As a continuation from our previous discussion about identifying strategic issues, from that list that’s been created we need to ask these questions.What is the real issue, conflict or dilemma?Why is it an issue? What aspect causes the issue? Mission, Vision, Mandate, SWOT analysis?Who says its an issue?What are the consequences of inaction?Can we do something about it?Can issues be eliminated or combined?Does an issue need to be separated into two or more issues?Is it an issue for one department or team, or across multiple departments.What’s missing?
Strategic issues show us the gaps where these bridges need to be built to either reach the goals or fulfill the vision, depending on which tact the organization has taken. And at times, that means that the strategy has to be very broad, because the environment is changing so rapidly being too specific hinders outcomes.
Henry Mintzberg wrote in the Harvard Business Review in 1994 about the rise and fall of strategic planning. The full article is in the drop box if you want to read it. Mintzberg identified four aspects of strategy in the above graphic. Intended strategy is strategy as conceived by the top management team. Even here, rationality is limited and the intended strategy is the result of a process of negotiation, bargaining, and compromise, involving many individuals and groups within the organization. However, realized strategy—the actual strategy that is implemented—is only partly related to that which was intended (Mintzberg suggests only 10%–30% of intended strategy is realized). The primary determinant of realized strategy is what Mintzberg terms emergent strategy—the decisions that emerge from the complex processes in which individual managers interpret the intended strategy and adapt to changing external circumstances. Thus, the realized strategy is a consequence of both deliberate and emerging factors. Source: Carpenter, M., Bauer T., & Erdogin, B. (2009). Principles of management. Flat World Knowledge. Web Books Publishing. http://www.web-books.com/eLibrary/ON/B0/B58/031MB58.html
There are a number of ways to think about strategy and we briefly touched on Patterns already. With position we’re determining where the organization exists now in the marketplace, and where we’d like to be in the marketplace. Perspective planning relies heavily on organizational culture and would require a culture measurement tool. Osborn and Plastrik’s book Banishing Government (1997, Perseus Books) discusses five key strategies of which the organization would only choose one: A core strategy that sets clear goals and defines accountability; A consequence strategy that creates new incentive systems; A customer strategy that includes customers and competitors; a control strategy that determines where decision-making power resides; and finally a cultural strategy that creates new, non bureaucratic practices and processes within the organizaiton. Often using a strategy as the plan by identifying opportunities is not enough on it’s own to achieve the organizational objectives. Developing strategies as a posture or ploy is a means of blocking competitors.
Strategies to address the previously determined issues need to focus on: (slide)
There are four basic levels of strategy creation (slide). Remember though that strategies aren’t tactics. Tactics or action items are short term activities underneath the strategies that determine purpose. Though as Mintzberg wrote in 1994, “The trouble with the strategy-tactics distinction is that one can never be sure which is which until all the dust is settled.
As we look at Bryson’s ten step map again, the purpose of strategy formulation and plan development is to make sure that our strategies clearly link together, and link the organization to the community and the environment in ways that create enduring significant value.
Strategy mapping is a highly effective tool, though often the maps will become too large to fit into a readable PowerPoint. Although the specific client has been removed this is a real strategy map for a large health care organization. Just from a surface glance you can see in the upper left Mission, Vision, an overarching organizational goal, and the values.
Although I’ve blanked out the vision because it is organizational specific
As we move from left to right across the larger strategy map you can see that the organization has chosen five key strategies to focus on: Collaboration, Presence, People, Product and Finance. Each of those then has a measurement so we can see how we’re actually doing against the plan. This process for this particular organization has been going on for six months, in part because we’re talking about a very large organization with multiple division heads and departments and multiple service locations. They will continue to meet monthly until they narrow down the specific initiatives that will fit beneath the strategies and the measurements and metrics that will be used to guide progress and decision making.
Senge (1990) defines the learning organization as an organizationthat possesses not only an adaptive capacity but also “generativity”—thatis, the ability to create alternative futures. Senge identifies the five disciplines that alearning organization should possess: team learning—emphasis on the learningactivities of the group rather than on the development of team process; sharedvisions—ability to unearth shared “pictures of the future” that foster genuine commitmentand enrollment rather than compliance; mental models—deeply heldinternal images of how the world works; personal mastery—continually clarifyingand deepening personal vision, focusing energies, developing patience, andseeing reality objectively; and system thinking—ability to see interrelationshipsrather than linear cause-effect chains.
Watkins & Marsick, (1993, 1996) originally defined the learning organization as one that is characterized by continuous learning for continuous improvement, and by the capacity to transform itself. This definition captures a principle, but in and of itself, is not operational. What does it look like when learning becomes an intentional part of the business strategy? People are aligned around a common vision. We’ve discussed that previously. They sense and interpret their changing environment. They generate new knowledge which they use, in turn, to create innovative products and services to meet customer needs. We have identified seven action imperatives that characterize companies traveling toward thisGoal with three three key components: (1) systems-level,continuous learning (2) that is created in order to create and manageknowledge outcomes (3) which lead to improvement in the organization’sperformance, and ultimately its value, as measured through both financialassets and nonfinancial intellectual capital. Learning helps people to create andmanage knowledge that builds a system’s intellectual capital.
Bryson has several points regarding process design and action plans beginning on page 245, but we’re just going to touch a couple of key points here. (pg 265).
Issue Clarification• What is the real issue, conflict or dilemma?• Why is it an issue? What aspect causes the issue?• Who says its an issue?• What are the consequences of inaction?• Can we do something about it?• Can issues be eliminated or combined?• Does an issue need to be separated into two or more issues?• One department or across departments?• What are we missing? Bryson, 2011
Strategy Patterns“A strategy may be thought of asa pattern of purposes, policies,programs, actions, decisions,and/or resource allocations thatdefines what an organization is,what it does and why it does it.Strategy therefore is anextension of the organization’s(or community’s) mission,forming a bridge between theorganization and itsenvironment.” -- Bryson, 2011, p. 219. Bryson, 2011
Mintzberg “Strategic planning is not strategic thinking. One is analysis and the other is synthesis… Real strategic change requires inventing new categories, not rearranging old ones.” Mintzberg, HBR 1994Graphic source: Carpenter, et al. 2009. Bryson, 2011
Mintzberg (1994)• Pattern• Position – Dominant player, low-cost provider, service provider of choice, etc.• Perspective – David Osborne and Peter Plastrik’s “Five Strategies” • Core; Consequences; Customer; Control; and Culture.• Plan – The plan is the strategy• Posture or Ploy – Strategy as stratagem, ruse, gaming device, etc. Bryson, 2011
Focusing1. Addressing the new (rules, design, concepts, changes, technologies).2. Creating processes3. Controlling strategy delivery4. Developing future capabilities.5. Maintaining and enhancing stakeholder relations. Bryson, 2011
StrategyLevels 1. Whole organization 2. Subunits (departments) 3. Programs, service or process strategies. 4. Functional (operations). Bryson, 2011
Generic Enterprise Scheme 1 Understand social 2 Engage in needs and strategic leadership stakeholders and their interests 3 Pursue meaningful mission and fulfill 9 Cultivate support mandates and legitimacy 8 Secure needed resources 4 Build and draw on core and distinctive competenciesLivelihood 5 Pursue competitive 6 Employ coherent 7 Produce desirable and collaborative and effectiveScheme in circle results advantages strategies and operations Bryson, 2011
5 Key ?????1. What are the practical alternatives, dreams or visions we might pursue to address this issue and achieve this goal?2. What are the barriers to realizing these alternatives, dreams or visions?3. What major proposals might we pursue to achieve these visions or to overcome the barriers?4. What major actions (within existing staff job descriptions) must be taken to implement the proposals?5. What specific steps must be taken in the next six months? Bryson, 2011
Focusing1. What’s really reasonable?2. Where can we combine proposals, actions and specific steps?3. Do any proposals, actions or specific steps contradict each other, and if so, what do we do about it?4. What (including resources) are we or key implementers really willing to commit to in the next year?5. What are the specific next steps that would have to occur in the next six months for this strategy to work? Bryson, 2011
LearningOrganizationSenge (1990) defines the learning organization as anorganization that possesses not only an adaptive capacitybut the ability to create alternative futures through fivedisciplines.• Team learning• Shared visions• Mental models• Personal mastery• System thinking Bryson, 2011
Watkins &Marsick, (1993, 1996)When a learning organization becomesoperational as an intentional part of thebusiness strategy: – People are aligned around a common vision. – They generate new knowledge with three key components: • Systems-level continuous learning that is created in order to • Create and manage knowledge outcomes • Which lead to improvement in the organization’s performance and value. Bryson, 2011
Learning Organization• Developing a hierarchy of ideas from more abstract (i.e., values and mission) to more concrete (i.e., strategies and actions)• Understanding an idea’s placement within the hierarchy (i.e., what is attended to and why)• Understanding the connection between values and assertions (two often unarticulated keys to real learning)• Using strategic planning as a component of a “learning organization” Bryson, 2011
Miles &Snow (1978)• Prospectors – “continually search for market opportunities, and . . . Regularly experiment with potential responses to emerging environmental trends”• Defenders – “devote primary attention to improving the efficiency of their current operations”• Reactors – “seldom makes adjustment of any sort until forced to do so by environmental pressures” Bryson, 2011
Where we want to be Strategic PlanningWhere Process Continuallywe are Measured and Revised Bryson, 2011
Process Variation• Remember that strategic thinking, acting and learning are more important than a particular approach.• Evaluate alternatives prior to implementation. Are they: – Politically acceptable – Administratively and technically workable – Results oriented – Legally, ethically and morally defensible? Bryson, 2011
ResourcesJohn M. Bryson, Strategic Planning for Public and Nonprofit Organizations, 4th Edition (San Francisco: Jossey-Bass, 2011)Senge, P. M. (1990). The fifth discipline: The art and practice of the learning organization. New York: Random House.Watkins, K. E., & Marsick, V. J. (1993). Sculpting the learning organization: Lessons in the art and science of systemic change. San Francisco: Jossey- Bass.Watkins, K. E., & Marsick, V. J. (1996). In action: Creating the learning organization. Alexandria, VA: American Society for Training and Development. Baiyin Bryson, 2011