This month Bill Troy, ASQ CEO, asked ASQ Influential Voices bloggers to explore the topic of strategy.
If you read about management and organizational strategy you will read a lot about planning and alignment and the process of creating a strategy. I believe too little focus is given to building the capability of the organization to execute on the strategy (and continual management improvement). Lofty ideas without capability are not of much use.
“Strategy” without a thorough understanding of the organization as a system or an understanding of the capabilities of the organization is little more than dreams. Planning and strategy without the capability in the organization or a process to turn strategy into action are not much use.
I find strategy without involving the whole organization is fragile and likely to amount to not much good; and often lots of wasted effort. In order to involve the whole organization in strategy use ideas like Hoshin Kanri (policy deployment) and catchball.
The integrated nature of hoshin kanri is critical to success. It is integrated both by including the whole organization (not just a few executives) and has integration between planning and execution. Both of those are critical.
In practice hoshin kanri is also based on continual improvement. The effectiveness the first year is better than the normal way of defining strategy and then maybe doing something about it. But the large differences are seen years into the effort as the process is improved each year and the capability of the organization to plan effectively and then execute on that plan are increased.
As you have success with small attempts at hoshin kanri you can build on the growing capability of the organization to try more ambitious strategies.
Related: Interview of John Hunter on PDSA, Deming, Strategy and More – Innovation Strategy – How to Get a New Management Strategy, Tool or Concept Adopted – Be Careful What You Measure – Building the Capability for Management Improvement in Your Organization – Out of Touch Executives Damage Companies: Go to the Gemba