Essential Elements of Effective Organizations

Based on the Foundations of Mission, Vision, and Values, there are three core elements to an organization's effectiveness: Strategy, Organizational Culture, and Leadership.

Business Strategy

The strategy is the long-term approach to achieving the organization's mission and vision. It is the basis for setting overall priorities, identifying resource requirements, creating annual operating plans, etc.

Organizational Culture

The organization's culture is generally defined as a system of shared assumptions, values, and beliefs, which governs how people behave in organizations. An organization's culture is a powerful force in determining how people behave and, ultimately, how the organization performs.

Leadership

Interestingly, leadership is directly connected to both strategy and culture. Leadership is responsible for developing strategy and for overseeing its execution. In addition, Edgar Schein, best known for his work on culture and leadership, maintains that leadership both creates and maintains an organization's culture.

The Point?

In many organizations—for profit, not-for-profit, and government—the vast majority of energy and resources are dedicated to strategy. This means that there is often not a lot of attention paid to the culture and leadership elements of the organization's performance.

Ram Charan, the noted consultant to corporations and executives, said that organizations do not fail primarily because the don't have a strategy, they have because the don't execute. In Execution he said: “. . . when first published in 2002, [it] was based on our observation that the discipline of getting things done was what differentiated companies that succeeded from those that just muddled through or failed.”

We have dedicated decades of work to the culture and leadership factors and continue to assert that if these two elements are not aligned with strategy, eventually the overall performance of the enterprise will suffer.

P.S. The Foundations and Core Elements are all related to Products (Services), People, Processes, and Customers (Clients)