Rethinking the strategy of a great organization

Portrait of Napoleon Bonaparte with Imperial Outfit
Portrait of Napoleon Bonaparte with Imperial Outfit. Public Domain

A name is only a word that designates an object or individual. What makes our organization different is not the name but the identity. Identity is not defined by the name but it is defined by values. The values define how our organization behaves.

Europe can be seen as a name or it can be seen as the identity of a group of people. A national identity is void if it has not got a set of values different to its surroundings.

Europe is the result of the evolution of the ashes of the Roman Empire and the evolution of Christianism. Are the values of the French different to the values of the Italian or the Spanish? There are differences of language, but there are not many differences of values.

European Union, as an organization, is a recent invention however a united Europe is an historical concept that has never been abandoned from the Roman Empire and it has been tried several times along history from the greatest countries of the continent. The Spanish Ruler Carlos I was crowned Emperor of the Holy Roman Empire with the name Carlos V. Napoleon Bonaparte tried to conquest all Europe, and the expansionist zeal of Germany in the XIX and XX centuries is well known. The current European Union is a way to join the countries of Europe based in democracy. It supposes a different try of joining the European identity to a political organization.

In the last years, we are seeing how people defending the national identities are increasing their influence in the European politics. However, the odd issue behind this fact is that national identities are growing on the discourse of the defense of the traditional values that are common in every European national state. Those discourses should be promoting the union instead.

Looking at this fact we could understand that people perceive that European Union is destroying the European values instead of protecting them, and then, to recover the initial spirit of the current Europe should be a priority of the European politicians trying to preserve the union.

An organization is not built around money but around values. A classic strategic planning is done through three important matters: mission, vision and values. Money is secondary. When the money becomes the primary thing, you can assure that there is a great problem inside the political organization. The Spanish philosopher Ortega y Gasset though that rich people have not got power because they are rich. The truth is the contrary thing: Powerful people have money because they are powerful.

Money is a secondary matter in an organization because it provides a power limited to a single use, however, knowledge provides an unlimited power in time. Money always moves from people without power to people with power in a natural way. That is the reason why liberal democracies were established in order to put a limit to the power of rulers, avoiding that money could move indiscriminately from people (without political power) to rulers (with political power).

In Europe most people do not know strategic planning. The European national states exist before the definition of the concept of strategic planning. They were never built on a formal document. Unlike other countries like USA, modern constitutions of the European countries are subsequent to the existence of the political organization. And any attempt of union was defined in the head of a certain ruler instead of on a paper. For instance, Napoleon, considered a great strategist, had a clear vision about a union of Europe under the French domain. His problem was that many other people did not share his vision. Organizations fail when many people at the organization do not share the vision of the rulers. In a group, success or fail is a matter of common strategy, instead of a matter of money as some people without business knowledge think.

In a business organization, the strategy is defined by the directorate in the same way as the first politicians of USA defined its constitution; however, this is not valid for the European states. People have got and know a shared set of values and a way of working, a new set of values cannot be imposed without a great conflict between rulers and people. Europe cannot be built from the vision of a single ruler or country unless he can be smarter than Napoleon Bonaparte and he can have a better army than him. European rulers should think about if their abilities are better or worse than Napoleon’s ones before trying to define any vision of a united Europe against the classic values of the European. And farther values, strategy requires that the strategic actions are related to the actual capabilities of the organization and managing staff.

Unlike national states, European Union has been defined with a strategy, with a mission, a vision and a set of values. And only those countries that share them can be a part of it. Europe must go back to its values. It must to put values over money, and finally, as usual, money (and votes) will flow towards the people with actual power to preserve them.


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