The CBS Leadership Dilemma Index: Ambition, Assessment, Application

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Now more than ever, organizations are facing complexity, disruptive market trends, and dilemmas that demand both action and reflection among leaders. In this challenging environment, the CBS Leadership Dilemma Index has been developed to support executives in their strategic decision-making.

In our interactions with management and leadership teams in education and consulting, we have found that top management is under increasing pressure to choose between opposing and competing alternatives that offer both advantages and disadvantages. How do leaders deal with dilemmas such as profit versus purpose, financial reporting versus ESG reporting, tradition versus transformation, robustness versus agility, employee empowerment versus alignment, and long-term planning versus short-term planning? While some of these decisions follow the normal strategic decision-making paths of trade-offs and optimization, others exhibit characteristics of strategic dilemmas.  These dilemmas arise in different areas of strategic leadership, and they can relate to the overall strategy, to the processes connected to strategic development, or to the implementation of a strategy. In other words, strategic dilemmas may occur everywhere.

Whenever an organization faces a strategic dilemma, strategy implementation and execution are at risk. When people in an organization do not agree with the strategic choices made, they will not support those decisions - and the strategy will fail. Therefore, we have developed an index that measures the extent to which respondents agree with an organization’s strategic decisions.

Insights into the level of support for or disapproval of strategic decisions are of paramount importance for successful leadership in any kind of organization. Our ambition with the CBS Leadership Dilemma Index is to help leaders, organizations, and society at large achieve purposeful strategy development and implementation. We hope that the CBS Leadership Dilemma Index will support the successful leadership of businesses and organizations.
Original languageEnglish
Place of PublicationFrederiksberg
PublisherCopenhagen Business School, CBS
Number of pages7
ISBN (Print)9788794488020
ISBN (Electronic)9788794488075
Publication statusPublished - May 2023

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