Sunday, December 12, 2021


What do positive policies look like in action? They look like making the right things easy to do and the wrong things hard to do.

Generally speaking, policy is a set of principles for decision-making or guidelines to drive desired behaviors. Organizational or social circumstances are only amended by policies, rules, or process. What do good policies look like, how do they affect organizational performance, culture, and maturity? How to set good policies for improving organizational or societal effectiveness and maturity?

Set good policies to inspire transformative change and incremental improvement accordingly: The goal to make good policies is to encourage great things to happen easily, discourage undesired behaviors. Good policies lubricate the business value chain, as people crossing the boundaries will pull in the same direction, improve flexibility in planning, and prepare for inevitable change. Good policies are not overly restrictive rules that limit people’s potential; but the strategic constraint that enables people to move in the right directions. Good policies are also necessary frames to shape fitting mindsets and behaviors, and encourage people to make improvement.

In business reality though, the level of bureaucracy is dreadful, policies are used to achieve goals, but there are lots of frictions and rarely does this approach work. A policy is implemented via protocol, process or practice, etc. In order to make policies more effective, it’s important to make seamless alignment of leadership, hard processes and soft cultures, performance measurement, best & next practices, etc. Good policies enhance positive energy flow, set progressive tones to improve collective performance and inspire transformative changes from a long term perspective.

The good policies are not “shelf-ware,” but “shareware”
: Every organization or the society as a whole has a certain set of values people agree to create. Good policies help the management improve such value propositions. And all related parties should benefit from following them to make the working environment more open and fairer, unlock performance and shape positive cultures in accelerating strategy management. What do good policies look like in influencing mindset? They make people think twice before making judgment or daily decisions. What do positive policies look like in action? They look like making the right things easy to do and the wrong things hard to do by people as they are on the same playing field despite differences in roles/job titles.

There are many organizations or societies out there that have a plethora of policies and many of them are nothing more than that, just a policy. People simply ignore them, leadership teams didn’t put enough effort to enhance them, set good examples to follow them. The good policies are not “shelf-ware,” but “shareware.” How to keep people informed of policies? How does the organization ensure policy coherence across the organizational hierarchy? Policy-setting and enforcement are both management activity and governance activity; all parties need to contribute to set good policies; implementing policy is a management activity, and monitoring policy compliance is a governance activity. There are some overlapped areas that all parties need to work on and stay at the same page in order to pull things in the right direction.

Good policies can shape high performance cultures through trustful relationships, possess transparency, and continuous improvement:
If laws are fundamental to keep people as good citizens in modern society; then policies are value-added, to encourage fitting mindsets, advocate trust, respect, transparency, collaboration, creativity, open communication, people centricity, etc, with the constructive theme that the management teams intend to create, great citizens or professionals would like to follow. Policies have to be in place for legal reasons and to convey reasonable expectations. Good policies improve organizational or societal performance, culture, and maturity for the long run.

As businesses get more cut-throat in the hyper-connected digital environment, good policies set the tone for encouraging creativity, motivating learning, enforcing risk-management, nurturing high-performance culture, and improving corporate competency. Setting policies, grounding rules is important to shape great cultures; the healthy workplace culture decreases the need for restrictive policies. That’s why policies should be reviewed and updated if needed, to adapt to changing circumstances, and drive evolutionary changes all the time.

Setting policies is both science and art. Insightful policymakers should have a clear vision about the future of organization or society, multi-dimensional intelligence to gain interdisciplinary understanding of critical issues they need to deal with, and strong communication skills to convey accurate insight via the brief messages. Ultimately, good policies build trust, encourage autonomy, harness innovation, allowing organizations or societies to drive progressive changes effortlessly.


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