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There is unbeatable strength in organisation that is focused on its Value Proposition and is totally aligned to that Value Proposition. This is a strength that gives lasting competitive advantage in the market because it is almost impossible to imitate.
When people don't pull together, many managers assume it's because of lack of will or workers just don't care. However, in over 20 years working in business strategy, I've yet to find an organisation where people don't want to do a good job. If they don't do a good job it's nearly always because of poor organisational design.
Organisational design is like a boat with three rowers. Their names are:
To be successful, the three rowers need to know where they are going and they all need to be pulling together in the same direction.
In many organisations the three rowers pull against each other like this:
What we want is for all three rowers to pull together like this:
The diagram shows how the rowers are related:
In business, there are really only three places (Value Propositions) your boat can go:
The way the rowers row is very different depending on which Value Proposition they choose to aim for. For example, if the boat is aiming for Product Leadership, the Culture, Customer service and Brand all need to be entrepreneurial, individual and exciting; however, if the boat is heading towards Operational Excellence, the Culture, Customer Service and Brand all need to be more structured, disciplined and measured.
Successful organisations set their direction (strategy) and align all parts of the organisation to achieve it. Actually, it is a bit more complex that I suggest above, because there are 10 rowers rather than 3; however the principle of aligning all of them is the same and my simplification makes it easier to understand.
Alignment is like the focussed beam of light generated by a laser. Ordinarily, incoherent light consists of waves of many frequencies, in all phases, and moving in all directions. Light waves in a laser beam are coherent, organised in the same frequency in phase, and travelling in the same direction. This gives the laser the power to cut through even very dense materials.'''
You have the same power available to you through Alignment.
Our product is based on the foundation that there is no such thing as a universally 'best' setting for these aspects. The best settings will be VERY different depending on which Value Proposition is chosen. These differences are shown in the Chart below.
The settings for Customer Intimacy have a shape of 2243 as shown in Chart 2:
The generalised shape of 2243 relates to a setting of 2 for quadrant A, 2 for quadrant B, 4 for quadrant C and 3 for quadrant D. Quadrants A, B, C, and D are references to Herrmann's Thinking Preference quadrants as shown in Chart 3 below.
In other words, Customer Intimacy needs to be world class in the C quadrant (relationships), very good at D (creatively solving the client's problems) and at least competitive in A (analysis) and B (systems).
The settings for Product Leadership are a quite different shape than those for Customer Intimacy.
The settings for Operational Excellence are different again.
Read a living Case Study on Alignment.
In a word ...The whole organisation becomes as sharp and focussed as a laser.
This product is supported by Bruce Holland who is a specialist in business strategy Wellington, nationally and internationally. He specialises in public sector strategy and other large private sector organisations.
Key words: strategy, strategies, business strategy, business strategies, strategy management, strategic management, strategy development, implementation.