Schlagwort-Archive: Strategy

Der Blick in die Zukunft

Unsere Äußerungen sind von Natur aus auf das beschränkt, was wir mit Worten, Bildern und anderen Hilfsmitteln ausdrücken können. Die anfallenden Zeichen erschließen sich jedem unterschiedlich. Und obwohl wir wissen, dass es Menschen gibt, denen einzelne Sinneskanäle fehlen, wenn sie beispielsweise blind oder taub sind, können wir uns nur schwer vorstellen, dass uns weitere Kanäle fehlen. So spricht Rudolf Steiner von der Fähigkeit in der geistigen Welt wahrnehmen zu können – was nicht allen vergönnt ist, wir es uns nicht erlauben oder weil wir es einfach nicht bemerken. So wie es eine spirituelle Blindheit gibt, fehlt manchen die Fähigkeit in die Zukunft blicken zu können. Und wenn jemand über diese Gabe verfügt, dann wird ihm empfohlen: Wer Visionen hat, sollte zum Arzt gehen. Dabei ist der Blick in die Zukunft eine elementare Voraussetzung, um die Gegenwart zu gestalten, sodass man in der angestrebten Zukunft ankommt.

Für alle, denen die Übung fehlt, die Zukunft zu antizipieren, betrachten wir mal unterschiedliche Formen der Vorausschau.

  • Vision
    Die Vision ist der visualisierte Eindruck eines Zukunftsbildes. Es bietet einen Schnappschuss der vorgestellten künftigen Gegebenheiten – im nächsten Jahr, in zehn Jahren oder noch weiterer Ferne. Vermittelt werden Zustände, die jemand erwartet oder befürchtet, die da sind Utopien oder Dystopien. Die Menschen sollen dadurch begeistert oder verängstigt werden. Die fehlenden Beschreibungen dieser emotionalen Zukünfte werden von der Zielgruppe mit eigenen Details vervollständigt. Dadurch entsteht bei ihnen eine tief gehende Wirkung, die sie am Ende gefühlsmäßig mitreißt – nach unten in einem ablehnenden Teufelskreis oder sich selbst verstärkend in einer zustimmenden Aufwärtsspirale.
    Damit diese Wirkung entsteht, braucht es einen bedeutungsvollen Satz, der die Betroffenen benennt, was zu tun ist, für wen und wann.
  • Szenario
    Die verschiedenen Entwürfe sind erarbeitete Visionen mit mehr Inhalten. Dazu werden die politischen, ökonomischen, sozialen, technologischen, ökologischen oder rechtlichen Einflüsse ermittelt und mit unterschiedlichen Ausprägungen zu verschiedenen Entwürfen zusammengefasst. Als Ergebnis sollen sich deutlich unterscheidbare Extreme ergeben – bestmögliche und schlechtestmögliche. Für die einzelnen Entwürfe werden in der Folge entsprechende Förder- bzw. Gegenmaßnahmen erarbeitet.
    Wirkungsvolle Szenarien kennen keine Beschränkungen, wie stark sich die einzelnen Variablen der Einflüsse entwickeln können.
  • Strategie
    Die Ausarbeitung für die Zukunft wird unter Berücksichtigung einer bevorzugten Zukunftsvorstellung entwickelt. Hier finden sich weitere Einzelheiten der Vision, Mission, des gemeinsamen Grundverständnisses, der strategischen Ausrichtung, Ziele sowie Kerns. Sie verbindet mithilfe einer Roadmap die Gegenwart mit der vorgestellten Zukunft. Die laufenden Aktivitäten werden auf Kurs gehalten, indem sich die jährlichen Planungen daran orientieren.
    Die Güte der Marschroute ins Übermorgen zeigt sich an ihrem Fortschritt, d.h. der kontinuierlichen Annäherung an den angestrebten Wunschzustand.
  • Story
    Das Storytelling ist so beliebt, weil es ein zielgruppenorientiertes Narrativ liefert. In der Geschichte mischen sich die Gefühle der Vision mit dem detaillierten Bild der Szenarien und der Zeitleiste der Strategie. Ziel ist es, das Publikum zu begeistern und zur Beteiligung anzuregen.
    Die Story zieht ihre Kraft aus dem roten Faden, der nachhaltig im Gedächtnis bleibt und durch Mund-zu-Mund-Propaganda, ohne zusätzliche Marketingmaßnahmen, von Einem zum Anderen getragen wird. Bei dieser Weitergabe bleibt die ursprüngliche Botschaft erhalten, auch wenn sie sich durch immer neue Feinheiten weiterentwickelt. Gleichzeitig lässt sie sich einfach mit der eigenen Wirklichkeit verknüpfen, wodurch sie häufiger wiederverwendet wird.

Fazit: Die Zukunft zu kennen ist unmöglich, da die kommenden Einflussfaktoren im Vorhinein unbekannt sind. Ein gutes Beispiel ist das Internet, dass eine solch überraschende Verschiebung der Wirklichkeit für die gesamte Menschheit gebracht hat. Was wir jedoch beherrschen, ist es die Zukunft zu erahnen und im Anschluss mit Maßnahmen aktiv anzustreben. Die meisten Dinge entstehen im Verborgenen, wie man an Ludwig Kapeller sehen kann, der bereits 1926 den Begriff der Immersion beschrieben hat, just in dem Moment, als die ersten elektronischen Massenmedien aufkamen. Keine hundert Jahre später tauchen viele regelmäßig in der virtuellen Realität ihres Computers ab.
Es bleibt jedem selbst überlassen, ob und wie sie nach vorne schauen: mit einer Vision, mit Szenarios, der definierten Strategie oder einer gut erzählten Story. Entscheidend ist es, sich diesen Blick in die Zukunft zu erlauben. Nur so hat man die Möglichkeit, sie zur Wirklichkeit zu MACHEN.

The look into the future

Our utterances are naturally limited to what we can express with words, images and other means. The resulting signs are accessible to everybody in different ways. And although we know that there are people who lack certain sensory channels, for example when they are blind or deaf, we can hardly imagine that we lack other channels. Thus, Rudolf Steiner speaks of the ability to perceive in the spiritual world – which is not granted to everybody, we do not allow ourselves or because we simply do not notice it. Like there is spiritual blindness, some lack the ability of looking into the future. And if someone has this gift, then he gets advised: If you have visions, you should go to the doctor. A look into the future is a basic prerequisite for designing the present so that you arrive in the desired future.

For all those, who lack the practice of anticipating the future, we have a look at different forms of foresight.

  • Vision
    The vision is the visualized impression of a future picture. It offers a snapshot of the introduced prospective conditions – next year, in ten years or even further ahead. Conditions are disseminated in a way that someone expects or fears that are utopias or dystopias. The aim is to inspire or frighten people. The target group completes the missing descriptions of these emotional futures with its own details. This creates a profound effect on them which, eventually, engulfs them emotionally – downwards in a negative vicious circle or self-reinforcing in a positive upward spiral.
    In order to achieve this effect, a meaningful sentence is needed that tells those affected, what to do, for whom and when.
  • Scenario
    The various outlines are elaborated visions with more content. For this purpose the political, economical, social, technological, ecological or legal influences are determined and combined into various drafts with different characteristics. The result should be clearly distinguishable extremes – the best possible and the worst possible. For the individual outlines, appropriate supporting and counteractive measures are developed subsequently.
    Effective scenarios have no limitations on how strongly the individual variables of the influences can evolve.
  • Strategy
    The scheme for the future is developed taking into account a preferred vision of the future. Here you find further details of the vision, mission, common basic understanding, strategic direction, goals and core. It uses a roadmap to connect the present with the introduced future. Ongoing activities are kept on track by orienting annual scheduling accordingly.
    The quality of the route into the day after tomorrow is reflected in its progress, i.e. the continuous approaching to the desired state.
  • Story
    Storytelling is so popular because it provides a target-group-oriented narrative. In the story, the feelings of the vision mingle with the detailed picture of the scenarios and the timeline of the strategy. The aim is to inspire the audience and encourage them to participate.
    The story draws its strength from the common thread that remains in the memory and is carried by word of mouth, without additional marketing measures, from one to the other. This transmission preserves the original message, even if it continues to evolve through new subtleties. At the same time, it can be easily linked to one’s own reality, which means that it is reused more often.

Bottom line: It is impossible to know the future, as the forthcoming influencing factors are unknown in advance. A good example is the Internet, which has brought such a surprising shift in reality to the whole of humanity. What we can master, however, is to anticipate the future and then actively strive for it with actions. Most things emerge covertly, as can be seen with Ludwig Kapeller, who described the concept of immersion as early as 1926, just when the first electronic mass media came into being. Less than a hundred years later, many people regularly dive into the virtual reality of their computer.
It is up to you, whether and how you look ahead: with a vision, with scenarios, the defined strategy or a well told story. It is crucial to allow oneself this view into the future. This is the only way to MAKE it real.

Leadership nightmare

If it is sometimes not going in the direction that you desire as a boss, in the first place the others are responsible. We assume that the ideas of the superiors are thoughtful, and meaningful in a consistent and beneficial way. The feedbacks of the colleagues create the impression that it is the right way. For any reason, however, the employees do not move in the desired direction. Actually, a nightmare for the boss.

overlap

The nightmare begins not immediately, since one explains oneself the missing momentum with lack of commitment. At a closer look you find three aspects that contribute crucially, that the forces of all unite into a common direction.

  • Expectations
    The expectations of the executives determine, above all, how strongly they are satisfied with the outcomes. Depending on character, they have negative fears or positive hopes. The expectations include the actions that should be done, the results that you eventually hold in your hands, or the consequences that result in the following. The management of expectations is difficult, since rarely, if at all, only a few people take care of documenting them comprehensibly for everybody.
  • Strategy
    The long-term initiatives describe the direction of the enterprise. The individual aspects create the crash barriers for all employees, partners and even the customers. Here you find the vision that offers a conclusive snapshot of the future. It is supported by the mission that supplies the Raison d’être. During the management of everyday tasks the critical success factors, the weighted value disciplines as well as the descriptions of the strengths, the weaknesses, the opportunities and the risks help. The long-term direction needs clear messages, so that the enterprise builds upon it. The easily understandable and well documented strategy is the steering wheel that gives the enterprise the direction.
  • Activities
    The many actions that are accomplished on all enterprise levels can only be collected and listed with very, very much effort. In larger companies, they understood that this collection is not economical. The efforts of all appear in the common results. It is only important to find the right level of detail for the description of the positions and processes.

A crucial executive task is the controlling and coordination of the interests of all involved people.

It becomes a nightmare, if the three aspects mentioned do not overlap. This minus scenario means that the leadership team formulates their strategy outside of their expectations and nobody accomplishes the expectations or the future picture. The employees make something that does not go into the desired direction. The good news is that the staff orientates themselves on each other and moves them jointly in a common direction. In this case you can forego the leaders, since their contribution does not impact at all.

The plus scenario provides in any case a way out by taking consciously care of the three aspects.

  • This starts with the attitude. Should the employees only do, what they are told? Hopefully not, since otherwise the enterprise moves into a dead end. The creative ideas of the staff are what improve the enterprise. The minimum requirement is that they act into the general direction, however with enough free space for the new things.
  • The same is valid for the expectations of the executive team. A broad positioning increases the opportunities of the company. On the one hand that comes from the different functions of work (e.g. development, production, sales). On the other hand there are the personal interests and the ambitions of the protagonists.
  • The strategy should reflect as clearly as possible the results of the alignment of all involved people.

Bottom line: The executive nightmare that results from missing adjustment can be avoided. Clearly formulated expectations make the conceptions transparent. The sophisticated plan determines the general direction. The employees develop the actual implementation of the plans and realize the new operational sequences, the flat structures and a fruitful culture.

The thing about the well

You can find again and again executives, who avoid a prescient strategy with quick actions. Or others, who consider the development of a plan as a formula that reliably predicts the future. Or even those, who hide behind incalculability, in order to evade from long-term planning. With the decision to waive basic ideas, how the future should look like, they oversee the thing about the well.

Brunnengefallen

Without forecast you move with full risk and without reference point at the edge. Interestingly only a few people seem to make themselves aware of the following aspects.

  • Steps in complete darkness
    Without the formulation of vision, mission, influence factors, the strategic direction and goals as well as the determination of the core competencies, processes and deliverables you act blindly, as if you would be on the way in a moonless night and in complete darkness. And with this, unexpected events and unconsidered influences do create road blocks that can only be overcome with a lot of effort. Nothing changes, if you are lying in the well. It is still dark.
  • At two hundred in the fog
    The illusion being faster on the way casually is not much different than believing that you advance faster, if you rush at two hundred in the fog. Isn’t it clear, that it is neither a matter of avoiding obstacles nor keeping the track? The lack of orientation even does not guarantee that you move forward instead of circling. Eventually edges emerge, from where you can fall into the well. As soon as you are in the well, fog does not matter anymore.
  • Even in the well it goes deeper
    Surprisingly the fallen people in the well have the illusion, that they can make themselves comfortable in the deep. Even in the well it goes deeper. The tightness provides no security, since it still goes further down. For this reason you have to make all possible efforts to get out of the tightness and to get back on the way of strategy.

As soon as you are in the well, the effort for the development of a strategy seems to be negligible, since now a multiple is necessary, in order to make progress. The reduced room for action and the unclear way out do not only harm the already achieved results. On the one hand you are thrown back and on the other hand you still have to develop a future. This blocks the way into the future with additional difficulties. After the case is before the case. It is only a matter of avoiding this immense extra-effort.

Bottom line: Those many arguments that speak against the development of a strategy are incommensurate with the damage that results from a lack of forecast. Particularly surprising, wells appear from nowhere. Maybe the thing with the well motivates pragmatics to create a strategy – even if it is only done to avoid the fall.

Penniless managers are worth nothing

After the ghost of planned economy collapsed, large-scale enterprises evolve to huge centralistic administrative bodies. After years of lean management, culture, hierarchies rigidify, which undermine their intended claim for a flat structure with the subordination of equal levels. The return to functional organizations covers the inability to base the organization on processes. The cross charging of deliverables create an internal market in which specific amounts are negotiated and paid with the transfer of budgets – wooden nickels from the left to the right pocket. The degree of bureaucratization can be seen via the necessary reports and guidelines. More and more employees serve an overhead of project, planning and budget reports. At the same time, the guidelines evolve to one entanglement of regulations that cannot be conveyed or obeyed anymore. The crucial error is however the new approach to realize savings, namely to decide right at the top any outward cash flow. Yet it is forgotten that leaders are worth nothing without financial means.

Mittellosemanager01

What do doers need in order to fulfill their tasks?

  • Apart from the personal characteristics that constitute leaders, like integrity, decisiveness and customer focus, the following tasks should be fulfilled: Self-management, conception, coordination, communication and cooperation.
  • The tasks, authority and responsibility specify the scope of action. The tasks describe the activities that are to be mastered. The authority determines the decision, directive and action powers. The responsibility obligates the superior on the decided approach and the goals. On this basis the personal evaluation and remuneration are done.
  • The allocation of a cost center and the equipment with sufficient budget is an important part of the authority. Like the fuel tank of a car, the available funds limit the scope that a decision maker can cover. Penniless leaders have actually no chance to contribute value-adding results.
  • Bosses as entrepreneurs in the enterprise need a comprehensible business model. Within the business idea, the target audiences, the deliverable portfolio and the clearly outlined scopes are specified.
  • An important function of the executive is the indication towards a positive future and the measures for reaching it. The strategy should provide the employees a seizable framework for the realization.

As soon as these components are missing, the leaders are worth nothing and it remains noting else than eliminating these positions.

Bottom line: The leadership tasks require a large spectrum of abilities, in order to be able to perform a task meaningfully. However, as soon as the leader is guided on a short leash, without budget, even the best characteristics go pop, because penniless managers are worth anything.

Management of others starts with oneself

In the past, the management of the staff was defined by the structural organization. Selected people were assigned to substantial tasks and the leadership of employees. Today, guidance without the structural formalization is part of projects, workshops and teams. This leads to the fact that more and more employees are entrusted with the control of groups. Apart from the leadership tasks conception, coordination, communication and cooperation the self-management has a crucial role, because the management of others begins with oneself.

SelbstmanagementThe stability of the own personality, i.e. the physical and psychological resilience, is the prerequisite for an effective control of the employees. For this purpose, one should have the following three areas under control.

Who am I?
The coherent self-image is the sum of the possibilities that one possesses in total. For this purpose, the following questions should be answered. Which roles do you have? Which interest groups do you have and where? Which actions do you execute? Which abilities do you have? What is your orientation framework? The better the aspects of the self-image fit together, the easier is the execution of a role and the more reliable you become for your stakeholder.

What do I do?
Most of us will pursue only one business model at a time. Exceptions arise e.g. as a result of the reinforced work in projects, new organization styles and more and more cooperation. What is the real business idea? Which value discipline is located in the center? Which benefit promises do you give to partners and customers? In which markets are you operating? Which products and services do you offer? How do you generate earnings? How does the complete value creation look like and which part is the most important for you? Who are the involved partners and customers? Which resources are required? How do you communicate and coordinate? The more people are working together, the more important is the description of your personal business.

Where do I want to go?
The strategy substantiates the direction, in which you want to develop. How does your vision look like? What is the mission that you have to fulfill? What are the internal and external critical success factors? Which value discipline is the most important in the future? Which strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and risks have to be considered? In which direction do you want to develop? Which are your long-term goals? What are your future core deliverables? Which core competencies will you need? Which will be your core processes? The clearly described strategy is the prerequisite for fruitful cooperation between frequently alternating partners. Thus, it ensures that all pull in the same direction and fewer friction losses evolve.

As soon as you have your three pillars consistently under control, contradictions are settled and all aspects fit to each other, the leadership will become much easier. Your possibilities mutually complement, a consistent picture becomes visible, and your self-confidence is reinforced.

Without strategy, it is not Your future

The strategy is the effort to design the future according to your own intentions. It is not about foretelling the future but to make the circumstances of the own business more tangible for in five to ten years. The future is not a fate that you have to suffer, but the consequence of actions that you accomplish here and now. If you leave the organization of the future to the competition, then it is their future.

Strategie02

Who remembers that many of today’s available technologies were already introduced more than forty years ago in the TV show Star Trek. Today, many people carry a more efficient mobile phone, use translation software and let the computer read out texts. If we move this from yesterday to today, then we can assume that the solutions of tomorrow are already available.

On this basis, you develop the future for your enterprise or your area of responsibility. The following aspects are important for this purpose.

  • How do you imagine your future?
  • What are the factors that you should consider on the way into the future?
  • What kind of development do you want to strive for?
  • What are the primary goals?
  • Which elements of your abilities and processes as well as products and services are parts of your core elements?

Eventually, you have a consistent picture that you use to clearly explain your necessary activities to yourself, to your employees, to your partners as well as to the public.

Bottom line: Your future has already begun. If want it to be your future, then you must start today to develop it. The strategy model is the tool that you use to prepare your future.

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