Saturday, April 26, 2014

What Percentage of Strategic Plans Have you Seen that Contain a Section on Culture and Leadership?

An effective strategic plan needs to include both 'hard' choices for taking actions and 'soft' components for moving hearts and minds
Management in many organizations spend significant portion of time to craft strategic plan, however, many of such plans are more as a shelf-ware than shareware; more like oxymoron than value-added, how to improve both content and context of such planning, shall it address the ‘soft’ side of business CSFs such as leadership and culture, if so, what percentage of strategic plans have you seen that contain a section on them?

Identify the symptom of ineffective strategy plan: Heavy on content, weak on the enablers such as organizational leadership or culture, etc. That is how most strategic plans are developed. Even there are sections on organization/culture/ etc, it is usually at the end of the document, sometimes even in the appendices. So the percentage is probably less than 20%...The pervasive belief at the senior leadership level is: Build it and they will come.

 Some organizations manage an "Ability to Change and Transform" survey, or a culture survey; so that the organizations can better understand where employees think; where they are today with their culture. It is part of a larger re-engineering project and is a very comprehensive look at the organization's structure, leadership, culture, and "change readiness" to support the strategic plan before making assumptions. As the organization changes, you know you need to make sure you have the right culture to support that change. In general, top-down, multi-discipline engagements are more likely to have a culture-leadership section.

The strategic plans shall include a section on execution and organizational alignment. It will put execution at risk if neglecting the need to adapt to the environment one operates in. Sometimes, the strategies are defined by people that are geographically far away and lack of understanding of the local or regional circumstances. As long your strategy is not aligned with the requirements, rules and habits of your surroundings, it is in jeopardy.

Why is culture so important as part of strategic plan? The better company culture you have, the more enjoyable it is for both the employee and the client. 
- People form organizations; in other words without people, an organization cease to exist. 
- Since People are dynamic, culture induced by aptitudes and attitudes. Human Being (People) is a combination of Intelligence and Emotion or in simpler terms Core Aptitude and Millions Layers of Attitude. 
-Attitude (Emotions, Cultures & Circumstances) impact how issues are perceived by people in terms of Right, Wrong or Marginally Right or Wrong.
-Aptitude (Intelligence & Logic) decides what is right for an organization. For an established organization, culture is normally inherited. For organizations, which are shaping, aptitude sets the tone for the culture.
- A colorful world of views. When it comes to human beings, at a very macro level, there are distinct, yet complementing views about almost everything, such as culture. In other words, it is hardly black and white or shades of grey; it is more of a colorful world of views. 
-Establishes a Success Culture through behavioral DNA 
a. Instill common vision, purpose, passion, and a sense of urgency to act. 
b. Shift, mold, and reframes old paradigms into new ones 
c. Mold leaders 

An effective strategic plan needs to include both 'hard' choices for taking actions and 'soft' components for moving hearts and minds. More importantly: Do you realize that if you could influence more senior leadership teams to get leadership and culture not only in the strategy documents, but to lead off with them, you could make a valuable contribution to strategy and execution? A goal worth of effort!


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