September 7, 2014 “All I know about Leadership – I Learned from the Scouts” – Aligning Business Governance with Organizational Purpose. Vignette 1
Ten years ago, a recently promoted supervisor came into my office, clearly troubled. As I congratulated him on his promotion, he stated – “All I know about leadership, I learned from the Scouts!” Although I have never been a scout or affiliated with the “scout” organization, I knew enough to understand that this was not a bad thing. As I probed further, he clarified for me that at least with the Scouts the organizations mission and goals where clear and executable. His next statement has stayed with me for 10 years – “I am now responsible for the implementation of the company’s governance. I know what the policies are, I know the processes BUT in Practice we don’t do any of those things because they don’t fit the way we work.”
Business Governance is a set of policies and business processes that set the way that the organization’s business is operated. Policies are the business rules and guidelines that ensure consistency and compliance with the strategic direction of the organization, Processes are a series of actions or operations viewed as a whole with a start and a finish, and Procedures are the discrete series of instructions to perform a task.
Business Governance is the output of the corporate strategy. It is the cornerstone for successful business operations/execution. How often do we create, revise, or reinvent the organizational strategy/direction without realigning the business governance. As a result the organization experiences:
Inconsistent Application of Organizational Policies
Limited Organizational Agility
Shackled Leadership (leaders tied to operational practices for successful execution that are misaligned with organizational direction)
As an operations leader responsible for the day to day business activities, the new supervisor was correct. He is responsible for the implementation of the corporation’s governance.
Are your leaders prepared?