Having trouble making sense of the strategy everyone bought into a year ago? Wondering if the organization isn’t equipped for the challenges you face?
Some say that culture eats strategy for lunch suggesting that the two are mutually exclusive and that one is superior. Under pressure for being touchy-feely, culture fans like to strike out at strategy as being rigid and unbending in the face of constant change.
How about we see them as twins rather than opponents?
How about co-creating strategy so that organizational buy-in happens as you proceed and organizational culture is supported?
Here’s an approach that many clients have successfully utilized:
Take the longer view that the new overall strategic framework will take some time to be fully realized.
Work with the notion that the new strategy must be proactive and innovative to meet ever-evolving, and usually unknowable, needs and change.
Understand that the plan is a beginning point / framework and that the outcomes, over time, will likely be influenced by other emergent forces.
Create a stronger sense of opportunity and accountability to collaborate among the organization and help make the new strategy work despite the unknowns.
Use dialogue sessions to come to an initial common understanding of the larger needs of both the organization and key partner / stakeholder groups (including the customer).
Understand and leverage the team’s capability to influence and enable change. Help them by focusing on solutions, not the SWOT analysis.
Move away from the perspective of silos and reactive work-arounds.
Understand the value of building a business case that enables decision- making; making decisions about the unknown are critical to progress.
Seek participatory dialogue and insights from the key partner / stakeholders.
Leverage candor and transparency – challenging the status quo leads to better ideas.
Ensure a focused and dynamic planning dialogue so that it can be distilled into a comprehensive plan.
Ensure that operational planning can be undertaken following the plan’s approval.
Work on the basis that change begins within the planning work, not once the plan is approved.
Create early ideas for action (test and learn, small wins) that will be visibly useful to all.
Solution focus: an enabler of strong strategic frameworks.