The Missing Element in Employee Involvement - Strategy?
Alan Kennedy, Strategy Consultant, Canada
It fascinates me that organizational behaviour is always kept so far removed from strategy and considered without reference to strategy.
Our research concludes there is a framework of 8 strategies common to all organizations, from for-profits to nonprofits and governments.
Management of each of these strategies; Mission; Risk, Growth, Financial Management; R&D/Technology; People; Marketing/Sales; and Service Delivery/Production/Manufacturing; requires a very specific set of skills and behaviours - which, of course, create a very specific culture.
For example, R&D/Technology is associated with "nerd-like" research obsessed behaviour; Finances with "bean counting"; Marketing with "Madison Avenue types"; Service Delivery with obsessive attention to detail; etc.
If all of this makes sense, it is easy to understand why some employees can feel as though they are a square peg in a round hole even though they really like the business and what it stands for (i.e. the Greenpeace example above).
I think these uncommitted / uninvolved employees are in the wrong strategy / function of the business given their personality type!
Perhaps this is a form of Affective Binding but I believe it is a separate dimension of employee involvement well worth exploring. More importantly, for me anyway, it brings organizational behaviour and strategy together. After all, that's what employees are doing day in and day out at work; implementing strategy.
If we look at the strategies we expect employees to implement, we can understand better the organizational behaviours they are expected to exhibit. Then, we are more likely to be able to staff the positions with folks who will be happy there.