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.
Consideration of Porter’s 5 Forces plus the significance of complementary products, government / regulatory changes and economic profit can help form an effective strategic direction strategic direction. Establishing the impact of the chosen direction on Purpose, Mission, Core Values and Vision can help identify strategic themes to drive goals, objectives and initiatives.
Engaged people, asking the right questions, equipped with relevant data, in an organisational environment that expects collaboration amongst stakeholders, have a higher probability of repeatedly making decisions that grow an enterprise – through both continuous improvement and new products and services.
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
Clear, effective, communication of an appropriate “Tone from the Top” is but a first step to meeting the challenge of securing alignment of Corporate Strategy, Vision and Values and the people delivering an enterprise’s products or services. Implementation of activities to set the “Tone from the Top” need to be institutionalised into Corporate DNA and any “blockages” in the cascade of Tone from the Top messages right across the organisation is effectively identified.
“The competitive heat has been turned up by new technology. But cool heads are still needed when dealing with disrupters.” The Economist 11 January 2014 Flourishing enterprises excel at their current activities, spot changes in their operating environment early, develop the agility needed to embrace new threats and opportunities […]
The World Economic Forum 2014 outlook highlights “A lack of values in leadership” as one of the top 10 opportunities / challenges for the next 18 months. This Blog argues for a holistic “values-driven” approach that cascades from Mission and Values through vision, goals, objectives, to initiatives, measures and targets sets a foundation for effectiveness – by transparently linking the efforts you need from your employees and stakeholders to the strategic imperatives of the enterprise.