A lot of entities have gone to great lengths to craft corporate strategies but a closer look at these reveals they are only practically equal in value to the paper they are printed on.
Someone said strategy is only valuable before the ink has dried up.
Another pundit, in referring to the strategy document, said: “the thicker the strategy document, the more useless it is.” Don’t a good number of us believe that the thicker the strategy document, the more functional it turns out to be?
To what extent are the so-called strategies helpful to the entities they have been designed for?
Probably, I am opening a Pandora’s box but this question ought to be answered otherwise the time that is spent in crafting the strategies are only but a waste.
The basis for my argument is that there are numerous strategies that have been put on hold at national, organisational, social and spiritual levels that leave a lot to be desired.
Probably the time that is spent in coming up with the strategy is leadership’s reason for being in each other’s company and squandering financial resources.
I wish to share briefly what I feel real leadership strategy should be hinged upon.
Isn’t it a bombshell that the strategies that we run with in most of our entities are so complex, to say the least?
A strategy is not only intended for the leadership of the entity.
Everyone within the system should have plain sight of where the entity is heading than to only have five people at the top of the organisation know the goings-on in as far as the outlook of the entity is concerned.
Make the strategy so straightforward that everyone feels an essential part of the happenings.
It is rather attention-grabbing that in most of the companies around us, the strategy document is regarded as “their document” by most of the people who will be subordinate.
The instant this happens, there is no way these people who are in lower positions will ever buy into what leadership wishes for.
This explains why most purported strategies never take off from the time they are crafted.
They remain on a shelf in a leader’s office somewhere pending the time when another strategy has to be crafted.
True leaders are the ones who can simplify complexity, particularly with regards to the strategy.
Never permit vagueness to cloud the strategy document that you come up with.
It’s good to have a leadership that is knowledgeable and well-read but besides that, the people being led may not be as informed as you are.
The strategy is meant to be operationalised by those people who wish for clarity more than anything else. Unclear statements will by no means assist your entity in moving forward.
They actually have an effect of generating a negative mind-set on the part of the people who should make sure that what you desire sees the imminence of day.
True leaders are driven by clearness.
The strategy should be unambiguous so that those that running with it know precisely where they are going.
Is there anything that is stimulating about the strategy that you are crafting? In most cases, the strategies that are crafted are not at all captivating.
This is probably because of the fact that the people who assist in the crafting may not be knowledgeable enough about the nature of the industry they are crafting a strategy for.
Additionally, the strategy may possibly be an off-the-shelf product created by a consultant somewhere.
If ever there is anything that will set people in motion, it is working for a commendable cause. The human race will go to great lengths to do those things that are worthwhile regardless of the monetary value that will accrue to them.
In the event that someone doesn’t know why something is being done, they never give it their best shot in all probability.
The opposite is equally true in that an individual will at all times give their best the moment their contribution to humanity is well spelt out.
How compelling is the strategy that you are offering to the people that you work with? Some of the things that are found in strategy documents are quite outrageous, to say the least.
The reasonableness of the things that are affirmed will be vastly debatable.
It is rather better to have a step-by-step process towards the accomplishment of great things than to come up with unworkable statements in your strategy documents.
The tendency by the followers in cases where the strategy is not believable is to take the whole team of leaders as a bunch of lunatics.
In fact, most of our entities are filled with people who are close to lunatics, principally if one makes a close assessment of what they would have come up with in their strategy meetings.
At times, one would question the intelligence of these self-styled leaders.
Probably what happens is that most of the leaders will agree with what a minority of the most insane in the group will be proposing.
One thing that is of importance in the operations of any entity is the fact that the entity is only one of its kind and is so different from all other entities that there may be.
It is, however, wicked that a lot of companies employ mirror-image strategies even though they may be operating in totally different industries.
The reason is that the people who craft these strategies have an inclination of taking something that may have worked somewhere and refining it slightly to make it fit in another entity.
This is more like the proverbial square plug in a circular hole.
This explains why so many strategies that appear second to none at face value fail miserably when it comes to operationalising them.
The strategy that one comes up with should always reproduce an element of uniqueness that is in line with the industry that you operate in.
It should also tie together the culture and changes that are taking place in the greater world.
As a leader, chart the best way forward which entails bringing to the fore those unique elements that relate to the entity.
If the level of exceptionality is not reflected, it is better for you not to have a strategy at all.
Do not just have a strategy because everyone else is doing it.
Simultaneously, do not come up with a strategy if you are not prepared to arise and make it happen.
There are many strategies that have been crafted that are never followed through but what benefit will there be for the entity that you work for if there is a strategy that is not operationalised, one wonders?
Noah Mangwarara is a motivational speaker & leadership expert. Feedback on 0772 884 509/ email@example.com