I recently had a discussion where my discussion partner said, "We're just a small organization, we don't need a strategy!" Oops, now I was really surprised.
But is that really true? I don't think so. It made me think of this quote from Nelson Mandela, and how profoundly he looked at the connection between a vision for the future and the concrete action to implement it.
🌀 Acting without knowing where you are heading will get you nowhere. Without vision, individual activities are not linked to each other - they reinforce or impede each other - and thus it will be more a matter of luck where you end up. The tendency is to just react, or to work in fire-fighting mode.
🌀 Now, if you have a vision or a strategy, but you don't translate it into concrete actions, then this will really just remain a wonderful dream. Alas, I see this all too often, a beautiful strategy, but one that is neither linked to the day-to-day business nor to the projects.
🌀 The challenge comes at the point where you want to translate your vision into concrete activities. Whether privately or in a company, this is often the biggest challenge. I assume that my recent contact had already had a bad experience with strategy realization and was therefore reluctant to commit to a vision. I have described the five biggest hurdles in strategy implementation in my article https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/5-hurdles-can-stand-way-successful-strategy-eva-jenisch. It is however worth taking the time to create an implementation road map for one's vision. Only by translating the vision into concrete steps, one can get into action and overcome even the biggest obstacles in strategy implementation.
I love this particular quote from Nelson Mandela because it gets to the heart of the dilemma of strategy implementation and further stimulates thought about how to move from vision to action - no matter whether at the country level or within an organization or in an SME.