Strategic Planning

Every organization needs to encourage strategic planning. Conventional wisdom says “if you don’t know where you’re going, any road will get you there.” Here is a process that works.

1) Start by deciding the time period you mean by “the future.” This can vary with the industry. For most, a three to five year period is used.

During my career, I was the guy who had the privilege of regularly going back to my organization’s leadership team and reminding them that they had chosen three to five years. When that time had expired, I would say “Welcome to the future. How’d that go for you? We need to do it again!”

Also, recognize that something completely disruptive can come along. That should compel the organization to revisit the strategy.

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Mission, Vision, and Values

More than once, I’ve heard start-up entrepreneurs downplay the importance of having statements of mission, vision, and values. Frankly, this is very short-sighted. The leader may know the content of such things, as they perceive them, but they need to document and communicate with stakeholders and employees. Ultimately, employees should be able to find their work content and contribution in these governance documents. Continue reading

Why Should I Be Thinking About Organization Development and Organizational Change?

Come on, Steve! I’ve just gotten this business funded and running and you want me to worry about Organization Development and Organizational Change! You’ve got to be kidding!

The suggestion seems premature and excessive. It’s not. As the organization forms and grows, even as a start-up, it goes through an enormous amount of change. An organization is a large system with many moving parts. Shifting or wiggling one of those parts moves and affects all of them. Decisions are being made regarding processes, tools, organization structure, systems, skill development, symbols, and style whether they are conscious, in-context, aligned with the organization’s strategy, or not.

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