shared consciousness is a carefully maintained set of centralized forums for bringing people together. empowered execution is a radically decentralized system for pushing authority out to the edges of the organization. together, with these as the beating heart of our transformation, we became a single, cohesive unit far more agile than its size would suggest.
(general stanley mcchristal, commander of the joint special operations task force against al qaida in iraq)
One sense of direction
We believe in people’s energy, competence and creativity for new ways of customer value creation. If this energy is to have an impact, it is essential that people have a shared, appropriate sense of direction and clarity. And most importantly that they don’t receive contradicting signals in their everyday management experience.
From a c-level perspective, the first tool that comes to mind to convey a sense of direction and clarity to the organisation is strategy execution. If you ask them how strategy execution is done in the company, they usually name two pillars. The first is projects: open a factury, enter a new market, develop a product, cut costs in the supply chain etc. This pillar is obviously on their mind because they sit in the project’s steering committee and get regular reports. The second pillar is the adaption of KPIs. The relation of turnover to margin, and their impact on people’s bonus. The focus on service level or net promoter score. The importance of lead time or yield. This pillar has the c-level’s visibility through routine controlling and reporting processes. But there is a third pillar which c-level often do not see as part of strategy execution: How people relate their focus and priorities in their daily activities to strategy and business model. How they think about quality, customer satisfaction, or cross-silo collaboration, and how this thinking affects their behaviour.
We can help a company improve on all three pillars of aligned strategy execution. But we are unique in enabling management teams to achieve a common focus across day-to-day behaviour in the whole organisation. Here are some examples of how we work:
- Purpose management by strategic storyline
- Development and implementation of leadership principles
- Alignment through shopfloor cases
- Leadership blog
- Shadowing and coaching of managers and management teams
- Moderation of complex conflicts
Here is how the practice of anchoring with the help of strategic storylines work together with timeout discussions of shopfloor cases, to provide alignment and orientation across the organisation: