Lagos Akinwunmi Ambode

Lagos State Governor, Akinwunmi Ambode has canvassed the need for civil servants to adopt effective strategic plans as it will lead to better performance and increase productivity.

The governor, who spoke at a two-day training for top civil servants in Ikeja at the weekend emphasised that strategic plans must be articulated in a manner such that operational and tactical decision-making can follow suit.

According to him, the leading strategist must count on the employees or members of the organization to make sound tactical and operational decisions that were aligned with the desired strategic direction.

Ambode, who was represented by the Commissioner for Establishments, Training and Pensions, Dr. Benson Oke, said to ensure that these decisions were well made, the articulated strategic direction and strategic plans must be applicable and clearly related to the issues that people face.

“An effective strategy allows flexibility so that the direction of the organization can be adapted to changing circumstances. A rigid strategic direction seldom turns out to have been the best course of action. To assure that your organisation is nimble and able to react to changes, it is essential that your strategy is flexible and adaptable.

“As a strategist, you will count on timely and accurate information about prevailing relevant conditions. It is essential to build and employ effective mechanisms for observing and listening to what is going on in the environment. Real-time information, in turn, must feed on-going strategic and operational shifts and deployments,” he explained.

The governor added that an effective strategy resulted from the varied input of a diverse group of thinkers and participants in strategic decision-making and that such must be unafraid to state contrary opinions.

Ambode stated that the take home lesson for managers of men and resources was that in order to ensure that “your strategic team is ready to make effective decisions, look carefully in the mirror. Do you encourage debate, even argument, among your team about key decisions, or do you encourage blind alignment with the organisation’s positions?

“An effective strategy follows a thorough and deep analysis of both the external environment and the internal capabilities of the organization. An effective strategy is one that identifies areas of Competitive Advantage. To put this in the context of today’s dynamics, understand that many aspects of the organisation must be held at parity across a wide swipe of the competitive landscape.”

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