I was asked an interesting set of questions:

  1. You don’t seem to have any confusion on how pieces fit together so can you create a dashboard view that shows how strategy aligns with organizational processes and sustainability?  A: (see below) I wasn’t sure whether the result was a framework or dashboard so I called it a frameboard.
  2. Would this differ between business, non-profit and individuals? A: Not really.  The context, scope and activities would be different but everything else is applicable across the board.
  3. Do you think strategy comes first or do you think vision comes first? A: It depends on the stage of things.  If you are starting from scratch, it is easier to start with vision and mission so that you know the end result you are working towards.  However, if you are able to design a really good strategy in a manner that generates consistent results/performance, you can change the vision and mission but use the same strategy.  This is a really long range view.  Think of the Constitutions.  They establish how countries will be governed, rights, enable laws. A country’s world view may change (e.g. from being a colonizer to a NATO member).  Generations may feel differently about what it means to be a member of the country.  However, a good Constitution remains in place over centuries. Each country has a different one. 
  4. I’ve heard that strategy only applies if you are trying to be unique.  This is too risky for me!  I’d rather fit within the norm because it is what the majority has agreed works.  Why do I need to think of strategy?  A: Think of yourself as a finger print. Even identical twins have different fingerprints. So, even if you are trying to copy the norm, no two people, no two organizations will do the exact same thing in the exact same way.  Also note that exact ≠ identical.  Hence, by default, you are always doing something unique.  What differs is the level of uniqueness (very little/hardly noticeable to a lot different/immediately noticeable).  Yes there are those who like to “shoot from the hip.” However, success comes easier and more reliably for those who create plans for themselves.  A 1979 Harvard grad study really brings the point home. The same is true for business.

Strategic Frameboard by Cecilia Wandiga

Legend:

Notes:

1. Capabilities has a specific meaning

    • Strengths (skills & talents) e.g. articulate speaker
    • Capabilities (applied skills & talents) e.g. using articular speaker strength to organize and drive action

2. If ethos, pathos, logos, telos, kairos sound Greek, they are!  Here are definitions.

3. BPM, LSS & ISO might be overkill for some individuals (except those of us geeks who can’t detach work from anything we do).  However, you have routines, rules of thumb, processes you use tho manage your life.  You measure yourself every day (today I’m happier than yesterday, I’ve lost 5lbs, I’m always on-time).  You have standards for yourself (I always try to be nice to people.  I won’t spend more than $10 for an ice cream.  I want to be a top performing athlete.  I don’t tolerate abuse.)  At the organizational level, these are tools.  I’m not being prescriptive and saying you must use them. However, for those who do, there sometimes is confusion as to whether or not they fit together and this is an attempt to clarify.

4. Sustainability underlies everything.  If we live consciously, we aim to make things better for ourselves, for others, now and in the future.  Some think sustainability is only about “being green.”  Others ask if there is a way to use sustainability to define how we act.  Zero Waste & Zero Harm are the starting point (baseline). The Triple Bottom Line (People, Planet, Profits) has been reinterpreted so it is more action oriented.

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