Why do successful organisations pursue established strategies for too long? The hypothesis behind this blog is that it is a consequence of the way they make decisions.
A classic organisational dilemma. Optimise performance in a component of a business by establishing strong teams that are allowed to insulate themselves – perhaps in Silos – or focus on removing all internal barriers to optimise cross functional excellence and agility. I believe that Leaders can do more to optimise a balance between building efficient teams (ones that develop excellence within their particular domain) and enterprise wide effectiveness that minimises internal silo barriers to optimise agility. Moreover, enterprises that optimise this balance have a better foundation for maximising the value of their organisational data.
Increasingly aired doubts over the effectiveness of annual performance appraisals and the evolution of business simulations software leads me to a perspective that enterprises have new avenues to align individual discretionary behaviour and enterprise needs.
The recent announcements that annual appraisals will no longer form part of the performance management processes at Accenture and Deloitte came as a surprise to some. GE’s decision to end forced rankings, another stalwart of traditional HR practice, similarly shocked some. This blog outlines five reasons for giving consideration to extending the sunset of annual performance appraisals to your enterprise and a number of practical steps for an alternative to annual appraisals.
“Marginal gains means looking at all the things we do, and never assuming we couldn’t do them better.” Dave Brailsford.
Enterprises that have continuous improvement in their DNA, as opposed to a we have always done it this way mentality, have a foundation for improving their competitiveness. Too few senior executives devote material effort to sponsoring improvement initiatives.
Strattomics: Climbing to your next business Peak without attending Business School – Raising Agility, promotes broader thinking about the future of an enterprise S curves are used to identify the “As Is” in terms of its position on the growth journey & the distinctiveness of its capabilities. External factors such as Buyers, sellers, new entrants, the threat of substitute products, the impact of complementary products, regulation and overall competitive rivalry are consider before the 7S is used to help broaden thinking about the overall enterprise (with a particular focus on values.) As a means of reducing the risk of “unintended consequences” the use of the “future wheel” technique is recommended. The agility discussion closes with consideration of adaptive planning and rolling forecasts as means of preventing the planning process becoming a barrier to change.
A purpose statement is a valuable complement to traditional vision, mission and values statements – particularly were there is a transparent link to individual goals, objectives, initiatives and targets AND where it is used to help educate people on the business. Individuals with a strong sense of purpose, that is aligned with the enterprise, are well positioned to contribute innovations to both continuous improvement and new offerings.
Enterprises need to develop a broader understanding of the spectrum of stakeholders in their enterprise and the expectations these stakeholders have for the enterprise. This includes broader society and necessitates Business looking at how it contributes (positively and negatively) to society at large. I encourage all Leaders to develop a simple annual plan of activities to secure and then optimise dialogues with the full spectrum of their stakeholders. The objective being that Stakeholder Engagement improves year on year resulting in greater understanding of the enterprise amongst stakeholders improved commitment to the company’s strategic agenda.
The overwhelming evidence that action is needed to reduce our use of Carbon creates a wealth of opportunities for business. Whatever the environmental views of a business leader, I believe there is a fiduciary duty for Leaders to proactively look for opportunities to improve sustainability of their own businesses and those through out their supply chains. This blog provides some examples and suggests that sustainability initiatives will benefit from the application of the “dual operating systems” advocated by John Kotter
This short blog uses the Tom Peters’ Company Future Shape of the Winner TM model to argue that Oracle USA Team that recently won the Americas Cup is an example of an excellent team.