Business Generative Conversations
«Our business strategy was perfect…we have just failed at implementation».
«We know exactly what needs to be done in this market….but for whatever reason we do not do it».
«People are not aligned…we need to better communicate our strategy».
I would like to share two complementary human systems development paradigms, I´ve been exploring for years with my clients when helping them in business generative conversations or business strategy conversations, but also when helping them in executive and/or team development. They are based on alternative believes I summarize here below.
Business strategy and executive development get different status
There is a shared believe that executive development should be deployed just after the business strategy have been generated. Under this believe, executive development is deployed to support the strategy execution.
There is a second shared believe that admits business strategy is usually generated under «the most perfect individual and team conditions” (i.e.: executive team cohesion, good emotions, presence, listening, deep inquiring, commitment, no fear, no fight for power at senior level).
The two previous believes admit that business strategy generation and executive development get different status: business strategy subordinates executive learning.
Executive development and business strategy are part of the same generative process
They now become allies. This second alternative is supported by two underlying believes:
The quality of business strategy generation is interdependent with the quality of the co-creation process, which triggers to executives ability to connect mind, heart and will. In other words, the quality of the output generated (business strategy plan) is strongly interdependent with the quality of individual outcomes (perceived benefits), which again are strongly interdependent with the quality of the co-creation process (presence, listening, exploration, etc.).
The quality of business strategy execution is strongly interdependent with the alignment achieved between the self, the team and the business at strategy generation. There is room for learning here, whether it refers to the self (mind, heart and will), the team or the large system.
What traditional business strategy consultants would do
While consultants often talk about complexity, traditional business strategy consultants usually follow the first approach here above. They are still assessing the single-perfect leader («God») as if they were in a simple and predicted ecosystem. Complexity becomes here a kind of “posture”.
Traditional business strategy consultants still assessing organizations under the masculine-patriarchal pattern, while presenting complexity as the bad mother (feminine-matriarchal), either because she is poisoning her childs with too much uncertainty or through hurting their self-esteem by repeating they are not skillful enough to understand complexity.
What organizational learning consultants would do
Organizational learning consultants believe the second alternative here above is most appropriate in current times. More precisely we adopt collaborative approaches with the purpose to give birth to triplets:
- A committed executive, acting as container for subordinates. This is a necessary condition for becoming an inspiring leader.
- An executive team containing individual members and sharing a common vision. This is a necessary condition for becoming a high performing team.
- A business strategy container. This is a necessary condition for promoting people alignment to business strategy.