Strategy, What Strategy?January 14, 2016 . .
I love walking into an organization that needs some kind of assistance and hearing about their issues as perceived by the executive and staff.
My very first question, when they have finished telling me all their tales of woe, which is an important part of the process, is: “Do you have a vision and mission statement your organization lives by?” Which is immediately followed by my second question: “Can I see the latest strategic plan developed to attain them?”
You’d be surprised at how many organizations don’t have either of these things. Frankly speaking, it’s a consultant’s best and worst case scenario. Best because you can create significant value for the organization by helping them develop and communicate, and worst because you waste a significant amount of time trying to convince leadership they need one. More times than not I hear from employees that they don’t know how their job and what they do, align with the vision and mission of the company. They want to feel they are making a difference in helping the company they work for, and support them in achieving their objectives………………whatever they might be.
Why is it then, that most, yes most, companies do not have a documented and internally published vision, mission and strategic plan that executives and employees can recite and relate too? Or worse than that, they won’t tell anyone for fear they may tell others…?? I have seen it both ways. I believe it’s because companies evolve to a point beyond their original vision, mission and strategic plan, and haven’t taken the time to re-evaluate. Or, they fear that stopping to create one will somehow be detrimental to operations. Often there is the perception that everyone should know why a company is in the business that it’s in by virtue of what it does, therefore, people should be engaged and happy to be getting a pay check. It just doesn’t work that way in this day and age, an engaged and loyal workforce needs and wants to know the purpose and direction of the company they are working for.
Developing your Strategic Plan is the first foundational element of creating and growing a successful business. It starts with a clear and concise vision and mission statement, each no more than a few sentences long. Anything more than that and it becomes painful to remember and explain. Once you get those two things begin developing and implementing the strategies to attain the vision and mission.
When I talk about strategy as a foundational element of a company I don’t mean that once a plan is developed that it can’t be changed, in fact, it should be monitored, assessed, refined and altered as forces dictate. Strategy as a foundation element simply means that a company adopts the strategic planning process to set the direction it will go. A good strategy takes all the other 5 elements into consideration: Organizational Structure, People and Culture, Policy and Process, Technology and Performance Management.
Chris is dedicated to helping businesses grow and flourish by unlocking the power and strengths within them. He is a dynamic operations expert with over 35 years of experience in a diverse range of business environments. For more information on Chris check out LinkedIn, Incrementa Website and Twitter.