August 4, 1990

People Mindset

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A new strategy is rarely human resources neutral. It’s going to offer advantages to, and put stresses on, the employees. What will be the impact of your strategy on your people? Or flip it: What will be the impact of your people on your strategy?
An unmotivated team is totally different from a motivated team. Consider how the changes you have in mind for your organization are likely to affect people top to bottom. They’re not cogs. They won’t automatically and uncomplainingly start turning in the opposite direction just because you ask them to.
Before you go ahead with any new strategy, ask yourself some questions like these:
If your literacy nonprofit is going to expand from giving away free books to starting a mentorship program in poor neighborhoods, how will your staffing needs change?
If you’ve decided to open a customer service node in India, how will the rest of your employees interact with these long-distance partners?
If you’re planning to shift software engineers off their long-term project and onto something different, how will they react? What support will they need?
Taking the human factor into consideration is both kind and good for business. Avoid mismatches between strategy and management.

Ask yourself…
1. How will this strategy impact our most valuable leaders and managers?
2. Do we need different talent to pull off this strategy? Where specifically are our people gaps?
3. What new training and/or intelligence is necessary to successfully implement this strategy?
4. Is our current culture supportive of the strategy or running counterproductive to it?
5. Do we need to revamp our reward and comp system to ensure success?

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