Do you have a council group?
Do You Have a Council?
Successful Level 5 leaders form and facilitate what Jim Collins in the book -“Good to Great- Why Some Companies Make the Leap and Others Don’t”- calls, a Council.
A Council is a group of people who act as advisors to the top executive of the organization. It should not be the Board of Directors, but a member of the board can be on the Council. A Council is chosen to assist the top executive make major decisions about the formation, content and extent of the Hedgehog Concept of the company and then to help himher “sift” subsequent strategy through that Hedgehog Concept. In short, a Council exists to get to the “truth” about the big decisions, NOT to decide the big decisions.
In the book on page 114-116 you will find the following characteristics of a Council:
1. The Council exists as a device to gain understanding about important issues facing the organization.
2. The Council is assembled and used by the leading executive and usually consists of 5-12 people.
3. Each Council member has the ability to argue and debate in search of understanding, not the egoistic need to win a point or protect a parochial interest.
4. Each Council member retains the respect of every other Council member without exception.
5. Council members come from a range of perspectives, but each member has a deep knowledge of some aspect of the organization and/or environment in which it operates.
6. The Council includes key members of the management team, but is not limited to members of the management team, nor is every executive automatically a member.
7. The Council is a standing body, not an ad hoc committee assembled for a specific project.
8. The Council meets periodically, as much as once a week or as infrequently as once per quarter.
9. The Council does NOT seek consensus, recognizing that consensus decisions are often at odds with intelligent decisions. The responsibility for the final decision remains with the leading executive.
10. The Council is an informal body, not listed on any formal organization chart or in any formal documents.
11. The Council can have a range of possible names, usually quite innocuous. In the Good to Great Companies, they had benign names like Long-Range Profit Improvement Committee, Corporate Products Committee, Strategic Thinking Group, and Executive Council.
U.S. President Andrew Jackson had what he called his “Kitchen Cabinet”, an informal group of trusted advisors who he turned to when making big decisions. They literally would meet in the White House kitchen. Do you have one?
If you need help working through how to do this, contact me today.