Systems Eat Strategy AND Culture

Every company has “systems”. There are “hard systems” like IT and “soft systems” like organizational design that help form the DNA of any business. Even if a company has a clearly articulated strategy, dynamic leadership and an engaged culture, these “systems” can hamper or even sabotage any change initiative. When organizations begin, they experiment with various methods of getting things done. Eventually best practices are determined and systematized. Efficiency demands that these practices become standardized and routinely repeated by everyone who completes the task. In every company there is an archive of un-written systems that are the “code” underlying the organization and operation. We may understand this to be the culture of the organization but in fact it is the management system that has been either chosen or more often adopted over time. This “code” may or may not be aligned with the desired culture of the organization. […]

Just do it? What is running interference with “getting it done” for you?

Nike is famous for its mantra, “Just do it.” While this is a good marketing slogan it is a lousy mantra for execution in business! One of the critical success factors to effectiveness in every organization is of course execution – getting it done. At 1-degree, we are believers in the old adage of, “work smarter, not harder.” We define execution as: “Getting the right things done, by the right people, for the right reasons.” This is not as catchy a phrase as Nike’s, although we feel it is a more helpful mantra for business leaders. […]

What is the Strategic CAUSE for your organization?

Every organization has a strategy. At best, it is intentional, collective, simple, inspiring and helps guide all decision-making. At worst, it is complicated, static and lives only in a binder on a shelf… All too often the process of strategy development suffers from some fatal flaws. These flaws can be categorized as follows: The strategy is owned/crafted by the CEO or functional leader only The strategy is too complicated The strategy is not specific enough in terms of outcomes and/or tactics The strategy lacks clarity in terms of accountabilities around execution The strategy is not linked tightly with Purpose as a beacon for decisions Any of these sound familiar? […]

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