Where do you think you are going? – Strategy and Governance

Part 4 of the mini-blog series on Governance and its effect on organisations.

Starting at the very beginning organisations are (should be) designed with purpose in mind – purpose then determines what we do to achieve what we want to achieve. Purpose aligns the behaviour of all the people in the organisation around a common reason for being and common goals that flow out of this.

Strategy (the identification of purpose) is the key determinant of culture, culture the key determinant of behaviour and behaviour the key determinant of risk the organisation faces.

The challenge with strategy is that it is an exercise in group thinking – and many groups are just plain bad at thinking together. Secondly strategy is a decision making process – it is as much a process of determining what the organisation is not going to do as it is determining what the organisation is going to do. Another challenge with strategy is that it is firstly a thinking exercise and then an action exercise – and more often than not different parties are involved in the thinking and the acting, this in itself introduces a set of risks.

Too many times when something goes wrong in an organisation a whole host of people whisper behind their hands “I knew that was going to happen”, or. “I told you so” when they probably said nothing, or what they said wasn’t heard and taken heed of. As a result one of the biggest challenges in organisations in designing appropriate governance structures is properly aligning these structures with a robust well thought through strategy, understanding that it is this that creates the culture of the organisation, this culture in turn determines what people do, and do not do (or do and do not say), and this behaviour is the key factor in determining the risks the organisation faces.

Part 1 – They know, you know, we know – Culture and Governance

Part 2 – Just do(ing) it right – Behaviour and Governance

Part 3 – Watch OUT! (Who is looking?) – Risk and Governance

We want to address this together with organisations and are presenting a half-day Seminar entitled 2-Steps away from Danger aimed at senior executives and managers addressing the themes of Safe Work Practice and Good Governance.


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