Excerpt from The Adaptive Strategy Framework Guide
Defining and delivering on vision and strategy has been a hit and miss proposition for most organizations for many decades. The reason for this is twofold.
First, the world is not like it used to be; Traditional management thinking and its accompanying models rely on the notion that we can use the past to predict the future. This was the era of 3 to 5-year business plans. Change was slow, and at times imperceptible, and the problems they faced were mostly discrete.
Secondly, organizations are now operating in a world of volatility, uncertainty, complexity and ambiguity (VUCA). Additionally, customers expect more awareness and responsiveness by businesses that provide them with products and services.
A VUCA-world means that organizations now face holistic messes rather than discrete problems. Traditional hierarchies are intrinsically ineffective in enabling the speed of decision-making required to lead at the pace of change. We don’t know what we don’t know, and we have to stop the pretense that we do.
Rod Collins, in his forward to Agile Value Delivery: Beyond the Numbers said:
Handling these holistic messes has more to do with having the ability to rapidly adapt to ever-changing customer expectations than with minimizing variances in a fixed plan.
Handling holistic messes requires whole-of-organization approaches. These approaches must encompass iterative strategic direction setting, execution, validation, and adaptability. It requires a mindset that embraces emergent thinking.
The window of opportunity to deliver Value into business operations has gotten increasingly shorter while the window of stability following Value delivery is immediately followed by the next set of challenges.
Solving holistic messes requires holistic solutions that recognize both the objective (goal-based) and subjective (perception-based) perspectives of value:
- When an organization looks upon Value in the subjective sense it is said to be value-based
- When an organization looks upon Value in the objective sense it is said to be value-driven
- When an organization looks upon Value in both senses simultaneously it is said to be value-centered
Being value-centered enables teams of individuals:
- to do the right things for the right reasons
- in the right way
- to achieve the right results
- at the right times
Having clearly defined values and principles at an organizational level that also supports agile thinking creates the framework for cogent and coherent value-centered decision-making across an organization.
Clearly defined organizational values + organizational principles + agile thinking = making good decisions across the organization.
Do you or your organization practice value-centered decision-making?