LEADERSHIP BY DESIGN - MODULE 24
Become proficient in using the six essential steps for constructing a compelling framework to implement your vision effectively, fostering enthusiastic adoption and support from your team.
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So, how did you get on with creating vision, or having a look at your businesses’ vision? Hopefully, it’s got one, hopefully you’ve got some sort of vision for your business unit or your team. If you haven’t though, don’t worry. A lot full of businesses seem to get by with just this intuitive understanding of where they’re going without a clear vision. So, you’re in good company, however, you do need to get a vision. And once you’ve got your vision, you’ve got this compelling idea of where the business is going, you then need to create some sort of strategic framework that will help to get there.
Now, there are vast books and hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of them, which will help you to devise strategy and then to implement it. And in the time, we’ve got, I can’t give you huge events, but what I will do is give you some simple ideas which I’ve drawn from some very popular work, so you can read up more on these.
I’m a great fan of the strategic framework or the strategic delivery framework created by Kaplan and Norton and the details to their books are in the text. But what they say is that once you’ve got a vision, you need to cascade, a cascade of how you break that out into a framework, which is deliverable, and a framework which allows you to create a closed loop that ensures that the delivery occurs, and you get the results hereafter. Now I include more details on that. But let me just run through the key levels in that strategy framework.
So, once you’ve defined a vision, the next step is to define your goals. These are the top-level statements of the things that you’re trying to achieve, that having achieved them, your vision would be delivered. Now these are top level, and these areas that you need to change. One of the things we often do instinctively when writing strategies and plans is to actually focus a lot on what it is we do anyway, and we would do anyway. The thing that we need to do is to focus most on the areas of greatest change ’cause they’re the areas of greatest risk and greatest threat and they’re always the ones which produce the greatest return.
So, concentrate on the areas of change and set goals for those areas so that you’re really focusing on the big changes you need to make to achieve your vision. Then once you defined your goals, you define the outcomes that will have been created such that those goals can be achieved. So, this is then a description of the states that exist such that the goals will have been achieved. You then define objectives for each one of those outcomes. So, these are like goals, but now much more detailed with clear measurable targets. And if you’ve got four, five, six, eight goals, you may be having the same number of objectives for each one of those goals.
So, you’re going to get more and more complexity once you get down to that level. And then the final level of detail is the individual tasks, you break things down into a set of tasks, which will ensure that your objectives have been achieved. So, we start with the overarching vision. We work our way down to some top-level change goals. We then talk about the outcomes that need to have been achieved. To find the objectives and reason behind every detail, and then all the detail of the deliverable tasks that exist below that and the lower levels, clear descriptions of the targets that we’re working for; indicators which will tell us whether we’ve achieved those tasks, whether we’ve met those objectives, and whether we’re going to deliver on those outcomes.
So, read the material. There’s no way you’re going to be writing a full strategic framework in a day or so. It’s a complex business, but I would always urge you to keep it as simple as possible, the simpler, the more coherent the strategic framework, the better the chances of success. Human nature is to over-complicate it. Indeed, it is easy to over-complicate it. Try though to keep it simple, well-structured at a high level and you stand a better chance of achieving it.
So read the material, plenty of other books to read up on. And if you want to know more about this area, then do contact me. It’s a vast area, but as a leader, you do need to have a good idea of what a strategy looks like and how you might be able to construct a complete strategy framework.
Good luck with the reading, and then we’ll carry on this theme in the next segment tomorrow.