Wednesday, March 27, 2013

Strategy Implementation and Alignment

I wanted to get a head start on the discussion around implementation and alignment of strategies. Because without organizational alignment it is impossible for a strategic direction to realize its goals.

It is vital for the key members of the strategic design to have an agreed understanding of where the strategy is derived from. Knowing where the organization derived its values statement, where is defined its strategic goal statement and where the logic behind the companies future direction comes from. This should not be done in a simple memo or through various charts. That is done for the planning process.

Instead, strategic implementation alignment must be a visceral connection. Many of the great CEO's hold conferences to announce the future strategy. These conferences highlight where the company has come from in the recent years and explains the changing forces of the industry, the market, the consumer - the world factors which apply the pressure of a new strategy for future years. In the discussion of the past works many conferences introduce the new products and the successes of the company. Then the conference introduces a call of action in some form. By stressing the urgency of the forces that threaten the companies previous direction and goals. That is typically a good time to show how the new strategy will tackle these forces, it will give breadth to the future goals and the invoke the emotional connection needed to inspire alignment to the new strategy.

In Org Design we participated in a digital simulation workshop for implementing a new strategy for a company. This game offers several choices which propose a situation of basic game mechanics. When making decisions with single goals in mind, it is important to deduce the variety of possible trade-offs at play. I greatly enjoyed the exercise because I am familiar with games of similar types. All games are based on limited iteration with many tactics needed for planning a successful venture. Refer to the gaming design guide for more details:

However in real life, these trade-offs are not so obvious. It is important to realize that individuals do not work directly towards a single idea, but displaying these ideas in terms of what tactics are available develops the strategy for implementing strategies. So I believe having a strategy for implementation is an inherit component of the Organizational Strategy design process.

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