Seize the High Ground
By Alan Willett, May 09, 2017
"All armies prefer high ground to low, and sunny places to dark. " — Sun Tzu
It is ancient wisdom that a strategy that starts from the high ground is more likely to be successful than climbing out of a pit.
The following are three examples of the modern high ground.
- A leader that is trusted by organizational membership. If a leader is well trusted by the people in the organization, that leader can expect that those people will rise to even the rare unreasonable challenge when the leader calls upon them. If the leaders are not trusted to have the best intentions for the organization and the people in it, the leaders can expect a lackadaisical response, and perhaps even resistance.
- Well designed and well implemented solutions. For example, if a development team has a software solution with large technical debt, they are working in a pit. If they are called upon for additional new features quickly, they are working in the dark while dragging lead weights. A well designed, well implemented solution provides sunshine and the high ground enabling rapid response.
- An aspirational strategic roadmap that is based on competence, value and passion. An aspirational roadmap that has those attributes provides a series of high ground positions for the organization. If the roadmap is unrealistic, or spread across too many different purposes, or does not exist, the organization is marching across a desert with no destination and no high ground to find a destination.
An organizational typically has some parts that have seized the high ground. Some parts are stuck in pits, while others might be fighting their way across a raging river.
What is the landscape of your organization? Consider your plan to seize the high ground.
Yours in the calm pursuit of excellence,