MVS – Minimum Viable Strategy
Many of you have heard the term MVP, especially in context with iterative, agile developments. MVP, Minimum Viable Product, is a way to accelerate time to get your new product to market by creating a new product/service that has just the bare minimum ingredients. Not so much to suggest that is all you need, but to maintain the focus on core functionality.
Could this same principle be applied to strategy? I think it can. Many times a strategy has become too big and too complicated, as everyone wants to contribute and all voices need to he heard. And not just that – different people have different maturity levels when it comes to understanding what strategy really is, often resulting a ‘smörgasbord’ strategy full of details and low probability of executing it properly.
What if instead we would take the learning from product development and use harsh prioritisation criteria in accepting items to be strategic? Not necessarily forgetting other things but giving them lower priority and ensuring success to the ‘if I can only have 4 things’ items that your company’s success depends on? When, and only when you have secured adequate focus and resources on the must have items you can selectively add other items while still making sure you are not overloading the plate.
After all, wouldn’t it be nice to have a strategy that feels like it is doable, adds energy to the team, and in the end of the day gets done, rather than becoming a constant source of concern?
We here at LATO have a way to prioritise your MVS by adding focus and visibility to your planning and execution. Do give us a call, we are happy to come and visit and show you how!
Tools such as ERP designed for old world will not be fit for purpose going into the future. The purpose of the ERP was to automate the cheapest tasks and jobs in the company – the next 10 years will see the digitalization of the most expensive but unnecessary work.
Human resource will partly be replaced with Human Capital, with the task of self leadership as well as leading people and tasks. Manager no longer controls every aspect of work, these will increasingly be delegated.
Side by side with User Experience, UX, will be Leadership Experience, LX. How control brings freedom, reporting is done without reports, and besides numbers you are now in full control of progress of tasks and employees commitment to those.
With the help of LATO each and every employee will lead his/her own work and report real time into the cloud. The task of the leader is to know and make decisions based on the real time information. What you don’t know you cannot lead. When you know, the forecast will become a commitment to succeed and help will be given to those who need it.
LATO LX will make leadership professional, fast and fun for the winning team. Lead yourself, lead things and lead teams with goals and KPI’s, whenever and wherever.
Increase your velocity
Most of the companies we come across have a good enough or great strategy. It summarizes the journey getting from A to B, and the expected outcome. In many cases all of the management team is in violent agreement that this is exactly what we need to do. But, more often than not is seems like actual execution of the strategy is more like death by thousand cuts than smooth sailing. This is because the plan is not cascaded and delegated to relevant shareholders, and sometimes even not communicated as it should be. If you do this, go from having a plan to making it executable, you will find out that the trip from A to B becomes more predictable and you’ll get to B faster than you had ever hoped for.
Get people onboard and working together
The only way you can make progress with your strategy is having people motivated to move the needle. Everyone is busy, with too much to do, so you must find a way to merge the daily grind with the strategy. If the employee feels like strategic items are ‘yet another thing I ought to be doing’ it is fairly certain that they end up getting done late and not in desired quality. If however the daily work gets merged with strategic items, contributing to individual, team and company goals, the motivation to do them will shoot up and suddenly people are geared up and driving the strategy forward. When this is accompanied with healthy dialogue about the goals and actions in the organization, the train of progress becomes an unstoppable force.
Remove grey areas and wishful thinking
Part of the problem of not moving the needle fast enough, far enough, is the ambiguity in goal setting. And not necessarily in setting the goal itself, but the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs) that make the goals measurable. If you can’t measure you can’t improve may be a worn expression, but in reaching the goals it is the crucial ingredient. Once during an onboarding, a CEO told me that ‘when we do it like this, the goals become ‘frighteningly concrete’. Getting clarity and precision with KPIs must surely be a good thing, helping to drive the whole agenda as needed.
Get serious, get digital
Too much talk these days revolves around digitalization. That said, when put in the right context, combined with the results from various studies that Millennials form the majority of workforce by 2020 and have little desire to stick around if they are not treated right, will force us to seriously consider any and all means to make work more motivating and transparent. In the case of strategy execution, the answer is obvious – stop doing it top-down and using outdated means and get digital, fast. LATO has a tried and tested answer how a digital tool can become a command center of your execution, as evidenced by nearly 100 customers, so do give us a call and let’s talk more!
One of my previous work experiences include working in a startup with only 4 people. Many good and not so good stories I could tell, but my most vivid experience is about how we never used the word ‘I’ in any context when we worked. As with many startups where speed is fast and control is often good enough but at times less than it should have been, we made many mistakes along the way. And that’s fine, you are supposed to, and fail fast to succeed sooner is a great modus operandi as you constantly make adjustments and keep the momentum going.
When one of us did something great, it was always ‘we’. When someone stumbled and made a mistake it was never ‘me’ or ‘you’, but always ‘we’, regardless of what had happened and who had done it. This taught me one of the most valuable leadership principles that I try to pass on – when you lead, never rise above others, but always act as a team.
This principle is becoming more and more prevalent each day as workforce is gradually getting younger and old school ways of working no longer work. Telling is out, convincing and selling is in. As part of this principle it is crucial that people in the organization get to define their own work, adding motivation and energy way beyond what because I say so can accomplish. More and more of the work definition needs to be shifted to teams, yet at the same time we should not lose sight of the big picture, i.e. strategy, giving us the overall direction and meaning to our work.
Striking a balance between the ‘plan’ and the ‘doing’, called the execution gap, can and often will be the Achilles heel of executing the strategy, and this is where Leadership Automation tools (LATO) can help. With LATO you can make a clear division of labor between defining the ‘what’ and the ‘how’, enabling the right kind of energy to allow the teamwork to flourish and at the same time downsizing the egos so they stop shadowing others.
If you managed to read this far then do get in touch with us to find out how LATO can put the word ‘team’ into your leadership game!