Local and System-Wide Goals

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Local and System-Wide Goals

Successful organizations are defined by the abilities of their employees to not only recognize and relate to the strategic intent and overall goals of an organization, but to be able to internalize those goals and find applications in their everyday roles and responsibilities. However in some organizations, confusion exists around those goals and what roles employees have in helping to achieve them. It is the responsibility of management within any organization to provide clarity around those goals and align employee responsibilities accordingly.

To prepare for this assignment, review the information contained in the Bungay article in this week’s resources. In particular, focus on the five steps described in the case study that are designed to “provide a way for managers and their reports to move together from confusion around a complex set of goals and measures to clarity around just which objectives each person needs to focus on and when” (p. 135). Also review the first two portions of How the Mighty Fall that are assigned in this week’s resources—“Hubris Born of Success” and “Undisciplined Pursuit of More”—which outline the first two stages of decline for an organization.

As you review your Resources this week and prepare to write your Discussion posting, contemplate the following. (Note: You do not need to directly answer these points in your Discussion post, as they serve only to begin your thinking process; however, you must explain your reasoning as you formulate your formal response.)

  • What role does a manager play in ensuring that employees understand and prescribe to a system-wide view of performance?
  • Can an organization experience long-term success without an overall understanding of what roles and responsibilities each employee has in working toward and obtaining the overall goals of an organization? How can the Bungay framework facilitate achievement of system-wide performance?

Now post your answer that addresses the following:

  • Draw upon your own experiences and provide an example(s) of cases where you have seen the pursuit of “local goals” work against system-wide goals, and/or where the pursuit of local goals is clearly in-line with system-wide goals.
  • Use the concepts from the Bungay article, the readings in Collins this week, and concepts from Velocity to frame and better explain the analysis from your example.


Course Text: Collins, J., (2009). How the mighty fall: And why some companies never give in. New York, NY: HarperCollins.

Read pp. 1–64.
The author introduces the five stages of decline that organizations progress through as they begin to fail. This portion of the book covers in detail the first two stages of the decline—arrogance in success and growing an organization beyond its ability.

Bungay, S. (2011). How to make the most of your company’s strategy. Harvard Business Review, 89(1/2), 132–140.
Retrieved from the Library databases.

The author discusses how companies can transform complex goals into clear goals through strategy briefing. The five steps of strategy briefing include: stating intent, revising intent to fit context of situation, determining course of action, defining tasks, and defining boundaries.


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