Photo by Judita Grigelytė (VŽ).
The famous management guru Peter Drucker quotes that “culture eats strategy for breakfast.” This means that no matter how great the strategy will be, the organizational culture will be a key factor in the effectiveness of the strategy. I remembered this phrase in the context of the introductory event of the State Progress Strategy “Lithuania 2050” held last week.
Organizational culture can be defined as shared values (what is important to us), beliefs (what we believe in), and behavior (as we do). A similar definition may be appropriate for a societal mentality. If I tell you with a few keywords to define what dominates the Lithuanian mentality, I would probably choose the following: diligence, perseverance, stubbornness, distrust, intolerance of error (and really), pessimism.
So, can the Lithuanian mentality eat the State’s progress strategy for breakfast? According to how “successfully” Lithuania’s strategy so far, even Lithuania 2030, has fallen into drawers, and their implementation has not become a global priority, it can be concluded that the Lithuanian mentality really likes to eat strategy for breakfast. Despite diligence and perseverance, we do not have enough (confidence) to be able to agree, initiate sustainable change and, despite political change, pursue a strategy for key decisions, including the allocation of resources. Pessimism and intolerance do not violate Lithuania’s long-term strategy of “employing” in the way that the world’s most successful countries do.
And what could be the State’s progress strategy? Since we are talking about a 30-year horizon, it is likely that Lithuania 2050 would be a sufficiently abstract vision that would not deviate significantly from what other European countries that have developed long-term strategies are declaring. It would certainly be green, digitized and resilient, as well as the creativity and openness of innovation. In fact, the fact that the vision of our country will not be exclusive is not bad. Management classics say there are no bad strategies, only unimplemented ones. In other words, the end result depends 20% on the ideas and 80% on the implementation.
What does the implementation of the strategy depend on? Among the most frequently mentioned factors are people, resources, structure, systems and mentality (culture). And how to create the preconditions for the successful implementation of the vision, bearing in mind that it will last for 30 years? During that time, not only will many governments be overthrown, but the whole world is likely to change very strongly. The Lithuanian mentality, which, like society, is not homogeneous, will largely determine the public’s involvement in the development and implementation of Lithuania 2050.
On the other hand, there would be no differences, we all want a good life in Lithuania. Isn’t that reason enough for us to focus on what we want when we disagree in the country, and do we need to make the implementation of the vision a priority for current and future governments? After all, in 2050 Lithuania is neither a conservative, nor a socialist, nor a peasant – it is ours. Let us speak boldly and loudly about what kind of future we want and realize that our visions are not the same as they can lead to. By thinking and discussing “Lithuania 2050”, we can begin to change our mentality and strategy.
Yes, I can already hear the reaction that there are optimistic delusions here. But still, and why not?
The author of the commentary is Dalius Misiūnas, Rector of ISM University of Management and Economics
The author’s opinion does not necessarily coincide with the editorial position.
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