Include People Factor in Strategy Analysis

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Include People Factor in Strategy Analysis
srinivas, Test Manager, India

Should strategy analysis be confined to the scope of adapting to the changing internal or external environmental conditions? If the objective is to realize the potential and in the process experience a higher level of quality of experience on top of adapting to changing needs then strategy analysis will be more challenging and fulfilling.
Strategy analysis should not only involve change at the physical level, but also the changes in intellectual and emotional bliss (happiness) of the people involved in production and consumption by considering their conscious, subconscious spiritual experiences.

Changing Views is Challenging, But Required
Bernhard Keim, Business Consultant, Germany
I am with you. But culture develops over time. Only the top of it is visible (like an iceberg). Culture always resists major change, the type of change a new strategy might require.
There are philosophical questions involved: Where do I come from? Who am I? Where do I want to go? Why? Do you really know who you are? And does everyone in the organization see it the way you see it? And if you started apprehending your company in a different way, how do you know others understand what you have seen?
Remember the poem "The Blind Men and the Elephant" by J.G. Saxe. It is very easy to say something about strategy and culture, but it's quite an enduring endeavor to catch it in a meaningful way.

We are Considering Mind and Hands but Leave out Soul and Heart
srinivas, Test Manager, India
I agree that different people have different views on philosophical questions. However I suppose what is happening in today's strategy is that we that we are considering the mind and hands while leaving the soul and heart part out.
Consider a delivery mechanism similar to humans having sense organs, heart (values), mind (strategy, planning, monitoring etc) and soul (spirit behind the values). Once the heart and soul become involved it becomes a different ball game as far as quality of experience levels are concerned.
What if using the internet of things can assist in gathering information just like our senses do for us human beings? What if artificial intelligence concepts such as semantic web assists in performing the functions such as emergent strategy and design etc? I agree we can have meaningful measurable performance indicators for physical, intellectual and emotional (including bliss aspect) of being.

Make People Embrace the Strategy
Bernhard Keim, Business Consultant, Germany
We can see a company like an orchestra. Everyone must know how to play his instrument. There is a conductor who decides which pieces to play and orchestrates the bolts and bits in a meaningful way. How is he doing this?
  1. By UNDERSTANDING. He knows what to expect from every instrument and every musician.
  2. By COMMUNICATION. If no one knows what and how to play chances are high that you will not listen to music, but hear just noise.
  3. The conductor must know what the AUDIENCE wants, what they are willing to pay for.
But only if the orchestra is able to "produce" superior sound out of this, the music becomes meaningful. The outcome will depend heavily on the endeavors and the love everyone puts into his work. If nobody likes what he is doing, whether he is playing, conducting or listening, it will be all in vain. Therefore strategy must embrace the dimension of meaning - the "spirit" - to touch the soul as well.

Create a CAN DO Ability to Overcome Difficulties and Make Things Happen
Javier Elenes, Business Consultant, Mexico
@Bernhard Keim: You are right, moving the strategy forward is a big challenge, and we need to move the organization from "Canīt do" to "Can do". This is defined as the ability to overcome difficulties and make things happen.
But that is not free; you need to reinforce the Commitment of key people, Competences of key people, equipment and support systems, and reinforce Control of the action to consistently manage the business.

Strategy with and Beyond Meaning
srinivas, Test Manager, India
@Bernhard Keim: Your orchestra analogy with a company is a nice one. If we say by understanding the meaning we know the spirit behind the activity then we need to define the spirit. I agree it cannot be expressed in explicit terms, but the same can be expressed as in terms which are indicative. For example: we can define the spirit behind the activity or policy as follows: opposites coexist in reality, despite the existence of opposite values there is a detachment to it and the delivery of the intended values will flourish.
In order to achieve the above objective there is a need for sufficient preparation at physical, intellectual, emotional, bliss, conscious, subconscious and spiritual levels of the being. To me using artificial intelligence concepts we can have a meaningful interpretation of data and get the wisdom up to the bliss level. Beyond that wisdom we need to base ourselves on contemplative approaches.

People Factor in Strategy Validation
Jaap de Jonge, Editor, Netherlands
Please let's keep this topic focused on the People-factor in Strategy ANALYSIS; not the people factor in strategy formulation.
In other words: to what extent should people/culture be considered or involved when we are auditing, reviewing or validating an existing strategy?

People Matters Most
Bernhard Keim, Business Consultant, Germany
Strategy Analysis is concerned with the assessment of an existing strategy. Implementation of even the best strategy might fail if it does not take the mindset of employees into account.
Most obvious is this kind of fallacy in case the merger of two companies fails:
- Clearly in the majority of mergers the unaccounted factor is the culture clash between organizations.
- Less obvious is the culture clash from a new board and its new strategy for an existing organization. Mutual misunderstanding causes misconception of the strategy. Strategy Analysis has to find the reasons and causes for mis-implementation.
Having the right strategy, but the wrong organization is primarily a failure of strategy, not the organization. Especially the Design, the Planning and Positioning School of Strategy are prone to this type of failure as the employees play a subordinated role (see Ten Schools of Thought.


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