Competing Through People  |  November 2012  Edition
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MAC 2011

Building Organization Capacity  


What can an organization do that has been around for 40 years, conducting business as usual, when it suddenly experiences a period of unprecedented change. 


Sound familiar?  That's what a client of mine faced, a regional human services non-profit.  The political and regulatory challenges were never-ending, their delivery model had to change, and funding was becoming unpredictable and highly competitive.  Rather than bury their head in the sand, the enlightened leadership realized that they had to adapt to the changing times and build the capacity of their organization.


Their capacity-building plan is multi-faceted but began by focusing on excellence in leadership.  We helped them with this part of the plan by redefining the competency model for leadership success at all levels of the organization.  The model was matched to the strategy demands being placed on the organization.


We also helped them assess the capability and change capacity of their current leaders.  In some cases, it was found wanting and had to be changed.  Luckily, we identified a core of talent on which they could build.  The talent just needed focusing and their development accelerated to match the demands on the organization.


They are just beginning their capacity-building journey but the impact of leadership excellence can already be seen.  Their Board is pleased and confidence is growing in their ability to face any challenges thrown their way.


What is you organization doing to build its capacity?

"Put Strategy First, Not People" Revisited


I re-stated that quote in last month's newsletter.  It always gets a reaction, usually positive from business leaders and negative from HR functionaries.   I even had the president of an HR association ask that I remove it from my presentation before I talked to his group in New Jersey.  "You will offend too many people", he said.  Being proud of my political incorrectness, I declined to drop it. 


I don't use the phrase to irritate people.  I use it to make the point that an organization's talent has value only if supports and drives strategy.   The demands that a strategy places on an organization are important to know because not every strategy requires the same kind of talent and culture to make it work.  Leaders need to interpret the talent demands of the strategy if the strategy to deploy effectively. 


So sorry if I offended anyone by suggesting to put strategy first, not people . . . . NOT!


If you would like to read more about some thoughts on the Keys to Building an Effective Strategy, click here.

What Are You Up To?


More Michael Couch & Associates recent projects.


Challenge:  A large regional non-profit was struggling to roll-out their newly created strategy. 
What We're Doing: We designed and facilitated a process to create detailed but doable project plans for each of the major components of the strategy.  We also worked with the project team leaders to help them understand their roles and assure the success of the project teams. 
Challenge:  A long-time consumer goods manufacturer wanted to change their organization culture to reflect today's market demands.
What We Did:  Designed and implemented a process to assess the current culture and worked with the executive culture team to focus their work, analyze the culture assessment and develop a change plan.
In This Edition
Building Organization Capacity
Putting Strategy Before People
What Are You Up To?
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"Building Strategy-Capable Organizations"