Saturday, November 30, 2013
Vision n Strategy
The young boy asked the old man, "why a fast running horse is better than the slow running horse"? The old man said, "It has developed the habit to produce more power so that it can run up to ten times faster than the slow horse"
The youngster asked, "And what if the horse is running in the wrong direction?" The old man smiled and said, "Then definitely it has the proportionate factor for wasting the efforts ten times quicker than the slower horse"
The young man asked, "And what if other horses are following him too?" The older man said, "Off course it will mislead all those horses too!"
The young man asked again, "Then why all other horses follow the faster horse?" The older man said, "Because that attracts them but all that glitters is not gold sometimes."
Vision is one of the most critical traits of current and emerging leaders because strong vision results establishing better strategy to ensure success. In its basic definition, the vision is to see (visualize) the future at present moment and then aligning the strategies including but not limited to policies, procedures and action plans in order to ensure success without any setbacks.
Below 8 Ps elaborate the concept of Vision and Strategy altogether:
1. Picking the Right Battle
Effective leaders ponder well enough to choose the right course of direction (the mission) which can lead them towards success with higher success probability and greater efficiency. This does not means that they select easy targets instead sometimes they select more challenging grounds with their gut feeling of success. However they are careful in making their choices because of being the captain of the boat. If the leader succeeds, the boat sails; if leader drowns the whole boat gets collapsed.
How a leader sees the future is very sensitive matter. No matter how genius team members he/she possesses; his own vision is highly important. It is said that an army of dears lead by a lion is far better than any army of lions lead by a dear. The leader's vision depends on the level of mental comprehension of industry, current statistics, near future and long term forecasts/trends, overall knowledge and experience of associated domains, a lot of study and observation about market and expectation of stake holders.
3. Present Position
The leader must define the baseline because this will be the reference to be compared when measuring performance and progress at later stage. The visionary leader must clearly define the Key Performance Indicators (KPIs); the current values of KPIs, bench marking in line with industry standards, the measurement criteria and measurement frequency.
4. Policies and Procedures
The review of current and finalization of policies for concrete results should be done prior to kick off the execution phase. Yet a leader should be smart enough to closely monitor and tweak the policies and procedures in case something is putting the projects/programs in jeopardy. The market dynamics demands consistent focus and a lot of iterations in companies' strategies.
Failing to plan is planning to fail. The leader would define high level goals; the goals which are SMART (Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Realistic, Time bound) Once defined, the leader assigns these to the team of managers which in turn use the RACI model for further low level implementation. (RACI tool is used for defining Responsibility Matrix; RACI stands for Responsible, Accountable, Consulted, and Informed respectively)
Although Low level micro tasks is not a specific leaders' responsibility but it becomes very effective if leaders take active part few times during the life cycle of the project; especially when WBS (work breakdown structures) are prepared by the associated Project Managers. Sometimes his/her vision and experience can make big difference when reviewing WBS with the PM.
7. Progress Performance
Consistent progress and performance measurement against the baseline must be ensured by the leaders. This also requires risk identification, risk analysis and risk mitigation. The project becomes orphans if the leader does not review its performance periodically.
8. Power Plug
Last but not the least; he becomes the consistent source of inspiration, fuel and energy for his team members. By this act he ensures that the 'batteries' (employee's working potential) are charged throughout the life cycle of the project.