Sunday, December 9, 2012

Strategy and Culture


Culture eats strategy 

Culture can be identified in a business unit's artifacts:
  • vision, 
  • norms, 
  • symbols, 
  • beliefs, 
  • behaviors, and 
  • traditions.
Strategy - successful strategies need supportive cultures.

 

Issue

Q: How does a business unit get the best out of strategy in periods of uncertainty and structural change. (How do you get buy-in to achieve what needs to be achieved?)

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The Culture of a Business Unit

 

Business Unit Questions:

  1. How do our artifacts describe us?
  2. What artifacts actively attracts people to use our services?
  3. What artifacts actively discourage success?

Immediate culture questions

  • Vision and Mission 
    • how is the vision made evident throughout all of our activities?
    • is the vision and mission persuasive? 
  • Collaboration 
    • how do our projects cross support and benefit each other?
  • Education 
    • how do project leaders co-educate each other and what artifacts demonstrates a culture of co-learning?
    • Is our unit a skilled team or a unit of skilled individuals?
  • Recognition 
    • how are achievements (both small and large) celebrated?
  • Traditions
    • how adaptable is our business unit to change?
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Belief Strategy Clients

Business units who are charged with innovation, change of practice and emergence must contend with many complex cultural artifacts across many sites. This includes working with other business units, divisions and (in the case of education) school sites. It is important to have a persuasive business culture and a belief in our services, if we are to influence other site cultures.

Purpose and Belief:

Simon Sinek: How great leaders inspire action through purpose (read more).



  • People don't buy what you do, they buy why you do it  
    • Inspire by Why then How then What
      • Have a Purpose and have a Belief in your purpose
      • Have a strategy and plan.
      • Have explicit results.




  • Believe in what you want your clients to believe in.
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Strategies - Clients


Strategies that involves innovation, change of practices and emergence will require elements containing conflict and common interest.

Strategy: How and What

  1. Look forward and reason backwards.
  2. If you have a dominant strategy use it. 
  3. Eliminate oppositional dominant strategies from consideration (if it is doesn't support the purpose).
  4. Look for equilibrium if other strategies are beneficial and supports the purpose. 
Tip

  • Most people will  think only one or two steps ahead (strategic steps to what they want). 
  • They will not have a clear purpose, sufficient strategic steps and explicit targets to achieve what they want.
  • Good strategists need to know what steps are required to achieve the explicit want.
  • Good strategist plan three, four and if needed five steps ahead.

Statement
Why, how and what trumps let a thousand poppies bloom