April 28, 2023

We SOARed, Now What Do We Do?

Successful outcomes of using the SOAR framework for strategic planning need a subsequent step of effective tactical planning. A team with balanced thinking preferences will lead to more effective and efficient tactical plans to ensure success in implementing the organization's strategy. The work is enhanced by following a series of action steps.

As a thought leader, author, educator, and consultant on humanist manufacturing, I write a weekly article that benefits leaders who want to improve their organizations using elements of my Humanist Manufacturing framework.

Furthering the Conversation

Recently we have walked through the four phases of Strengths, Opportunities, Aspirations, and Results of the SOAR Framework.  With a robust strategic plan as an outcome of the SOAR framework, the organization has taken an essential first step to move from the status quo to new heights of performance and has achieved a significant accomplishment.  However, the strategy is an idea and an unfulfilled vision without proper tactical plans.  The work to transform the organization continues by breaking the high-level Opportunities into smaller ones.  The group shares tactical plans across the various business units and departments that will collectively be the building blocks to achieve higher-level objectives.

The Benefits of a Balanced Tactical Planning Team

We can enhance our work to develop tactical plans by assuring the team assigned the task is comprised of a balance of personality types.  The Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument is one of many available instruments to assess potential team members' thinking preferences. The value of understanding our (HBDI)® assessment results is to understand ourselves as individuals better and benefit from knowing the mental preferences of our team members.  Their leadership playbook  lists reasons we should value diversity of thought from the four quadrants, including:

• Guard against expert confidence and groupthink.

• Scale new insights to higher levels.

• Assign the best employees to the most pressing problems the organization faces.

Each tactical planning team member brings different mental processes regarding how they prefer to think, attack initiatives, cooperate, and their perspective on new opportunities. Since our preferences also guide how we view others, it is easy to overlook and understand the value of other perspectives if they are considered radical to our own.  As team members, we must recognize our blind spots and embrace the concept that a wide range of thinking preferences applied adequately to the various tasks to run the organization is an optimal business practice.

The Thinking Preferences

The HBDI Whole Brain® Model includes four types of thinking preferences that organize how the brain functions:

• A Quadrant – Analytical and logical.

• B Quadrant – Detailed and structured.

• C Quadrant – Participatory and people-oriented.

• D Quadrant – Conceptual and risk-taking.

To fully leverage the team's capabilities, we should assign projects that align with our preferred thinking styles and understand when to stretch our styles to maximize the defined SOAR planning outcomes through diverse perspectives.  

Balanced Team Benefits

A tactical planning team can gain immediate benefits from understanding the Whole Brain® thinking by adopting the following:

• Be an agile leader that harnesses team diversity of thought to lessen world challenges.

• Assembling or reworking an empowered team based on thinking preferences leads to the potential for higher performance.

• Increased productivity by leading with the inclusion of mind.

• Expanding our view to drive more significant innovation.

• Create a sustainable competitive advantage by attracting, engaging, and retaining high-caliber leadership.

The research by Herrmann found that Whole Brain® teams are 66% more efficient. It is a significant competitive advantage for organizations that embrace the assessment and effectively implement the Whole Brain® Model into their leadership.

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Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to victory. Tactics without strategy are the noise before defeat. —Sun Tzu
The Steps for a Tactical SOAR Implementation Plan

Once the leadership team has identified a tactical planning team, they can develop actionable plans to implement the SOAR strategy outcomes. For example, the team can utilize the following steps:

1. Identify the organization's positive core - the sum total of its unique strengths, assets, resources, networks, capabilities, and creative thought that will carry the organization into the future.

2. Align the tactical planning process with the compelling "why," vision of the future, the core values, and a mission statement earlier developed by the owner/leader and the executive team to carry forward the best of the past but also inspire and challenges the status quo.

3. Create possibility statements, capturing people's highest aspirations that describe (in narrative form) the compelling "why," vision of the future, the core values, and the mission statement.

4. Identify the highest strategic opportunities to move the organization toward the desired future.

5. Write goal statements for each strategic opportunity and Identify measures that will help track the organization's success.

6. Identify the strategies, innovations, and projects that will be required to pursue each of the strategic opportunities.

7. Self-organize around each goal area.

8. Plan actions and gain individual and collaborative commitments.

9. Capacity development, where leadership provides support, resources, training, etc., and identifies integration linkages between the goal areas.

10. Develop a plan to monitor, improvise, innovate, and re-inquire the action plans.

11. Commit to making the strategic plan a living inquiry process, continually aligning strength with opportunity in service of the future you most want to create.

The overall success in implementing the SOAR outcomes from the strategic plan is centralized coordination. Keeping the work and goals in one place ensures that available personnel are adequately utilized.  In addition, communication alignment supports working in a coordinated manner, resulting in more significant potential for overall tactical planning success.

Key Takeaway

Successful outcomes of using the SOAR framework for strategic planning need a subsequent step of effective tactical planning.  A team with balanced thinking preferences will lead to more effective and efficient tactical plans to ensure success in implementing the organization's strategy.  The work is enhanced by following a series of action steps.

First Step

I encourage anyone interested in tactical planning to read Strategic vs. Tactical Planning: The What, When, & Why.  The author does an excellent job of providing additional insight into the benefits of tactical planning for individual use and the organization.

My Gratitude

I am grateful to HBDI for their work with the Herrmann Brain Dominance Instrument.  The opportunity to achieve up to 66% higher levels of success using their assessment can be a competitive advantage for those that integrate use into the development of their teams.

Sneak Peek

Next week's blog will continue with the work to implement the outcomes of the SOAR work to humanist manufacturing.  

Additional Information  

To learn more about our work or read more blog posts, visit emmanuelstratgicsustainability.com.

I encourage you to read my book Humanist Manufacturing: A Humanitarian Approach to Excellence in High-Impact Plant Operations.  The paperback and eBook versions are now available at Amazon and many other booksellers.  You can also view the Humanist Manufacturing Book Launch to gain additional insight into the Humanist Manufacturing framework.

I invite you to join the Humanist Manufacturing Group on LinkedIn if you want to interact with others interested in the topic.

If you like what you have read, I invite you to connect with me on LinkedIn.

Please feel free to contact me if you need help with the manufacturing support services of consulting, coaching, Fractional Chief Sustainability Officer, or training/reskilling at 734-664-9076.

See my virtual TEDx videos at Reinventing the Prison Industrial Complex and Humanist Manufacturing.

Feel f sign up for my newsletter or email me at Contact Me.

Cover Image Credit: Charlie Solorzano on Pexels

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