Unreasonable Expectations: You Cannot Be Strategic in Three Weeks

by Michael Haberman on June 16, 2010 · 0 comments


“Strategic” means different things to different people. To some people it implies long-time frames. To others it implies effectiveness. Yet to others it is a scary term and to some their career aspiration. Whatever it is, one thing it IS NOT is IMMEDIATE. You can’t pull a switch and suddenly be “strategic.” You can decide one day to work toward the goal of being strategic and individuals can certainly transition much quicker than organizations.
To me, being strategic is both a mindset and a process. The “mindset” is understanding what your business/organization/group want to accomplish. It is understanding the mission and vision and how the “ultimate” customer wants to be served.
The “process” is determining how HR supports the the mission and vision. What do they mean to HR? How do they determine what HR does or focuses on daily? How does this translate to structure?
Data is required to answer mindset and process questions. You have to look at the current state. You need to interview staff, internal customers and external customers. you need to know what is working and what is not. If you are small you might be able to collect that data, have those conversations, and do the analysis in short order. It will still take time to consider alternatives and develop structures. And finally implementation and dealing with the fallout of change will take time.
If you are a large organization it will take even longer and for very large organizations it will take considerable time and effort. Time expectations need to be built into your plan and those expectations need to be reasonable and realistic.

Just how much time? Well that will vary on a number of factors. But one thing is certain, NO ONE IS GOING TO BE STRATEGIC IN THREE WEEKS.

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{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Jim aka Evil Skippy June 16, 2010 at 10:53 pm

This is so true. I have worked with many organizations (non-profit, profit and public) where the leadership seemed to think the mere announcement of a new "strategic planning task force" would generate positive movement. In most cases, it seemed like just another round of meetings to me without much progress in three months much less three weeks. (If you follow my blog, I recently proposed abolishing most meetings — tongue in cheek, but liking the idea the more that I thought about it.)

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