The Nine Imperatives

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Mark LundegrenAs you may know, I am at work on a book spanning my Natural Strategy workshops. The book will provide a “play at home” version covering all seven of the workshops, and is intended to either introduce the workshop content or serve as a refresher and reference after attending one or more workshops.

Already, work on the book has been an opportunity to reflect on the workshops, to review and expand the workshop materials, and to incorporate the new perspectives that inevitably come when translating bullets and charts to prose and narrative. The work also naturally provides opportunities for posts on this blog – to share elements of the work-in-progress and solicit feedback on them. Today’s post will be a case in point

My focus right now is translating the Natural Organization workshop into outline form and then an eventual narrative. In working on this chapter of the book, I started by reconsidering and expanding slightly my list of organizational imperatives…the things that purposeful groups and organizations of all shapes and sizes must do well. I have posted my revised list below for your review and comments.

The list of organizational imperatives is important for a few reasons. It provides a useful overview of needed strategic focus areas for existing and start-up organizations. It sets up a discussion of specific strategy and planning techniques essential to progressive organizational functioning. And the list even serves as a scorecard of sorts, to gauge the general health and breadth of focus of an organization.

With this background, here is my new list of nine organizational imperatives, which I think will apply to most if not all organizations and goal-directed groups to some extent:

Nine Organizational Imperatives

  1. Mission & Self-Awareness – a clear and motivating statement of the organization’s purpose, and a system for assessing its effectiveness in fulfilling its mission against alternatives
  2. Economic Viability – an adequate and progressive model for revenues/inputs, operations, income/outputs, and capital use
  3. Value To Clients – a means of measuring and progressively increasing value to clients or stakeholders
  4. Functional Effectiveness – a process for ensuring and progressively improving operations and productivity
  5. Learning & Innovation – a system for probing and action on current and future limitations  & opportunities
  6. Information Optimization – clarity on the needed amount of information and action to attain needed information, ensuring neither information underuse & overuse
  7. Resource Optimization – ongoing exploration of higher value and value-consistent uses and mixes of technology, labor, and land
  8. Size & Scope Optimization – techniques for considering and pursuing the best focus areas and growth goals for the organization, given its mission, capacities & opportunities
  9. Compliance & Sociality – a system for ensuring legal and regulatory compliance, and for balancing organizational and social goals and needs

I’ve summarized these nine imperatives or areas of organizational strategy focus in the following chart, and would encourage you to think about them and their relevancy for the organization or organizations you are involved in.

Nine Imperatives

If you want, you might take a few minutes to: 1) rate an organization you work for or with against the nine imperatives, 2) capture any lessons or to-do’s the graphic and our discussion inspires, and 3) send me a note with key comments you have about the imperatives – what you liked & what you might change.

Whatever personal or organizational lessons you take away from considering The Nine Imperatives, I’d enjoy hearing about them, especially as you begin to make use of this important part of implementing my Natural Strategy method in your organization or group.

Health & best wishes,

Mark

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