2013 is happening right now.  If your organization is like most, it’s presently making the decisions that will effect what happens next year. Strategies are being determined, budgets are being set, spreadsheets are being created, and resources are being committed.

 

A leader just told me on the phone: “I wonder if our strategy will last a week into 2013…or truly take us to December?” Good question.

 

Here are three clues to determine how far your 2013 strategy will take your company:

 

1)      Culture eats strategy for lunch. (That’s a fact.) Does your plan to succeed include developing the people who are actually working the plan? Organizations that leave alignment, communication and trust as an option – “if we have enough money” – won’t make much money.

2)      Who owns the plan? If you hear managers using words like “cascade” and “roll out,” then get ready for marching orders – and  limited engagement from the workforce. Inclusion is the name of the game. Has leadership solicited key ideas and tapped the motivations of the team? If so, you can bet 2013 will reveal the greater strengths of your organization.

3)      Is the focus on growth? Some managers frame plans around cuts and reductions. (This works if they are only leading spreadsheets.) Skilled leaders know they can better achieve their ‘reduction objectives’ with employees that are inspired. When the talent in the organization gets to create something they deliver their discretionary effort. Therefore, these leaders do a 180° shift in their focus and build their strategies around developing things: For example, “We will develop greater efficiencies to achieve our objective cost structure.”

 

Question: What do you do if you’re not on the 2013 planning team – and the clues above are not evident? (Quitting isn’t an option.)

 

 

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