Reading summaries - week twelve, Fall 2017

Class themes this week were _ _ in SP. There is no SHRM class this week due to the Thanksgiving holiday.

Table of contents

Strategic Planning

Strategic Planning (SP)

Bryson, Chapter 10 - Reassessing and Revising Strategies and Plans

  • Ongoing strategic management of strategy implementation must ensue to take account of likely changes in circumstances
  • Times change, situations change, and coalitions change.

  • Strategies that work must be maintained and protected

  • ongoing strategic management these days also often means building and maintaining an organization-wide strategic management system

  • Strategies cease to work for four main reasons.
    1. strategy may be good but have insufficient resources devoted to implementation
    2. problems change, prompting a need for new strategies
    3. proliferation of policies and strategies that don’t work in concert
    4. political environment may shift
  • Many organizations now are building and maintaining an organization-wide strategic management system (SMS) as a way of fostering greater rationality, coherence, and cost-effectiveness in their strategies and operations.
  • An SMS in practice will describe the organization and its possibilities or capabilities for the future.
  • The purpose of this phase of the strategy change cycle is to review implemented policies, strategies, plans, programs, or projects and to decide on a course of action
  • Desired outcomes include:
    • maintenance of good strategies, modifications of less successful ones through appropriate reforms or plan revisions, and elimination of undesirable strategies.
    • construction and maintenance of a strategic management system to ensure ongoing effective strategic management
    • mobilization of energy and enthusiasm to address the next important strategic issue
    • Several additional desired outcomes:
      • assurance that institutionalized capabilities remain responsive to important substantive and symbolic issues.
      • the resolution of residual issues that occur during sustained implementation.
      • the continuous weeding, pruning, and shaping of crowded strategy areas
      • improved organizational knowledge and collaboration across all levels of the organization.
      • increased ability to tell the organization’s story to internal and external audiences
  • this step should foster development of the energy, will, and ideas for significant reform of existing strategies.
  • Strategic management systems (or performance management systems or results-based management systems) are ongoing organizational designs or arrangements for strategically managing the implementation of agreed-upon strategies, assessing the performance of those strategies, and formulating new or revised strategies.
  • Strategic management requires the following:
    • continual monitoring of the “fit” between the organization and its environment
    • shaping and communicating a clear vision to both internal and external audiences
    • creating strategic agendas at various levels, and in all parts of the organization
    • guiding all other management processes in an integrated manner to support and enhance these strategic agendas
  • strategic management process is organized around mission, vision, and values and includes strategic planning, results-oriented budgeting, performance management, and strategic measurement and evaluation
  • six main types of systems:
    • Integrated units of management approaches (or layered or stacked units of management approaches)
    • Strategic issues management approaches
    • Contract approaches
    • Collaboration approaches
      • Lead organization
      • Shared governance
      • Partnership administrative organization
    • Portfolio management approaches
    • Goal or benchmark approaches
    • Hybrid approaches
  • important to guard against the tendency such systems have of driving out wise strategic thought, action, and learning
  • In practice the systems often become excessively formal and bureaucratic
  • also important to realize that each system embodies a set of arrangements that empowers particular actors, makes particular kinds of issues more likely to arise than others, and makes particular strategies more likely

The Leader’s New Work, Senge (2006)

  • “To become a leader, you must first become a human being/ said Confucius, more than twenty-five hundred years ago
  • wisdom itself is one of the oldest ideas associated with leadership
  • this perspective on leading has almost been lost
  • We encode a broader message when we refer to top management as leaders. The message is that the only people with power to bring about change are those at the top of the hierarchy.
  • We began to think in terms of an “ecology of leadership”
  • Without effective local line leaders, new ideas-no matter how compelling-do not get translated into action
  • new view of leadership in learning organizations centers on subtler and more important tasks.
  • three fundamental roles characterize all leaders’ work: In a learning organization, leaders are designers, teachers, and stewards
    • Leader as designer
      • Leaders who appreciate organizations as living systems approach design work differently.
      • what it means to be a “designer” of learning infrastructures. First, one must recognize that an important need for communication and learning is not being met Then, have the courage and imagination to break the mold, to do something very different to meet that need
      • in the role of designer, a leader must be willing to allow others to continue to evolve the infrastructures to suit their own situations and not to feel the need to control the process
      • IT infrastructures
        • The same leadership in iterative design comes into play with more popular communication infrastructures
        • Leadership in designing IT-based infrastructures starts with designing the composition of the team responsible for implementation.
        • The same thinking needs to guide more novel learning infrastructures
      • Seeing design as part of a living system applies equally to more subtle design tasks, like the “design” of guiding ideas.
      • while it is common for management teams to come up with vision and mission statements, understanding that people interpret and behave with such statements in many different ways leads to different strategies.
      • When you approach the design of guiding ideas with this in mind, several things happen:
        • First, you worry less about getting the words right and more about using the words to engage people.
        • Second, you are prepared to take longer to develop statements of guiding ideas.
        • Third, you focus on how the guiding ideas are used
      • A focus on getting the words right leads to beautiful, even inspiring, vision statements the produce little or no change.
      • see visions and other guiding ideas as tools for mobilizing and focusing energy
      • judge ideas by their impact, not by how they sound
      • guiding ideas are always works in progress
      • The hallmark of good design is the absence of crisis. And as such often goes unnoticed.
    • Leader as teacher
      • A great teacher is someone around whom others learn
      • Create space for learning and invite people into that space
      • leaders’ work as teachers often starts with their recognition of an important capacity that is lacking in an organization
      • help people see problems in terms of underlying systemic structures and mental models rather than just short-term events
      • Developing systems thinking capabilities takes time and patience
      • To be a true teacher, you must be a learner first.
      • point that leaders need to be learners seems obvious, its implications can take time to hit home-especially for highly committed people
    • Leader as steward
      • The idea of leaders who serve those they lead may seem idealistic, but it is also pragmatic
      • Stewardship is about serving a larger purpose
      • Many otherwise competent managers in leadership positions are not leaders of the same ilk precisely because they have no larger story
      • Change leaders often forget to ask a powerful question: “What do we seek to conserve?”
      • When leaders consciously apply this principle, they usually discover that people seek to conserve identity and relationships
      • personal ambition can compromise results achieved whether or not there is outright management malfeasance
      • When positional authority leads managers to invest energy in protecting or expanding turf, it comes at the expense of focusing on actual results
      • Stewardship is, in the words of one of the young Roca street workers, ultimately about “doing what is right for the whole.”
      • brings with it a shift in our relationship to our personal vision. It ceases to be a possession. We become a steward of the vision.
      • What distinguishes outstanding leaders is the clarity and persuasiveness of their ideas, the depth of their commitment, and the extent of their openness to continually learning more.
      • also seems to be one commonality that transcends differences in how outstanding leaders go about their work: the principle of creative tension
      • truly effective leaders seem to come to a shared appreciation of the power of holding a vision and concurrently looking deeply and honestly at current reality
      • People who are truly leading seem rarely to think of themselves in that way. Their focus is invariably on what needs to be done, the larger system in which they are operating, and the people with whom they are creating-not on themselves as “leaders.”
Written on November 20, 2017