Your Strategy Won’t Work If You Don’t Identify the New Capabilities You Need

via Harvard Business Review

While strategic plans identify what your organization should do differently, very few provide a roadmap for how to build the skills, knowledge, and processes needed to carry out and sustain the critical changes. But without building these capabilities, it’s very difficult to achieve the results you want.

As these examples illustrate, combining capability development with strategy execution does not need to be a complex undertaking. The key is to make capability learning as overt and intentional as possible. This will allow you to build organization muscle at the same time that you are getting business results.

To get started with this approach, think about your company’s own strategy, and what capabilities are critical to achieving results. Then identify opportunities for teams to create or strengthen those capabilities while actually executing some aspect of the strategy. Doing this will ensure that capability development is a real and tangible part of your organization’s growth, instead of a hope or an afterthought.

The case studies show that building organisation muscle takes time, trial and errors and patience.

Museum of Contemporary Art’s past and future (circa 2012)

via Los Angeles Times

Over the years, MOCA has mounted many great exhibitions. However, the museum has also curated a number of exhibitions that were costly and poorly attended, often exceeding $100 per visitor. In today’s economic environment, museums must be fiscally prudent and creative in presenting cost-effective, visually stimulating exhibitions that attract a broad audience.

There has been much confusion about Schimmel’s departure. For several years, he’s been contemplating a change and has been a candidate for a number of positions at other institutions. Schimmel is a brilliant curator, but the board members recognized the director’s right to put his own team together. When they accepted Schimmel’s resignation, they acknowledged that he has left an indelible mark on MOCA’s history during his 22-year tenure. They look forward to continuing to work with him — together with guest curators from around the world — to develop the world-class exhibitions that MOCA is known for. They also look forward to MOCA showing more of its permanent collection — 80% of which has not been seen in the last 10 years.

Amazed at the surprisingly blunt and honest (?) telling of what happened from a person then still within the establishment. Kudos.

How Kronos Benefitted from Launching an Unlimited Vacation Policy

via Harvard Business Review

At first I thought Millennials would be the most enthusiastic about an open vacation policy. But in fact employees in their thirties and forties with school-age children seem to be the biggest beneficiaries. In the past they struggled to figure out how to spread vacation time over various school holidays. Now they feel free to take more time, reducing this strain.

…our core business is providing workforce management software, and one of the things our product does is track and manage vacation accruals. If every company shifted to an open vacation policy, wouldn’t one of the benefits of our product disappear? Not if open vacation was deployed the right way. That we track our employees’ time off is a major reason our new policy works. If you don’t track it, how else will you know whether people are taking enough time to refresh and recharge, and whether managers are setting a poor example or unfairly managing time off? Tracking enables transparency and better communication, and if it’s done properly, it will build even more trust and loyalty among your employees.

Right now unlimited vacation for all employees is offered at fewer than one in 20 U.S. companies. There’s a reason for that. Not every organization has the combination of high-performing employees, passionate concern for work/life balance, and deep trust in its people necessary to make this kind of system work. I feel very fortunate to lead a company that does.

Care for and trust in your employees.

I used to not take holidays except when absolutely necessary, e.g. other half made his twice yearly trip back to Singapore and we spending time together meant taking leave as the job was so hectic we couldn’t spend time together otherwise. That being said, I did forgo all overtime leave when leaving the company as there was simply no time to use it up.

Tired was an understatement.

I think that employees simply want a company that care for them, and in turn, they will care for the company.