In our drive to be bigger, better and more recognised, we have relegated some words from their lofty heights to a level of ‘normal’. The words ‘strategy’ or ‘strategic’ are in this realm. Often when people make a single decision, someone congratulates them on being ‘strategic’…..errrr…hello? They made a decision, this does not necessarily mean that they are being strategic.
Strategy comes from a number of decisions that help you achieve your goal, it is rather like a game of chess. You have to make a whole host of decisions and you must respond continually to your opponents moves, just one wrong decision may cost you the game but the the strategy comes in the twists and turns of the game.
Making decisions does not make you a strategist but every strategist will make decisions.
“as far as I know I was the first person to introduce the phrase strategic leadership in the early 1970s. Subsequently I discovered that in that phrase the word leadership is actually redundant. For in Greek strategy is made up of two words: stratas, a large body of people, and the egy element which means leadership. Strategy is simply the art of leading an organisation.”
We talk a great deal about partnership between organisations but we need to recognise that partnership may have limitations. Each and every organisation has its own strategic aims and objectives and whilst the synergy of partnership will strengthen everyone, there is always the hurdle of autonomy within it that will need to be negotiated.
For a healthy partnership, it is essential to have a respect for the autonomy of the other party in terms of its goals and objectives alongside its own hard fought for identity. This is why a partnership requires clear objectives to underline the value and the goals of the relationship. What are we trying to achieve? What is the purpose of the partnership? What does success look like?
For the Church and mission, partnership is essential. The way we engage and have love for one another will determine the level of its success.
In leadership circles, it is regular to hear people talk about ‘thinking strategically’ but thinking strategically is not enough, you need to act strategically too! You can have the greatest ideas, the best plans and vision oozing out of every pore in your body but unless it leads to action, it will be as meaningless as a chocolate fire guard. When there is a good marriage between the thinking and the acting there is another significant action that is required, sacrifice. There are very few, if any, leaders that have achieved anything without sacrifice. When the three things come together, you have a very powerful foundation to bring productive change and, as we know, change is always with us and needs to be managed effectively, after all, thats why we need leaders!