Best of organisations succeed with a lot of initial talent and loads of luck.It is not surprising that in those “lot of organisations”, not one of the good practices, corresponding to the mistakes described in this article, was ever pursued. Even in those organisation where one or all of these were practiced in the early years, lessons were learnt fast, and forgotten even faster, when the revenues and growth stabilised. And then stagnated before long!
It would be worthwhile to check what is happening in your organisation.The three mistakes prevalent in toxic proportions in organisations all over the world are:
1. Not creating ground zero before strategy meets
And this beats only the absence of any deliberate process (like Strategy Lab or Three Boxes) being followed in the strategy meet!
For most organisations, strategy meets are a yearly ritual . These become the ground for the top management to introduce their new confidantes and the directions decided by powers that be. There may be opportunities for debates, discussions and venting. But a most of the times the agenda is more or less shaped along with the expected outcomes that “they” want to hear long before this meet in some corner office. Fair enough.
Let us look at the meetings of those powers that be now. Does that start on ground zero? Does the room full of people get into the brain stilling mode, to tune into thinking slow, individually and collectively, when together?
Thinking slow, individually and collectively, especially when together for a strategic meet, can be the biggest differentiator and hugely transformative for existing horizons. Even for the top management. Especially for the top management!
In the best case, a serene resort is supposed to take care of it by its sheer existence. Yoga, spa and/or drinks are supposed to complete the rest. Except that these are usually soaked in and consumed by the ones who are not so full or hassled for that specific meeting anyways.
Alternately, a couple things companies committed to better strategising could:
have two strategy meetings, one hot (The Red Ocean Strategy Meet) and another cold (The Blue Ocean Strategy Meet), in whichever order;
– If the two are merged and flow into each other, have the first 24 or 48 hours dedicated purely to reach a zero state, a beginner’s mind, a tabula rasa. It can be a combination of physics and liquid chemistry mentioned above, but also the more Cognitive/Meta-Cognitive Processes to prime the strategy space in the room.
Looks like a tall order for the Globetrotting Executives of this age, doing nothing for two full days the name of strategy formulation! but if Strategy is not the basic spine of long-term growth then what is? And if that is not worth investing time in, to take it to its best possible, then what is??
How are the strategy meets in your organisation? Share the good, the bad and the ugly anecdotes in my inbox. Anonymity promised!!