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Defining personal direction is somewhat difficult for the majority of people. Some are constantly changing occupations and experimenting, others are confident and focused on achieving a goal or a set of goals, but more often than not, both categories do it conforming to commonly accepted beaten tracks or out of their gut feeling, rather than based on rational analysis. Exceptions do exist of course, and it is debatable what is their share, but we can agree there is some (big?) variety of established recipes for success that the majority of people choose from.
As we live in a period of drastic transformation, beaten tracks no longer lead to success and gut feelings are a valuable guidance only combined with substantial life experience. This is the reason there are so many books on finding your purpose in life available. This is the reason there is so much anxiety in our lives.
It is even harder to define direction when it comes to organizations – if it is hard to define yourself, it will be definitely harder to define something sitting outside of you. Organically, people start businesses having just an idea and it may or may not grow to be a success.
At some point the organization needs some structure to be vital. It is provided on two levels of planning – strategic, focusing on the long term horizon, and operational, focusing on the discrete actions that need to be taken to reach the strategic goals.
The actual steps include:
- (Re)define organizational vision – why does the organization exist, what it strives to achieve?
- (Re)define organizational mission – what does the organization do to realize its vision in reality, who does it do it for, and how does it do it in the best possible way?
- Acknowledge and embrace ambiguity and implement continuous iterative revision of strategic and operational plans.
- Benchmark current organization’s business model(s) for effectiveness and research if a more flexible or effective one is available.
- Brainstorm on new possible value propositions and the most appropriate business model to offer them.
- Select feasible value propositions and business plans and document them in organizational strategic documents.
- Plan and document introduction and re-engineering of business processes in accordance with approved business plans.
- Research and document appropriate technologies to support the business processes.
- Identify needed competences and provide training to respective people.
- Identify and assess impact of potential risks.
- Document identified risks along with strategies for Risk Aversion and Risk Mitigation.
- Design and document Business Continuity strategies.
- Adjust business processes to reflect Business Continuity, Risk Aversion and Risk Mitigation strategies.
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