Strategy Silos United.
What do you do when your organization includes separate operating companies with a common corporate history, yet none of its individual company cultures and strategic plans are coordinated across the whole organization? What if the situationinvolvesnumerous leaders, each with their own style of managing their company’s culture, yet few bringstrategic-thinking skills to the table—at least beyond their own company boundary? With no hard data to show senior management what’s really going on, and outside economic factors causing change, does this situation seem insurmountable? Would you find it hard to wrap your mind—let alone your business practices—around it?
Company X solved a situation exactly like this by using a KES Network Analysis that identified the issue in a period of just over a month.Since the CEO and other leaders did not realize the extent or business impact of the situation, they turned to the analysis to obtain objective data and leverage points, to make changes and influence more collaboration across all operating companies.
Seity involved one hundred and twenty leaders across the organization in the analysis. This included a meeting with senior executives to define questions, andcost only an average of fifteen minutes of other employees’ time to answer them. The online survey stayed open for two and a half weeks, and reached a 100 percent response rate.
Using data compiledover the three weeks following the survey, Seity presented analysis results to senior leaders representing all the companies. In the two-hour presentation, they saw maps showing definitive lines of communication, collaboration, decision-making, andstrategy (see graphic) and; and heard recommendations for next steps and action items. They also identified the key leaders who influenced the organization.
The lack of cross-organizational collaboration shown on the analysis maps surprised many of the leaders, as they thought more involvement and communication was happening. After they could see the objective results provided bythe visual maps and analysis, they admitted the data was accurate and indicated strategy was neglected in their organization as a whole. They were missing business opportunities because they worked independently rather than sharing ideas across their companies.
The CEO requested additional information to provide context and define specificways to take action. Seity then held interviews with many of the leaders to provide context and details. Most of them anxiously looked forward to positive change and additional collaboration across the operating companies, as they knew shared strategies could only enhance business results. The CEO took the information and created initiatives to align the leadership and reduce redundancy, and he developed business plans that included
all operating companies sharing projects and customers.
Seity received many favorable responses from the leaders. Mostof them expressed excitement at having access to objective data tohelp them sort through intangible information which, before, they could manage only through intuition.Theyappreciatedworking with a scientifically based process offering leverage points/details on how, where, and why to make changes in the organization.
The KES assessment helped Company X make the intuitive, scientific. It made the company’s culture visual by identifying key players who couldeither hinder or advance efforts, and helped management understand what actions to take.
Most companies that use network analysis to assist with strategy, and that properly implement actions based on the results, can expect:
- To increase their awareness of how strategy is or isn’t shared
- A visual roadmap of how to get leadership members engaged in strategy
- Identification of leaders already collaborating on strategy, and others who are important to involve
- A baseline to balance tactical and strategic plans, and correlate with financial and business plans. This can help increase revenue and business opportunities.
- Assured alignment among the strategy plans of different operating companies to gain a competitive advantage
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