Like the hand holding the mobile in the Mobile of Excellent Management above, without excellent leadership, the organization falls and breaks apart. But it’s more complex than that, leadership needs to be distributed throughout the organization, excellent leadership is everyone’s job. As Victor Dingus, a past Quality Manager at Tennessee Eastman put it, “We use to have 14,000 employees, but only 400 were paid to think. Our goal is to have 14,000 employees paid to think.”
The Leaders’ Responsibilities – Dreams, Missions, Goals, Objectives, Strategies, and Tactics: Leaders paint broad pictures of organizational visions, define missions, outline goals and objectives, decided on strategies and tactics, and drive toward change. However, in smart organizations these do not originate only from the top but are just as likely be pulled or pushed up from the bottom of the organization. In fact, the best ideas will come out of the trenches where the work is being done; from those vendors who have a stake in your success; or those customer and clients who want and need your product.
The first hurdle related to Strategy and Strategic Project Management is that of creating a vision of our organization’s future. We cannot plan unless we know why we are planning. Answer, “What vision are we trying to reach?” Then we can start asking the other related questions. What are the trends relate to our vision? What risk is inherent to our industry? What are our goals? Who are the competitors who have the same visions? Who are those whom benefit from us reaching our vision?
To create a visions we must first decide, what we want to do! This drives everything else during the “before the project begins” forgotten phase of Project Management and will become essential when building a Project Portfolio. By knowing our vision, we are then able to decide if a proposed change gets us closer to or pushes us farther away from our vision. This works for a nation the same way it does for a small company. For example, in the United States, there are several warring visions of the future. One vision pushes the nation toward socialism, centralized governance, a one-world government, and one-world currency. Another vision pulls back to the founding Democratic Republic designed around personal liberty governed by equally applied laws. With or without our knowledge both have been and are being strategically planned, but only one can survive.
In your organization, understanding what your vision is; is the first step in strategically planning and implementing any change and building a strategy as is addressed in The Storms of Chaos and Strategy part of this site. Anyone who joins a cause or supports a change without knowing the vision driving it and how the change helps us get there, is too immature to hold a leadership position. Furthermore, as an executive, engineer, government official, or project manager, it is unethical to support a change without first calculating the cost, understanding the impacts, warning of the risks, and then striving to ensure the delivery of the value and benefits of that change. The Strategic Project Manager should always push for the good to the organization over the needs of the project.