Behind every good strategy is meaning.

Do you really think you and your team will successfully execute a strategy without an understanding of the meaning behind the strategy? Without an understanding of the significance of the strategic objectives it is naïve to expect the full energies of your people to be tapped.

People discover and create meaning from their work. Your organisation may have well- crafted mission, vision and values and when used effectively in an organisation’s culture these will provide a strong scaffold supporting the maintenance of the culture and high performance.

If the mission, vision and values are the scaffold, then meaning is the frame. Each person will create meaning from many inputs, experiences, knowledge and the environment in which they work. You cannot control the formulation of meaning in an individual, however a culture can facilitate the creation of meaning that will support the individual in performing their work well and staying well both physically and psychologically.

A life with meaning is one that includes the ability to seek and see opportunities for positive emotional experiences. Another way to frame this is having a life with experiences and events to look forward to.

A strategy with meaning is one that explicitly demonstrates to people that the act of executing the strategy includes positive experiences and opportunities for growth, [assuming growth is framed as being a series of positive experiences by the individual]. It is not enough to offer reward at the successful achievement of the strategy. If the positive experiences are exclusively linked to the organisation there is no meaning for individual to tap into.

This makes strategy development a bit more complicated for some people. In actual fact if the strategic planning process includes robust and extensive stakeholder analysis the inclusion of meaning is made much easier. This process requires going to greater depth about stakeholder requirements beyond and beneath commercial outcomes. It has to do with experience and not outcomes.

I will expand on this topic in upcoming posts.

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