Posts Tagged ‘organizational effectiveness’

strategy-that-worksIn today’s fast-paced business environment, companies are constantly struggling to create value. While some may believe that this is simply due to external forces, many organizations in fact suffer because of the way they are managed that leads to a disconnect between their strategies and execution. In the Harvard Business Review Press title Strategy That Works, Paul Leinwand and Cesare Mainardi discuss how exceptional companies such as Amazon, Apple, Danaher, Haier, IKEA, Lego, Natura, Starbucks, and others have bridged the gap between strategy and execution to become undisputed market leaders.

The authors’ research has revealed that, instead of following conventional business practices, these winning companies embrace five acts of unconventional leadership that allow them to become and remain coherent:

1. Committing to an identity. Instead of chasing growth, the winning companies define themselves by what they do, not just what they sell. They develop a truly differentiating identity based on their key strengths and use those strengths to guide them through today’s rapidly changing business environment.

2. Translating the strategic into the everyday. Instead of focusing on functional excellence, the winning organizations blueprint and build a handful of unique cross-functional capabilities that are at the heart of their strategy and drive profits.

3. Putting the culture to work. Instead of fighting their culture, winning companies identify and leverage the parts that work in their favor. This gives them a culture that reinforces their distinctive capabilities and breeds collaboration across functions. Coherent companies typically have three common cultural elements: emotional commitment, mutual accountability, and collective mastery.

4. Cutting costs to grow stronger. Instead of cutting costs across the board, winning companies cut costs strategically. They make investment decisions based on whether or not the investments will support their value propositions and distinctive capabilities.

5. Shaping the future. Instead of constantly reacting to market changes, highly coherent companies shape their future. They do so by continually recharging their capabilities systems, creating demand based on their privileged access to customers, and realigning their entire industries.

To learn more, please visit www.bizsum.com

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94994429In Rapid Realignment, George Labovitz and Victor Rosansky chart the path to optimal organizational performance by integrating key processes, staff, customers, and strategies to serve the primary purpose of an enterprise—increasing stakeholder value. Alignment is the result of this integration, and organizations that achieve it succeed by focusing their people and resources on providing optimal customer satisfaction. In aligned organizations, employees at every level understand the business’s goals and strategies and know how their efforts advance them. Their clear understanding of customer needs enables the constant improvement of products and services that win and maintain customer loyalty. This adjustment, or rapid realignment, is a necessity in a global economy in which swiftly changing conditions and demands can pose serious challenges to an organization’s survival.

According to Labovitz and Rosansky:

  • To support an organization’s primary purpose, its staff, strategy, customers, and processes must be aligned. This alignment requires clear communication, complete understanding of its objectives, and the commitment of all involved in the process. When external forces or events cause misalignment and reduces effectiveness, rapid realignment is essential to ensure continued success.
  • The alignment framework is made up of four elements — strategy, people, processes, and customers. Strategies will change as requirements change, and when they do they must be rapidly deployed. Core processes that serve customers must continually undergo improvement.
  • Vertical alignment is achieved when employees can articulate the organization’s strategy and explain how their work supports it. This understanding is what boosts the deployment of new strategies.
  • Horizontal alignment is achieved when the communication barriers that separate employees from customers are removed. This means that employees understand customer needs and are committed to improving service.
  • Every organization must have a Main Thing — a meaningful description of what it wants to accomplish. It must be a common and unifying concept to which every unit can make a contribution.
  • Social media is an excellent means for fostering trust and bringing people together to advance both the Main Thing and management’s plans for achieving it. It facilitates employee communication with management and enables employees to ask questions that get answers.
  • To effectively change their cultures, organizations must determine the behaviors that will best implement their strategies and meet customer needs, as well as ensure that attitudes and values are aligned with their Main Things.
  • To effectively change behaviors, new strategies must be explained repeatedly. Employees must be able to comprehend how their participation will ensure the strategies’ success and how their contributions will be valued.

To download three free summaries, please visit our site.

Related book summaries in the BBS library: Wiki ManagementHBR Guide to Getting the Right Work DoneBusiness at the Speed of Now

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The Innovator's PathIn today’s complex, global business landscape, continuous innovation is the key to establishing and maintaining competitive advantage, but it takes more than good ideas to create and win support for meaningful, ongoing change. Madge Meyer explains eight disciplines that are at the heart of effective innovation: Listen, Lead, Position, Promote, Connect, Commit, Execute, and Evolve. In The Innovator’s Path, Meyer provides practical strategies and proven techniques to unlock the power of these disciplines, delivering value to customers while creating a culture that welcomes experimentation and celebrates progress.

Meyer’s  eight-discipline framework for facilitating and fueling innovation consists of the following actions:

  1. Listen. There is a major difference between simply hearing customers, coworkers, and other stakeholders, and actually listening to them. Individuals and companies have an advantage when they pay careful, respectful attention to what others have to say.
  2. Lead. A leader need not be a top executive or manager. Leaders at any level can inspire others to top performance with their vision, passion, personal integrity, and high expectations.
  3. Position. Innovation requires a clear vision for the future and a roadmap for achieving it. Developing this future orientation and strategic direction positions the organization to take advantage of new opportunities.
  4. Promote. Innovation leaders can never assume that others know or understand the importance of their work. They must continually communicate their ideas and accomplishments in terms of business value, like augmented savings or revenue.
  5. Connect. Establishing, nurturing, and maintaining a relationship between individuals and among teams is a key responsibility for every innovation leader.
  6. Commit. Individuals, teams, and organizations commit to innovation when they actively encourage new ideas and demonstrate a willingness to take calculated risks.
  7. Execute. Innovation teams and organizations should formalize processes, like change management reviews, that maximize value delivery while minimizing risks.
  8. Evolve. In innovative cultures, individuals and teams are encouraged to continually reexamine solutions. They are challenged to do better — and rewarded accordingly. Ultimately, this approach instills the idea of “innovation-as-usual.”

To download three free summaries, please visit our site.

Related book summaries in the BBS library: The Architecture of InnovationInnovation EngineGetting Innovation Right

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