Browsing all articles in Strategy

Driving Performance throught the Hierarchy by Christo Nel

There is often a tendency to declare the demise of “the hierarchy” in recent publications with the parallel suggestion that organisations need to become more dynamic, flexible, non-hierarchical and responsive. Such calls are valid if it is meant to focus on the elimination of the antiquated organogram and bureaucratic hierarchy, but it fails to acknowledge that the execution of strategy requires the alignment of activities across various levels of work.

Peter Drucker famously stated that “structure follows strategy” while Robert Waterman, who co-authored In Search of Excellence with Tom Peters, concluded that structure is an integral part and extension of stgrategy. The famous McKinsey 7S model also places strategy and structures at the core of sustainable organisational performance. Yet all too often the managerial leadership of organisations will invest in creating or refining a strategy and yet remain reluctant to align the structures to ensure that they drive the execution of strategy. This is an important reason why less than 30% of strategies are ultimately achieved. The obvious conclusion is that without a proper structure and hierarchy that empowers people across all levels, strategy execution will be compromised. read more

Leading without blinkers, imagine the power by Paul de Beer

Recently I consulted to a particular executive team regarding their company structure.  Working with the team early one morning, I started by having them imagine their business in a few years time having achieved a high level of success.  They then worked in two groups to draw up what the describing attributes would be in that scenario.  Next I had the team draw up the attributes considering the worst case scenario, that of the business having failed.  At this point they started looking rather concerned, and commented that many of the negative scenario attributes existed in the present.

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