1. So what is Strategic Alignment?

    August 19, 2018 by ahmed

    Originally posted by Harry Hertz on Blogrige

    Vacation
    I recently returned from a family vacation to Hawaii. Our family vacations involve nine people: my wife and I, my two sons and their wives, and my three granddaughters. While we have downtime, we generally plan our days for activities we all enjoy and in which we can all participate (ages 6 through, ah-hem, senior citizens). I know there are also families who plan their vacations differently, for example independent activities during the day and then a communal dinner.

    Strategic Alignment
    By now you are probably asking, what could this possibly have to do with strategic alignment? Well, I recently read a blog about strategic alignment, in which Dennis Miller discusses the importance of strategic alignment in nonprofit organizations. He defines strategic alignment as, “the process of aligning all stakeholders, internal and external, so that all are focused and committed to achieving a shared organizational vision.” Well, our family had a shared vision of having a great, once-in-a-lifetime, vacation in Hawaii. And we had to align all our individual desires and gain cooperation of external partners, like the luau providers. Was that strategic alignment? It was challenging at times and strategic alignment is difficult. However, I began to wonder, isn’t there more to true organizational strategic alignment than the alignment of people, although that alone can certainly be a challenge.

    I did some literature searching to see if there was general agreement on the definition of strategic alignment. I found two articles in the Houston Chronicle about strategic alignment, with a focus on for-profit companies. The first article, by Steven Symes, defines strategic alignment as, “what matters most to the organization and then create a road map to achieving the organization’s purpose.” The article goes on to indicate that alignment requires planning, a willingness to make adjustments, and an involved workforce. So this definition focused on the planning process. The second article, by Flora Richards-Gustafson, defines strategic alignment as, “lining up a business’ strategy with its culture.” The approach according to Richards-Gustafson is a process that requires management to change and align its vision with leadership goals, organizational culture, and individual staff members. So, maybe our family wasn’t in strategic alignment, since there were no “leadership” goals that others had to align with?

    Finally, I went to the source of all knowledge, Wikipedia, which defines strategic alignment as, “the process and the result of linking an organization’s structure and resources with its strategy and business environment (regulatory, physical, etc)”. So, is strategic alignment about use of SWOT or PEST analysis?

    Systems Perspective
    In the end, I think all of these concepts are important to strategic alignment. But, in my opinion (and I am biased), the critical organizational concept is one of a systems perspective. It is the first of the 11 Baldrige Core Values and Concepts.

    A systems perspective means, “managing all components of your organization as a unified whole to achieve your mission, ongoing success, and performance excellence.”

    You need to view the organization as a system with interdependent operations that need to operate in a unified and mutually beneficial manner. It incorporates key business attributes, including core competencies, strategic objectives, action plans, work systems, and workforce needs.

    How does your organization operate? With a systems perspective or a more narrow approach of (choose your definition!) strategic alignment ?


  2. 6th Global Benchmarking Award – 2nd call for entries

    August 15, 2018 by ahmed

    GBN

    The Global Benchmarking Network (GBN) launched the Global Benchmarking Award in 2012 to recognise those organisations that had integrated benchmarking into their organisation’s strategy and processes in order to continuously learn and innovate.

    To submit your entry application please visit http://www.globalbenchmarkingaward.com/entry-form where you can download an entry form. The 2nd call for entries closes on 21st of September 2018.

    The 6th Global Benchmarking Award will be held in will be held in Abu Dhabi, UAE, 10-12 December 2018 as part of the Global Organisational Excellence Congress courtesy of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

    The Congress will also include:

    24th Asia Pacific Quality Organisation International Conference

    • ACE Team Awards Competition 2018
    • 18th Global Performance Excellence Award

    12th International Benchmarking Conference

    • 6th Global Benchmarking Awards

    6th International Best Practice Competition

    • 2nd Organisation-wide Innovation Award

    Sheikh Khalifa Excellence Award’s Best Practice Sharing Conference

    The other awards/competitions that will be held as part of the Congress are explained here https://www.globalorganisationalexcellencecongress.com/enter-a-competition/

    The winner of the Global Benchmarking Award in 2016 was Al Jazeera Catering International (UAE). In 2015 the winner was The Medical City, (Philippines) and in 2014 the winner was OCBC Bank (Singapore). For videos on these award winning organisations click here.


    Add the Congress to your calendar


  3. 2nd Organisation-Wide Innovation Award – 2nd call for entries

    by ahmed

    OWIA_LOGO

    The Organisation-Wide Innovation award recognises organisations that excel in inculcating an innovation culture throughout all facets of their operation from the leadership to employees and covering all stakeholders leading to innovative processes, products and services. The process of entering the award is the same as for entering the International Best Practice Competition and similar rules are applied. To submit your entry please visit http://www.bestpracticecompetition.com/organisation-wide-innovation-award where you can download an entry form. The 2nd call for entries closes on 21st of September 2018.

    The 2nd Organisation-Wide Innovation award will be held in Abu Dhabi, UAE, 10-12 December 2018 as part of the Global Organisational Excellence Congress courtesy of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

    The Congress will also include:

    24th Asia Pacific Quality Organisation International Conference

    • ACE Team Awards Competition 2018
    • 18th Global Performance Excellence Award

    12th International Benchmarking Conference

    • 6th Global Benchmarking Awards

    6th International Best Practice Competition

    • 2nd Organisation-wide Innovation Award

    Sheikh Khalifa Excellence Award’s Best Practice Sharing Conference

    The other awards/competitions that will be held as part of the Congress are explained here https://www.globalorganisationalexcellencecongress.com/enter-a-competition/

    The Organisation-Wide Innovation award winner in 2017 was the National Library Board (Singapore). To watch a video of the award winner click here.

    2017 Runner-up - Manin Kaur, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (left) and Winner - Siang Hock Kia, National Library Board (right) with judges

    2017 Runner-up – Manin Kaur, Maritime and Port Authority of Singapore (left) and Winner – Siang Hock Kia, National Library Board (right) with judges


    Add the Congress to your calendar


  4. 6th International Best Practice Competition – 2nd call for entries

    by ahmed

    BPC01

    The International Best Practice Competition encourages organizations to share their best operational and managerial practices, processes, systems, and initiatives and learn from the experience of others. It provides an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of individuals and teams that have been responsible for creating and/or managing the introduction and deployment of best practices.

    To submit your Best Practice please visit http://www.bestpracticecompetition.com/entry-form where you can download an entry form. The 2nd call for entries closes on 21st of September 2018. Last year there were 65 entries with 28 qualifying to the Competition Event.

    The 6th International Best Practice Competition will be held in Abu Dhabi, UAE, 10-12 December 2018 as part of the Global Organisational Excellence Congress courtesy of the Abu Dhabi Chamber of Commerce & Industry.

    The Congress will also include:

    24th Asia Pacific Quality Organisation International Conference

    • ACE Team Awards Competition 2018
    • 18th Global Performance Excellence Award

    12th International Benchmarking Conference

    • 6th Global Benchmarking Awards

    6th International Best Practice Competition

    • 2nd Organisation-wide Innovation Award

    Sheikh Khalifa Excellence Award’s Best Practice Sharing Conference

    The other awards/competitions that will be held as part of the Congress are explained here https://www.globalorganisationalexcellencecongress.com/enter-a-competition

    The winner of the International Best Practice Competition in 2017 was Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited (Mumbai Refinery), India with a best practice titled ‘Employee Health Management System’. In 2015 the winners were Al Jazeera International Catering LLC, UAE with a best practice titled ‘Our Planet – Our Responsibility’. and Dubai Corporation for Ambulance Services (DCAS), UAE, with a best practice titled ‘Cultural Sensitivity Gives Birth to a Maternity Care’. For the full list of winners and their presentation videos click here.

    Winners 2017 - Dr Vandana Shinde and Pushpalatha Ravi, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited with judges

    Winners 2017 – Dr Vandana Shinde and Pushpalatha Ravi, Bharat Petroleum Corporation Limited with judges


    Add the Congress to your calendar


  5. People join organizations and leave their managers

    August 10, 2018 by ahmed

    Originally posted by Helo Tamme on Workplace Happiness

    It is a well-known fact that people join organizations and leave their managers. Moreover, it is actually confirmed with different studies and researches, that bad managers are the number one cause of employees unhappiness and reason why they quit their job.

    Gallup’s research shows that managers account for at least 70% of the variance in employee engagement scores. A study of 7,272 U.S. adults revealed that one in two had left their job to get away from their manager to improve their overall life at some point in their career.

    Similar findings are revealed with the poll of 2,000 people in the UK conducted by Human Resources firm Investors in People: 49 percent say that they are thinking to leave their job because of poor management – making that the most popular reason for a potential move. A National Study Conducted by Ultimate Software: there is a need for greater focus on Manager-Employee Relationships. For 93% of employees, trust in their direct boss is essential to staying satisfied at work, and over half of employees surveyed say if they aren’t satisfied at work, they can’t put forth their best effort. A good manager-employee relationship can play a significant role in retention, too: more than half of employees say they’d turn down a 10% pay increase to stay with a great boss.

    But not all bosses are bad, of course. There are actually a lot of great leaders in front of great organizations. Since leading starts from the very top of an organization, then let’s have a look to the highest rated CEO’s. Did you know that everybody can rate and review their workplace and CEO at In Glassdoor? Top 100 is available at the Glassdoor site but here is the TOP 10 CEO’s rated by their people:

    1. Eric S. Yuan from Zoom Video Communications
    2. Michael F. Mahoney from Boston Scientific
    3. Daniel Springer from DocuSign
    4. Lynsi Snyder from In-N-Out Burger
    5. James Downing from St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital
    6. Corey Schiller & Asher Raphael from Power Home Remodeling
    7. Charles C. Butt from H E B
    8. Jeff Weiner from LinkedIn
    9. Colleen Wegman from Wegmans Food Markets
    10. Marc Benioff from Salesforce

    So what is this that great leaders do to that make them great? I had a look at the Zoom Video Communication reviews at Glassdoor and here is what I found about Eric S. Yuan: “CEO is a great Entrepreneur with a solid vision for the company”. “Linear management structure – you can walk onto any floor, chat with any exec (even Eric our CEO) and you’ll get a response. It’s encouraged”! “Bi-weekly all hands has an anonymous Q&A that addresses any lingering beef anyone has with anything going on at Zoom. Questions are addressed live by the CEO and a lot of positive changes have come from it!” ”Eric Yuan is about as humble, nice, and hard-working as they get”. ”Eric Yuan is the real deal, smart, humble, driven like no other and truly cares and it shows in action and how he leads. You know the man by what he values from sending personal gift cards for answering questions in All hands to following up with my wife when our family was going through a hard season, to jumping on calls to provide executive exposure with prospects or current customers. Too much to say here for a review but Eric is a very special man and leader”. What was really interesting is this that almost all the reviews that I read had something great say about Eric which shows that apparently, he is doing something right since reviews are high and comments were positive.

    It is clear, we do not want to have bad bosses. It is definitely really challenging to attract and retain talents so therefore here are three things that I would recommend you to do when you would want to have great leaders on board:

    Recruit and Select carefully! As this Gallup article recommends, whether hiring from the outside or promoting from within, organizations that scientifically select managers for the unique talents it takes to effectively manage people greatly increase the odds of engaging their employees. Instead of using management jobs as promotional prizes for all career paths, companies should treat these roles as unique with distinct functional demands that require a specific talent set. They should select managers with the right talents for supporting, positioning, empowering, and engaging their staff.

    Educate and develop your managers! Everything around us is changing constantly so therefore even the very best ones need to learn and develop. Meaning that you need to train your managers during the whole employee lifecycle not only during the induction program or when you see or hear problems rising. Even Eric, the highest rated CEO according to Glassdoor, believes that it is possible to continuously grow as a leader to fit the evolving needs of the business, as long as you are committed to continuously learn and challenge yourself. So how does he learn? He reads books!

    Promote and encourage communication! Communication is often the basis of any healthy relationship, including the one between an employee and his or her manager. Gallup has found that consistent communication – whether it occurs in person, over the phone or electronically – is connected to higher engagement. For example, employees whose managers hold regular meetings with them are almost three times as likely to be engaged as employees whose managers do not hold regular meetings with them. Gallup also found that engagement is highest among employees who have some form (face to face, phone or digital) of daily communication with their managers. Managers who use a combination of face-to-face, phone, and electronic communication are the most successful in engaging employees. And when employees attempt to contact their manager, engaged employees report their manager returns their calls or messages within 24 hours. These ongoing transactions explain why engaged workers are more likely to say their manager knows what projects or tasks they are working on.

    Sources used in this post:
    https://news.gallup.com/businessjournal/182321/employees-lot-managers.aspx
    https://www.independent.co.uk/news/business/news/uk-employees-job-search-2018-look-new-company-workplace-happiness-career-a8133351.html
    https://www.ultimatesoftware.com/PR/Press-Release/New-National-Study-Conducted-by-Ultimate-Software-Reveals-Need-for-Greater-Focus-on-Manager-Employee-Relationships
    https://www.glassdoor.com/Award/Top-CEOs-LST_KQ0,8.htm
    https://www.gallup.com/file/services/176708/State%20of%20the%20American%20Workplace%20Report%202013.pdf
    https://blog.signifai.io/learnings-discussion-eric-yuan-ceo-founder-zoom
    https://news.gallup.com/businessjournal/182321/employees-lot-managers.aspx