Thursday, April 25, 2013

Bit on soft power, seeing the US and China as examples for business strategy execution


The articles from this sections reading got me thinking about how these leaders actually incorporate their strategies in execution in terms of soft skills. It was quite interesting that the Neilson et al article “The Secrets to Successful Strategy Execution” had a section for the general direction of their soft skills, soft power as being a part of the determinants for successful strategy implementation. That was under the trait “It is more accurate to describe this organization as ‘persuade and cajole’ than ‘command and control’” that I started thinking about how these particular strategies are implemented on a personal level throughout the organization. Although in business we often see the use of soft power as an art to be trained by excellent managers, our academic research often builds frameworks for us to hold our ideas. The both the US Military and the Chinese National congress have invested a great deal of energy into developing ideological presence around the world using soft power. So why is it more difficult for business organizations to design models for soft power internally?
For one, the field is shifting and players have more identifying features. The framework of power for military and national use has a great deal of cajole and persuade which can be useful for strategy execution. However, businesses are often more compact than these counterparts. So it may not seem necessary to create some of the policy measures that nations would have – especially with the close and connectedness of workers and managers within a business. But it is the creation of alignment which allows for the military and national strategies to become successful. In the military, alignment is an ongoing priority and rules are created for the quick execution of new ideas and concepts. While I’m not the first to promote the idea of how this alignment is obtained (bootcamp) I do believe that the outcome is quite substantial. Other teams which have undergone a series of bonding experiences and become aligned to a set of group rules tend to be more successful in their execution of projects. Similarly I believe it is the alignment of ideas and concepts which allow for managers and workers at all levels to be engaged with the strategy of the organization. This means transparency of strategy just as much as consistency.

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