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Tag Archives: Direction



Constant change is a norm in today’s fast-paced business environment.

It’s become important for companies to respond almost immediately, in order to sustain in a business world where geographical boundaries are continually diminishing; technology is rapidly advancing; customer expectations are ever changing  and the whole world is 24/7 connected.

Agility is one of the most important means to deal with it.

If you look at businesses that are progressing and growing, you will find that it’s their ability to be flexible and nimble that’s been helping them stay ahead of the competition. They are the ones that

  • Are more likely to be first to the market
  • Innovate more frequently
  • Are the best employer brands

Given the speed of market changes, an increasing number of companies, irrespective of their size and nature, are jumping on the agile bandwagon to survive and grow in a tumultuous business environment.

Sticking to the traditional values and modus operandi is not going to help. One must remember that agility is not just about implementing and executing new processes or templates. Rather it’s about developing an agile mindset and empowering people to face challenges without hesitating.

So, what does it take to build a company that’s flexible enough to respond quickly and efficiently to market changes? Well, just thinking about being agile doesn’t make you agile.

So, how do you go about it? Listed below are introductory steps that you need to take to prepare yourself to move towards agility.

Ask yourself these questions (more…)


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This paper, produced by McKinsey&Company, examines what makes public-sector organisations agile in extremely challenging times and what mostly prevents them from remaining agile otherwise.

It also describes techniques of organisational agility that could help large agencies and departments get moving as quickly as today’s fluid conditions require—and how to apply them with an understanding of the public sector’s unique context and responsibilities.

ORGANISATIONAL AGILITY IN THE PUBLIC SECTOR


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“Customers don’t want a quarter-inch drill bit, they want a quarter-inch hole.” This simple but important insight expressed nearly half a century ago by the legendary marketing guru Theodore Leavitt is too often forgotten by corporate strategists and product developers alike.

Successful innovation doesn’t begin with a brainstorming session―it starts with the customer. So in an age of unlimited data, why do more than 50% of new products fail to meet expectations? The truth is that we need to stop asking customers what they want . . . and start examining what they need.

First popularized by Clayton Christensen, the Jobs to be Done theory argues that people purchase products and services to solve a specific problem. They’re not buying ice cream, for example, but celebration, bonding, and indulgence.

The concept is so simple (and can remake how companies approach their markets)―and yet many have lacked a way to put it into practice.

This book answers that need. Its groundbreaking Jobs Roadmap guides you through the innovation process, revealing how to:

• Gather valuable customer insights

• Turn those insights into new product ideas

• Test and iterate until you find success


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Co-creating organisational culture can reinvigorate organisations by fully engaging employees, improving performance and increasing productivity.

Healthy organisational culture often has clear guiding principles or values, which help employees thrive in today’s ever-changing world. However, employees often struggle with what they can believe and value at their workplace, especially when they face challenging situations such as budgets cuts, restructuring and increasing workload demands.

Learning leaders can help to co-create organisational culture by facilitating the following three-step approach, which was developed based on the “personal leadership credo.”

Step 1: Individual reflection: Co-creating organisational culture should start from each individual level. It helps each individual feel ownership. Every individual feels and interprets what organisational culture means differently. Therefore, a simple lifeline exercise could enable each individual to reflect on their life journey and better understand themselves.

The lifeline exercise provides a great opportunity for individuals to reflect on significant life events or crisis moments in their professional life. People who go through the lifeline exercise identify their challenging life events as turning points, and in some cases, positive incidents. Individual reflection occurs when people encounter disorienting dilemmas about their challenging situations and experiences, and try to make meaning of incidents and the actions they take based on their experiences. Therefore, the exercise facilitates individuals’ identification, evaluation, and their efforts to make meaning of critical life events that produce insights, reconstruct professional values, and inform future actions.

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From Apple to Zappos, every successful company has its own distinct corporate culture.

Whether you are observing the leaders’ strategic decision making, HR’s hiring practices, or the marketing team at work, this culture permeates everything the company does.

When corporate culture does not align with the strategic goals of the company, optimal performance will be impossible to sustain.

Just as a garden must be carefully tended to keep weeds from taking it over, culture must be consciously maintained to prevent it from morphing into something unintended.

The consequences of culture-strategy misalignment: If you follow business news, you may be aware that a large number of corporate snafus can be blamed on the misalignment of culture within an organisation. Allowing culture and strategy to fall out of alignment can bring leaders face-to-face with far-reaching consequences. These include:

  • Lost sense of mission. When strategy and a strong culture are aligned, they create a sort of compass effect that gives employees a sense of clarity and a mission that guides their actions and decisions. When that alignment fails, many employees default to self-serving behaviours and the sense of mission is lost.
  • Disoriented employees. When employees get mixed signals from leaders preaching one set of values but rewarding a different set of behaviours, it can leave them feeling confused, jaded, and out of touch with the organisation’s goals. For example, a company may focus on individual performance reviews despite verbally praising the merits of teamwork.
  • Damaged public image. When culture and strategy are aligned, day-to-day operations tend to fall into sync with a company’s brand and image. Failure to maintain alignment can make the organisation appear hypocritical to those observing it—especially to customers.
  • Increased turnover. A strong culture that is well-aligned with strategy creates a sense of belonging to something greater than any individual. It inspires loyalty in all levels, from company leadership to entry-level hires. When that alignment fails, the sense of loyalty can be nearly impossible to maintain—and employees will tend to seek it elsewhere.

(more…)


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In the 1970's, many large firms adopted a formalised top-down strategic planning model. Under this model, strategic planning became a deliberate process in which top executives periodically would formulate the firm's strategy, then communicate it down the organisation for implementation.

This process is most applicable to strategic management at the business unit level of the organisation.

For large corporations, strategy at the corporate level is more concerned with managing a portfolio of businesses. 

For example, corporate level strategy involves decisions about which business units to grow, resource allocation among the business units, taking advantage of synergies among the business units, and mergers and acquisitions. In the process outlined here, "company" or "firm" will be used to denote a single business firm or a single business unit of a diversified firm.

This resource takes you step by step through the model.

THE STRATEGIC PLANNING PROCESS MODEL

 


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Although there are countless organisational models, this paper describes one particular approach–the congruence model of organisational behaviour.

First developed by David A Nadler and M L Tushman in the early 1980s, it has been found to be particularly useful in helping leaders to understand and analyse their organisations’ performance.

This approach has been developed and refined over nearly three decades of academic research and practical application in scores of major companies.

It doesn’t provide any pat answers or pre-packaged solutions to the perplexing issues of large-scale change. Instead, it is a useful tool that helps leaders understand the interplay of forces that shape the performance of each organisation, and starts them down the path of working with their own people to design and implement solutions to their organisation’s unique problems.

This paper, shared by Stanford University, describes the congruence model and suggests how it can provide a starting point for large-scale change.

THE CONGRUENCE MODEL


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