The ability to create ‘a compelling vision’ features towards the top of most lists of the attributes required of today’s leaders – no matter what the context. Whilst this is an intuitively appealing propostion I would argue that it is the translation of this vision into meaningful action that differentiates the successful organisations. To address this issue, organisations, particularly the larger variety, adopt a structured ‘goal deployment’ activity that is primarily designed to cascade a common approach to delivering the strategy whereby everybody in the organisation can understand how ‘their bit fits in’.
So ‘What’s wrong with this’ you might ask and the answer on the face of it, of course, is nothing. However, to undertake this activity successfully requires a level of understanding of organisational capability that most organisations simply do not possess – the appetite for benchmarking is a clear indication of this.It would seem that comparing operational efficiency between similar organisations can somehow form the basis of improved strategic effectiveness. When viewed in this way the flaw is somewhat obvious.
However, of greater concern is that a significant number (the majority?) of these organisations do not need to resort to benchmarking as they have the information they require to take effective action but are unable to present it in a way that enables the organisation to respond effectively. A primary reason for this is that progressively over time the organisation and its strategy become misaligned due to both strategic drift and often to a greater extent organisational change driven on the back of functional operational efficiency resulting in the performance measures becoming strategically blurred. It is this misalignment that creates both organisational inertia and intra functional tension so typical of these organisations.
So,before you going looking for the answer elsewhere like so many things in life, the answer to improved strategy deployment lies within….