourages initiative, creativity, and risk-taking can lead to a more innovative and agile company. Employees feel empowered to think outside the box and contribute new ideas.
- Improved Decision-Making at All Levels: Decision-making becomes more consistent and strategic throughout the organization. Leaders at all levels are guided by the same principles, leading to more effective and efficient choices.
- Better Talent Attraction and Retention: It can serve as a strong magnet for top talent. Prospective employees are drawn to companies with a clear sense of purpose and values that align with their own.
- Sustainable Growth and Adaptability: It promotes a focus on continuous improvement and adaptability. Companies with a strong leadership foundation are better equipped to navigate changes and thrive in dynamic markets.
- Customer Trust and Loyalty: A company with a consistent and authentic leadership DNA is likely to earn the trust and loyalty of its customers. Customers are more likely to support a company they perceive as principled and reliable.
- Strong Reputation and Brand Image: It contributes to a positive brand image and reputation. It positions the company as one that cares about its employees, customers, and the broader community.
- Resilient Crisis Management: In times of crisis, a strong leadership DNA provides a guiding compass for decision-making and actions. Leaders can navigate challenges with a clear sense of purpose and values.
Overall, a powerful leadership DNA acts as a guiding force that shapes the company's identity, strategy, and interactions with employees, customers, and stakeholders. It helps build a sustainable and successful organization that stands out in its industry and positively impacts its community.
What Leadership Means To Us
We believe that leadership isn't earned with a title, but that it comes with influence. And who has more daily influence in this world, than teachers?
So over the past quarter we embarked on a journey of unpacking The Really Great Teacher Company’s Leadership DNA, which consists out of our Leadership Manifesto, our Leadership Principles, and what Leadership In Action looks like throughout all the different departments in the business.
Our Leadership Manifesto
The crux of our leadership manifesto rests on three parts.
- Everyone Is A Leader: We believe that every member of our team is a leader and contributes to our collective success.
- Leadership is Growing and Developing Others: As servant leaders we recognize that leadership is not about only achieving personal success or goals, but it is about empowering and growing others to reach their full potential.
- Leaders are Teachers and Teachers are Leaders: We believe that education and specifically teaching is the highest form of leadership, as it is through education that we can grow and develop others. The World’s greatest leaders are also the World’s greatest teachers.
Our Leadership Principles
Our Leadership in Action
In recognizing the importance of the permeation of our leadership strategy throughout our business, we placed this front in centre by making it our quarterly focus for Q2 of 2023.
One of the ways we wanted to see our leadership ignited and come to life was by hosting live, company-wide, weekly Leadership DNA sessions by either one of our two founders, CEO James Thomson or COO Rob Schulenburg, at the beginning of each week.
In each session they uncovered one of our leadership principle and stripped it down to its core. They shared the context around why that principle exists, why it’s important to the team, and expressed the values associated with each.
To carry the principle through the week, teams were given a practical assignment to facilitate in their meetings. We wanted them to consider what that principle looked like in their team and across other departments, where did they recently observe examples of that principle in practice, and to identify any areas for improvement around that principle.
In the next session, a designated spokesperson then represented their team to share with the broader company their key observations around that leadership principle.
The Impact Of Powerful Leadership
Over this period, we saw some brilliant practical insights, solutions and feedback from our teams around each of these benefits.
Cohesive Organizational Culture
- “Creating a comfortable and positive work environment makes it easier to take the initiative as people care about the development of the team.”
- “Since I joined the company, I have always felt accepted and free to be myself. With that said, I have also felt encouraged to grow and develop, so I have changed in this time and I'm thankful for that.”
- “During huddles, we share relevant personal experiences or stories related to the challenges or topics being discussed. This helps us establish a deeper connection with teachers and inspire them to bring their authentic selves to the table.”
- “We strongly believe that the results we are driven by has purpose. What we do has meaning.”
Business Development Team:
- “Being a fully remote company doesn’t prevent us from hosting a quarterly Town Hall. This creates an opportunity for all our staff across the globe to connect, to be kept abreast with business updates, and to celebrate each other's successes through our quarterly teacher awards.”
- “Minimizing lost hours is crucial. While acknowledging it can be due to uncontrollable factors at times, we prioritize our clients by actively taking steps to prevent such occurrences.”
- “Deciding on one single check-in procedure for all teachers proved to be challenging as it didn't work for the whole team. Through discussions, we were able to reach two procedures that suited the requirement across all different hours.”
Training & Development Team:
- “Online meetings tend to move at a faster pace. We recognized that we need to consciously hold space for silence as ideas are processed, as well as facilitate healthy debates.”
Employee Engagement and Commitment
- “We have a vast network of online teachers, including some veterans, that contributes to a invaluable resources from where we can continue to learn. Our teachers often leverage each other for their advice and experience.”
- “We created ‘Teacher Lounges’ where our management teams can offer live support to any teacher needing assistance.”
- “We see ourselves as more than just teachers. We have influence to help others achieve their goals.”
- “We are inspired by the other teachers who share ways in which they achieve high client ratings in our huddles. Their success shows us it is possible!”
Training & Development Team:
- “What is great is that we can see our various creations come to life! We find enormous satisfaction and fulfillment in that.”
- “We don't just look at hitting our targets, but we look at the strategies behind what worked and didn't work. We always want to create content that further develops our teachers.”
Business Development Team:
- “Our environment encourages a lot of cross-departmental collaboration - different skills adding more dimension and value to projects!”
Increased Trust and Transparency
- “Facilitating classes 24/7, our support teams need solid communication to ensure smooth transition between day and night shifts. We have put processes in place to ensure we never miss a beat.”
- “An area where we see a lot of positive results is in our performance improvement plan. Struggling teachers are given training and guidance to improve any areas of concern, and they work extremely hard to better themselves.”
- “It is vitally important to us to have credibility with all stakeholders that work with us. What we say is what we do!”
- “Our team got more exposed to public speaking during the Leadership sessions than we would in our typical day-to-day. This gave us a lot of confidence to speak in front of people from different levels of seniority.”
Enhanced Innovation and Creativity
- "We increased our number of huddles and regular management-teacher meetings. We want to keep the door open, and offer opportunities for teachers to take initiative.”
- “New processes and tools are regularly implemented, such as SOP documents and training videos, to make a new employee onboarding experience as seamless, clear and informative as possibles.”
- “We set up frequent virtual discussions to encourage Q&A related to classroom structure and other teaching techniques.
- “Management staff have learned about the unique experiences of teachers who teach students who speak multiple different languages.”
- “One of our clients had an increase in lesson requests, to who we put forward some of our teachers to be approved as methodological teachers. Along with this, we decided to take a hands-on approach and conducted training sessions for teachers that find it challenging to identify different student levels. We are taking on the role of allowing every teacher the opportunity to learn.”
Tech Support Team:
- “We implemented bi-weekly development sessions where we discuss and debate technical solutions for apps, automations, and our Teacher Hub.”
- “We are fortunate to have a mix of knowledge within our team between data, software development and web development to easily and quickly create new solutions to enhance the experience in the company.”
- “We introduced the use of artificial intelligence in our research, planning, content frameworks, and daily marketing tasks and projects.”
- “We implemented a weekly "Think Tank" session, where we dedicate time to discuss innovative ideas in our team.”
Improved Decision-Making at All Levels
- “We started bringing ideas from huddles and teacher meetings to the decision-making table and including them to create a better system or environment.”
- “We actively provide resources and support to our teams to enable them to take initiative effectively.”
- “My manager encouraged me to take action more and be more confident in my decision-making. There was a weekend where I was on duty alone for a few hours and faced a couple challenges that I didn’t initially know how to handle. I told myself that even though I wanted to reach out for help, my manager believed in me, and I managed to successfully deal with these challenges. I felt as if I achieved a big personal goal.”
- “We implemented retrospectives on projects in our team, where we take time to analyze what we did well and what we could improve on for next time.”
Better Talent Attraction and Retention
- "We utilised one of our Italian contacts who had some solid German connections to find and recruit German teachers!”
- "Within our team we speak multiple languages. This enables us to easily do language assessments of candidates across the world.”
- "We often have to translate foreign language documents in order to verify credentials. We established a streamlined process in order to do this well.”
Training & Development Team:
- “Through a previous failure we learned a hard lesson in recruiting the right people. This led us to effectively implement skills tests that assists us in selecting viable candidates.”
Sustainable Growth and Adaptability
- “Our teacher teams are structured in a way to allow for quick growth, as well as adaptability should we face any technical difficulties.”
- “In our weekly team meeting, we explore new tools and tactics that are unfamiliar to us to reach our goals. We look for new routes to achieve different results.”
- “We offer tailored solutions to our clients. Due to our hands on senior management team, we can accommodate any requirement from a client, even if it’s outside the norm.”
Customer Trust and Loyalty
- “Teachers working remotely have a responsibility to have all their ducks in a row to ensure consistency in attendance, teaching, and delivering a great service. In doing so, we build trust with our colleagues, team members, and fellow teachers to ensure a superb service to the client. Hats off to all the Really Great Teachers!”
- “An example we heard during the Leadership series, was when, a couple years ago, our founders had to convince our clients that remote working is the way to go! It took some convincing, but after successfully delivering an even better service, we earned our clients’ trust.”
Strong Reputation and Brand Image
- “One of our lead generators is, of course, word of mouth. A good reputation will open doors for you. In all our marketing communications, internal and external, we prioritize projecting our brand image to the world. We put a lot of work into enhancing our marketing.”
- “We implemented social listening tools, to ensure we have our finger on the pulse of our brand sentiment.”
- “We fine-tuned internal processes to ensure communication is on brand before being sent.”
- “We ALWAYS represent our brand when we are dealing with applicants, therefore we have to be authentic. When candidates ask about rates, benefits and schedules, we are open and honest with them.”
Resilient Crisis Management
- “When a crisis situation arose, we weren’t disciplined or criticized. Instead, we were guided through the issue and best ways to resolve it. Afterwards, we reviewed the situation, looked at why it didn’t work, and how we can use this experience to assist us in the way we view future processes.”
These Leadership sessions not only created a weekly opportunity where teachers and support teams could learn from our top management, but also established open communication and stronger bonds across teams and departments.
So, in conclusion, if every person in your organization hasn’t been presented with and engaging in your leadership DNA, you are missing the cornerstone of building a cohesive team!
The impact of these leadership conversations over the past quarter is still buzzing through our organization, and we feel more empowered and mobilized than ever.
We guarantee that your business will be transformed.