From 'Lean and Mean' to 'Lean and Smart' - Announcing Strategic Organization, a Tested Leadership Approach

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"In my consulting to business organizations around the world, I have discovered that most companies are utilizing barely 30% of their potential-especially their human potential. Strategic Organization permits a company to literally capitalize on this unrealized potential." --Gerald A. Kraines, M.D., The Levinson Institute, Inc.

Most experts agree that the current recession and the lean, more competitive era that will follow are going to require far more of organizational leaders than ever. They will need new ways of implementing strategy. They will need ways of getting work done. They will need new ways of thinking and leading.

One fully integrated approach to getting every aspect of a leadership system fully aligned with strategy is Strategic Organization. Strategic Organization is based on rigorous scientific research and consultation; its concepts been successfully implemented in companies around the world for over 50 years.

Strategic Organization begins with a fundamental premise: get the organization right. It provides a blueprint for optimally aligning organizational structures, processes, systems, and accountabilities with strategy. Obviously, all businesses are different. Nevertheless, there is a straightforward method for applying Strategic Organization principles to achieve genuine strategic alignment:

1. Organize around the work, not the people. What structures will best support the optimal trade-offs of accountability, capability, and efficiency of core organizational processes?
2. Use Strategic Organization principles for clarifying the organization's current structure and process accountabilities in order to identify gaps that may cause conflicts, roadblocks, or delays.
3. Identify key processes required for success today. Forecast which current or new processes will be critical in the next three-to-five years if the organization's strategy succeeds.
4. Clarify which roles are accountable for making which decisions today and which other roles do or should have some input into, or effect on these decisions. Evaluate how seamlessly these processes actually work today and what changes in accountabilities and authorities could improve process flows and outcomes. Repeat this process for the anticipated future processes.
5. Based on this data about current state, create models for optimal current and future organizations. Evaluate which alternative current model offers the best "migration path" toward the most desirable future organization.
6. Identify the accountabilities for each of the core processes of this "ideal" current organizational model and see if the restructured organization passes the "gut check" test.
7. Evaluate opportunities for streamlining work, consolidating roles and functions, and eliminating roles and then revise model, accordingly.
8. Decide on the structure and accountabilities of the new organization.
9. Assess the potential and demonstrated effectiveness of the group of managers and employees to be considered to fill the restructured organization's roles.
10. Develop implementation and communication strategies, and implement the Strategic Organization.

According to Gerry Kraines, M.D., CEO of The Levinson Institute, faculty member at Harvard Medical School, and developer of Strategic Organization, "In my consulting to business organizations around the world, I have discovered that most companies are utilizing barely 30% of their potential--especially their human potential. Strategic Organization permits a company to literally capitalize on this unrealized potential. By aligning authorities with accountabilities in a Strategic Organization, employees spend more time doing value-adding work and less time 'working the system.' Employees are more effectively developed, more productive and innovative, and have higher morale and company loyalty."

For a newly released white paper on Strategic Organization, please click here. For additional information about what The Levinson Institute can do for you and your company, check out the Levinson Institute website.

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David Jackson
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