To be truly 'Joined-Up' in your thinking, several fundamentals must be in place:
- A cohesive and coherent leadership team with a clear, measurable and fully-shared vision
- A comprehensive understanding of the internal supplier-customer chain and the service & quality levels necessary between functions in order for the vision to be achieved - understood, owned and accepted by the people in each function
- Clear and informed thinking at every level of management, which enables decisions to be made in the context of the vision and internal customer needs
- A sophisticated understanding of your business 'model' and how the various elements inter-relate and impact upon each other
- A commitment throughout the management team(s) to setting challenging targets which are mutually supportive between individuals, teams and functions and which avoid tribal warfare and competition for resources
- Constancy of purpose to improve product and service (to quote the first of Deming's 14 points - see link )
Easy, peasy then. Not.
In many organisations - possibly even the majority of organisations - a top level strategy is devolved through individual functions. If the management are enlightened and forward-looking this may even be done through a deliberate process of 'translation' of strategic objectives into regional and local 'flavours' to identify necessary contributions from each function and level.
This is not what I mean by JUT.
Or at least, not sufficient. It is, however, an excellent and necessary platform for what comes next.
To be JUT, this process of devolvement must mean the plans come back up to ensure that the targets and strategies set everywhere:
- Will together deliver the vision
- Are mutually supportive and have no conflicts
That is 'joining-up' - ensuring that all the functions, teams and individuals everywhere in the organisation are both aligned to the vision and working in harmony to support each other to achieve it.
It's a tough call.
But then who said leadership would be easy?