Strategy, management and participation LO19766

Bob Williams (
Mon, 9 Nov 1998 17:12:26 +1200

Perhaps some LOer can provide me with some clues.

We are working as an advisor to a medium sized, family run business.

Our "official" task is to help that business develop a strategic plan.
The real task is probably to help develop strategic thinking skills
throughout the organisation, and out of that look what strategies and
plans might be appropriate. [In reality the other way around - developing
the skills in exploring possible strategies and plans]. Out of all this
may flow secondary benefits, such as a more participatory workplace,
teamwork skills, communication skills and so on.

These activities are strongly supported and understood by the MD who with
his brother dominate the organisation in a way you would expect in first
generation family business.

Not surprisingly many staff see "strategy" as a management responsibility
and therefore regard their active involvement in strategy development as
low priority. Some are also rather confused. Instead of finding
themselves involved in a traditional strategic planning process, they are
seeing something altogether less structured set of tasks, more focussed on
playing around with the environment, and focussed on investigating and
developing the level personal and interpersonal skills.

Some staff are openly beginning to raise their concerns about the process,
and so too are some managers. This of course is excellent, since the
business is quite hierarchical, and staff and managers usually comply with
what is asked of them. What I want to avoid is us lecturing them or
modelling the very behaviours we are seeking to question.

Does anyone have some action learning style activities that will allow
staff and managers to explore :-

1. The difference between strategic planning, strategy and strategic
2. The pro's and con's of each concept - and the relevace to their own
3. The strengths and weaknesses of seeing managers as strategists and
staff as doers; and everyone as strategists and doers"

In the end, I think we are fairly relaxed about the decision they come to
- as long as the decision is well informed and comes from a genuine




"At the end of the day, we all need to work our own passions
in ways that make the most sense to us" Marvin Wiesbord


Bob Williams <>

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