Leading in Ecosystems


A large aerospace company was facing changing industry dynamics, and competitive threats from new, smaller and more nimble entrants into its industry. In addition, the industry was evolving from primarily product-focused to new service and information-focused solutions.  The company would need to change how it viewed itself within its industry. It needed to change from focusing inwardly to thinking more broadly about the industry ecosystem, and to define a strategy for success in business ecosystems. This would require leaders to fundamentally transform how they operated, learn how to develop new strategies and business models, and shift more of their awareness and leadership focus to the rapidly changing external environment.


The approach, a 12-month leadership journey, covered both business topics and leadership, helping leaders build their awareness of changing industry dynamics, business and customer needs, and the implications of these changes for their leadership and business.  For individuals to change, it is often important that they themselves realize the need for change, so our challenge was to come up with a creative, innovative and impactful way to achieve this.   The program brought leaders into contact with new actors in their ecosystem and helped them reflect on and build self-awareness for how their role as leaders needed to change.  These insights were reinforced by 360 feedback and the introduction of key leadership concepts and frameworks.  Participants also learned from exposure to “pioneer” businesses that were already on the way to developing new markets and strategies in business ecosystems.


Building on the learnings, leaders developed ecosystem strategies for their respective businesses, and identified concrete ways to implement changes in their organizations.  In addition, each leader developed clear actions to grow their own leadership impact and to act as change agents for the company as a whole, in support of this important strategic priority.