“Metaphorically speaking it can be said that every business is supported by a ‘three legged stool.’ Each leg of the stool represents one of the three essential elements needed to run a successful enterprise.”
Those are the words of Ernest Sirolli, putting forth his Trinity of Management: Product/Service, Marketing, and Financial Management.
A solid theory when it’s business as usual, but what about when businesses need to change? When it’s time to move in a different direction, to stay ahead of current trends, how do we propel change without ‘acting with yesterday’s logic’?
At Manson & Co, we believe that for business to grow, thrive, and transform in the fast-paced environment we live in, there are three proven elements that require priority attention. They form the place change must start. We call these the Trinity of Change.
Leadership + Culture + Strategy = Sustainable competitive advantage and growth
Through years of experience, both winning and losing (and always learning), we know this to be true: Leadership caps culture, and culture eats strategy. This is the driving force behind the Trinity of Change. Every business can benefit from a thorough understanding of this in order to grow faster than the market, differentiate by delighting customers, and set the stage for its people to shine.
We have to begin with the Trinity of Change to ignite, propel and embed the desired changes. The fundamentals of business remain crucial – maximising resources, providing strong governance, managing risk and building a great product – but to survive change we have to focus on the three basic elements first.
Change starts with leadership. Leadership is all about ensuring the right foundation is built to allow the people inside an organisation to thrive, grow, and perform at their best. Leaders set the stage for people to excel, and do so most critically during times of change.
Great leaders recognise this and build a culture to support it. A culture that is innovative and customer-focused is vital to be adaptive to today’s fast-paced market. Without the right culture, building a market-changing, customer-delighting, brand-building, business-thriving strategy will not happen.
We need a culture of delivery to implement strategy. Strategy is the combination of articulated goals, a clear vision on what differentiates us (sustainably), knowing what problems we solve, what business we are in, who we serve, how we commercialise all this and how we can action it. Wrap this up in deep customer insight with an understanding of the trends of today and tomorrow, and we get a plan of action for delivering a return to the organisation.
Leadership. Culture. Strategy. Organisations that seek lasting, meaningful, customer-driven change need all three elements – in balance.
Peter Drucker is quoted as saying “Successful entrepreneurs do not wait until “the Muse kisses them” and gives them a bright idea; they go to work.” You cannot allow yourself to get frozen into inactivity by over developing strategy, but you cannot thrive without a clear strategy either.
At Change Hunters we believe that unless there is a culture of innovation, of creativity, of curiosity, of bravery, great strategy will never get written in the first place. So yes, culture ‘eats strategy for breakfast’ (Mr Drucker again).
Ultimately, culture is reliant on people. To set the culture, we need great leaders to clear the path, to put the right people into the right place with the right tools to support the culture.
So what organisations need to thrive in this fast paced, ever changing, VUCA world, is leaders who create a culture that removes obstacles, guardrails and training wheels and enables people to thrive in order to form a sustainable strategy and vision for the future. And then get on with it.
What they need is for their leaders to be hunters and navigators of change.