By Samantha Tinkamanyire
A former director and colleague once reminded me that if ever conflicted about a strategic decision, he recited the company mission statement. If the new strategy or change was in line with the organization’s long-term vision and mission statement… then it was a go. This was his corporate compass.
As organizations begin planning a way forward, it is important that they remember their mission and vision. A company’s mission is its statement of existence, what is the goal of the business and who are the primary customers. The vision outlines what an organization would like to ultimately achieve. These two components should be taken into consideration as organizations begin to develop and implement new strategies.
Emmanuel De Tumi, the notable author, speaker, and president of Human Capital International (HCI), once said that “the growth of your business is not determined by the size of your pocket, but by the quality of your thinking”. This means that the solutions do not immediately start with balance sheets; but instead with strategic thinking and (I would add) an openness to change.
Among many lessons, HCI teaches that there are several types of strategies: The strategic objective, the organizational strategy, leadership/management strategy, people strategy, and system strategy.ii Once there is focus on one of these key strategies, it’s easier to generate ideas.
Practically speaking, if an organization is trying to stay whole with vendor partnerships during COVID-19, one strategy would be to adjust or renegotiate payment terms, keeping both the relationship and the organization whole. Another strategy could be to liquidate assets as a source of cash collection in order to pay vendors.
The most important aspect of initiating change is embedding change thinking into the organization. In order to achieve this, business leaders must: create a space of phycological safety with the staff, make opportunity seeking a part of the daily conversation, seek out and discontinue or modify what is not working, promote what is working, and curate cross functional collaborations.
In 2016, Leadership and Change Magazine published an article that highlighted innovation from the bottom up. Spotlighting organizations like Coca Cola, the article noted that “in organizations with effective idea systems, roughly 80 percent of the potential for overall performance improvement comes from front-line ideas”.
Change is inevitable, businesses must use this time as an opportunity to implement change strategically.
Samantha Tinkamanyire, MBA, SSBB
Founder, D&I Business Solutions, Ltd