“That business purpose and business mission are so rarely given adequate thought is perhaps the most important cause of business frustration and failure”
- Peter Drucker
Although Peter Drucker wrote this over 40 years ago, it is perhaps more true today than it was even then. In the volatile, uncertain, complex, ambiguous and globally-connected (VUCA-G) world of the 21st century, where both risks and opportunities are plentiful, organisations need a strong guiding light or anchor for their strategic decisions.
Many organisations have crafted a mission statement over the past 20 years because it seemed the 'right thing to do'. And yet the results are often cliched in their language and fail to distinguish them in any meaningful way from competitors or others in their sector. It is not uncommon to find an organisation has a confusing mixture of 'Mission', 'Purpose', 'Vision' and 'Values' statements, without any clear idea what each statement is for or how to use them to guide strategy.
Deep Questions for Organisations
To help you see 'the wood for the trees', we will ask deep organisational questions to uncover what your organisation is there for and what kind of future it is worth pursuing. We will help you craft your most important statements of strategic intent so they express your organisational DNA and become a guiding light for your strategic choices. These will then provide a 'golden thread' so that people at all levels of your organisation can see how their roles and their efforts contribute to the greater whole.
Developing strategic agility
Once you have clarity at a high level, we can introduce you to a systematic strategic cycle with some key strategic tools that you can use, year on year, to thoroughy analyse your strategic position and make well-informed strategic choices. We will help you thoroughly review your last operating period to ensure you glean maximum learning from both successes and disappointments. We will also help you identify the opportunities and threats of potential future scenarios, so that you are better prepared to respond, whichever scenario develops.
We can also bring in learning from the strategies of organisations that seem to thrive in VUCA-G environments. Some of them might surprise you and seem counter-intuitive in a fast-paced world.
Even when you have a well-thought out strategy, stemming from your Mission and Vision, drawing on the latest data on key trends - if your organisation's structure, culture and leadership is not aligned, you can end up going nowhere fast. For example, many organisations know that to fulfil their vision they need to break down internal silos and foster collaboration across functions and teams. At the same time, the behaviour modelled by senior leaders and the reward systems in place often reinforces a culture of individualism and internal competition.
Our Organisational Development (OD) professionals will help you identify the degree of fit between your aspirations and 'the way you do things around here' and will work with you to align all aspects of organisational life with fulfilling your mission and vision.
Strategies for sustainability
"Yes, the planet got destroyed, but for a beautiful moment in time we created a lot of value for shareholders".
- Tom Toro, The New Yorker
As we begin the second decade of the 21st century, the Covid-19 global pandemic has starkly highlighted our global connectedness and interdependency. Big business is beginning to wake up to the reality that a much wider group of stakeholders beyond shareholders must be considered if future success is to be hoped for, much less guaranteed. At the same time, pension fund holders, some of the world's biggest investors, are choosing to shun investments that are likely to have a detrimental effect on the environment. The writing is on the wall. How can your organisation be a net contributor towards a more sustainable world? Your stakeholders will increasingly demand nothing less.
Strategies for a fairer world
The Black Lives Matter protests that have spread across the globe since the death of George Floyd in March 2020 have been an uncomfortable wake-up call. They have forced us to face up to the lasting legacy of the slave trade, exploitation and racism, which, over centuries, has had a devastating impact on our global majority Black, Indigenous and People of Colour (BIPOC) population. The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic is further accentuating both the in-country and global inequalities that exist and the gap between rich and poor. Apart from the inherent moral issue involved, allowing this gap to continue to widen will further stoke international tension, catalyse further migration, impoverish the markets for our goods and services and, ultimately, undermine us all.
The UN 2030 Sustainable Development Goals
One report estimates that there are business opportunities worth over 12 trillion USD in helping organisations do their part in achieving the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Can your organisation cash in on the SDGs dividend by aligning itself with these Goals?
Opportunities and threats - wake up and smell the (Fairtrade) coffee...
I want to work for a company that contributes something and is part of the community. I want something not just to invest in, I want something to believe in.
Founder of The Body Shop
What is your organisations's response to the environmental and social emergency the world is facing? Age-old institutions that can trace the beginnings of their wealth to the slave trade are beginning to recognise their responsibility to make reparations and give something back. Some of the world's largest corporations (eg Microsoft and IKEA) are recognising that consumer scrutiny is increasingly expecting them to move beyond tokenistic efforts at sustainability and are beginning to set themselves more radical and demanding goals to prove their environmental credentials. Will your organisation wait until legislation forces your hand, or will you recognise that your long-term survival, let alone success, depends on a fairer and more sustainable future?
Deeper Leaders, along with its partners, can work with you to craft a response to the environmental and social emergency and help you become a net contributor to a fairer, kinder and more sustainable world. We will help you develop strategies that will not only increase your chances of sustained success as you align with new and emerging opportunities, but will also show your key stakeholders that you are determined to be a part of the solution rather than part of the problem.
Find out more about Deeper Leaders' commitment to its own global responsibility here.