Align Transformation Strategy and Organization
After having compiled what your organization looks like, what your stakeholders (internal and external) think you should be doing and comparing the organization's practices with accepted best practices, it is time to define the organization's Vision Statement. The Vision statement should be a picture of what you expect the organization to look like in the not so near future. It is a target that should always be used as a reference, implicitly or explicitly, in every major decision-making process in the organization.
Based on Kotter's 8 steps for organization change, a Vision Statement serves three important purposes:
- It simplifies hundreds or thousands of more detailed decisions.
- It motivates people to take action in the right direction even if the first steps are painful.
- It helps to coordinate the actions of different people in a remarkably fast and efficient way.
It is obviously important to ensure that the strategy and vision statement are reviewed from time to time. Markets, economies and countries change, and so should the organizations if they want to stay in business. If change is the only constant, setting targets in stone will only lead the organization into stagnation.
Kotter also describes really well how a Vision Statement should be formulated: "In communicating the vision for the transformation, there are some things to keep in mind. The vision should be:
- Simple: No techno babble or jargon.
- Vivid: A verbal picture is worth a thousand words - use metaphor, analogy, and example.
- Repeatable: Ideas should be able to be spread by anyone to anyone.
- Invitational: Two-way communication is always more powerful than one-way communication."
After creating a vision statement, it is time to break it down into more focused and manageable pieces. The concept of "success factors" was developed by D. Ronald Daniel of McKinsey & Company, but later refined into critical success factors by John F. Rockart.
Instead of using Critical Success Factors, I favor the use of Corporate Success Factors (CSFs), as they belong in a layered structure of objectives along with Business Success Factors (BSFs) and Functional Success Factors (FSFs). CSFs are best deployed when only between three and six are created focusing on "what really matters" to the organization. The number of CSFs varies, but ultimately you want to limit the number of CSFs in order to maintain focus on the most important aspects of the organization. If you have too many CSFs, they are probably not focused enough.