Shovelling jelly in a post pandemic environment
Professor Henry Minztberg stated that ‘Strategic Planning is like shovelling jelly’ perhaps because it wobbles, is difficult to shape and maybe imprecise in some aspect if it is to get the desired results. As we emerge from the worst pandemic for one hundred years the way we work may have changed faster than at any time in the past fifty years. Certainly, it has shown us how much we now depend on video conferencing and the internet. How are leaders and managers going to adapt and take advantage of the new insights and opportunities?
What have we discovered during the pandemic?
People are resourceful, adaptable and have often thrived on the opportunity to do things differently while working from home. Many managers were surprised how well staff have taken to virtual working and delivered more than was anticipated. They found that employee needs of their leaders has changed, as did those of the employees who were furloughed. They discovered that customers adapted to the changes. Some wonder how many staff will want to return to the office environment full time. This may be overlooking the social needs of people, the benefits of accidental meetings that occur in the workplace and may generate new ideas, insights and actions. The need to adapt further is going to be critical in the next year or so to flourish.
The challenge for all organisations is whether there is a need to revisit their current strategies and undertake a strategy review. Is the organisation fit for purpose as we come to terms with living in Covid modified world? Large organisations have teams who, no doubt, are already working on updating their strategies. Boards will have revisited the high-level issues already in their meetings. It maybe a bigger challenge for SME’s. They may have limited staff time and resources to review and refine their strategies in addition to fire fighting the disruption which occurred during lockdown.
The first stage of strategy review is to have a sense check that includes the following:
- Is the vision and mission still the best one for the organisation for the future?
- What are the views of stakeholders, both within the organisation and customers?
- What is the culture of the organisation?
- What are the options available?
- What are the benefits of each option?
- Has a risk analysis of the options been done?
- How ready for change is the organisation?
What needs to be done?
This work requires both quantitative and qualitative evaluation. For many smaller organisations the resources and expertise to undertake this work themselves maybe in short supply. Perhaps this is where external assistance for all or part of this process maybe useful to update a strategy in a timely, effective, evidence-based way. Entrusted Consulting has the tools to undertake this work via its software and expertise to deliver this work in an effective customer focused way.
By Alasdair Miller https://entrustedconsulting.com/our-people/
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