Greg Githens is Vice President Strategic Initiatives and Innovation. He helps executives turn vision into results and is available for short- and long-term leadership.
Read these recent articles
- Strategic Leadership is “Replacing Old Stories with New Stories”
- Accountability is the Willingness to Have Your Performance Measured
- Three Tips for Leading Strategic Alliances
- Don’t Ask About Deadlines and Due Dates
- Launching a Strategic Initiative? Here are Three Good Practices
- B.A.R.E.D. – Five Domains for Program Management Performance
- Strategy Execution Priority #1: Effectively Communicate Strategic Decision(s)
- Strategic Initiatives Case Study: Best Buy’s “Renew Blue” Turnaround
- The Business Value Proposition
- Strategic Thinking: Seven Questions for Your New Year’s Resolution
- Use Small Wins to Attract Allies To Your Strategic Initiative (and Overcome Shabby Thinking)
- Strategic Initiatives | What Are the Metrics That Matter?
- S.T.I.C.C. – A Useful Communication Tool for Critical Situations
- The “20%-of-Your-Time” Rule-of-Thumb
- That’s the Fact, Jack: Data Drive Strategic Initiatives
- A Simple Idea that Every Good Strategist Knows
- Apple versus Samsung: Three Lessons for Strategic Initiative Leaders
- Four Things Strategic Initiative Leaders Need to Know About Requirements
- The “Call to Action:” A Useful Leadership Tool
- Strategic Initiative Steering Teams: A Sharp or Dull Blade?
- Identify Performance Gaps and Get Out of the Rut of Solutioneering
- The Job of the Program Manager is to…..
- Use the Prospective Hindsight Technique to Improve Your Vision Statements and Story Telling
- The Purpose of a Strategic Initiative is Closing a Performance Gap
- How to Develop Completion Criteria and Success Metrics
- Ask Informed Questions
- How to Identify Strategic Assumptions
- Strategic Initiative Case Study: Intel’s Product Development Turnaround
- Strategic Initiatives | Are You Ready to Implement?
- Incremental Benefits Delivery: The Key to Sustaining Commitment to Strategy
- The Strategic Initiative Leader: The #1 Success Factor!
- Strategic Initiatives | Executive Sponsor Roles, Power, & Politics
- Know The “Follow-The-Money” Story. How was Your Strategic Initiative Funded?
- Path Finding and Way Finding
- A Powerful Idea for Your Strategic Initiative: Program = Brand = Trust
- Case Study: Strategic Initiative Kickoff in a Global Joint Venture
- Five Rules for Managing Complex Strategic Initiatives
Talk to the ExpertNeed a strategic planning facilitator, implementation coach, neutral mediator, workshop, seminar, or hands-on program manager? Greg Githens provides coaching, workshops, hands-on, and more. Contact him at GregoryDGithens@cs.com or 419.424.1164
- Competencies of Strategic Initiative Leaders
- Examples of Strategic Initiatives
- How to Improve Your Story Telling Chops
- Incremental Benefits Delivery
- Interpreting Strategy Documents
- Program & Portfolio Management
- Strategic Planning Issues for Strategic Initiatives
- Strategy Coaching and Facilitation
- Strategy, Ambiguity, and Strong-Minded Thinking
- Success Principles for Strategic Initiatives
- Transforming the Organization
- Useful Practices & Management Tools
Tag Archives: commitment
Organizations often use strategic initiatives as a tool for improving operations. The success rate for these process-improvement initiatives is about 1 in 3. I find it best to think of tool and process deployment as a social process of adopting an innovation. The bottoms-up approach of small wins is a useful alternative to autocratic approaches. A small win, defined by Karl Weick, is a “series of concrete, complete outcomes of moderate importance that build a pattern that attracts allies and deters opponents.” An example is provided, with the leadership lessons of defining benefits, being authentic, generating trust, and encouraging experimentation.
The word “opponent” is a bit of an overstatement for most internal change efforts.The opponent is often not a person, it is a ill-defined ideology. Recommendations: Base your conclusions on good evidence, not gut feelings. Don’t let half-truths go unchallenged; over time they become accepted truth. Continue reading
Strategic initiatives are programs led by very capable individuals. In a nutshell, the job of the program manager is to look outward and upward, conveying messages to stakeholders about the stakeholder receiving benefits. The program offers these benefits in exchange for the stakeholder’s commitment to the program. The article explores some of the nuances of this position, and provides helpful links to other content relevant to the competencies of program managers. Continue reading
You can build support for strategy by understanding and using the strategy-operations polarity map.First, you acknowledge the values of the operational perspective (e.g., it gets results) and the downsides of strategy (it consumes time). Then, you can introduce some of the benefits of strategy work. This article will help the strategic initiative leader assure that the initiative does not flounder. Continue reading
Consensus is a vital skill for strategic initiatives. Consensus means that there is 100% agreement to support the IMPLEMENTATION of the decision. Greg Githens explains the two necessary factors for achieving consensus (define the team and have a visible signal) and describes a personal experience in helping an IT group reach agreement on requirements. Continue reading
How to write benefits propositions by stating “Because of ___” and “you will___.” Greg Githens calls the three templates direct mail, brag, and experiences. He provides an interesting graphic that displays the tradeoffs of benefits where the claims (brag) style is more objective and economic and the experience style develops more profound commitment to the strategic initiative. Continue reading
Greg Githens explains that good strategy, strong commitment, and strategic planning and thinking are the strategic pillars for success with strategic initiatives. Continue reading
Leaders use the word innovation frequently, but often it’s a buzzword. Innovation is not the same thing as invention or as creativity. Innovations do not sell themselves. It is a gross exaggeration to declare that people “resist change.” Innovation involves choices and decisions. Leaders help others cross the chasm. Greg Githens explains the TACOS criteria for speeding the adoption of an innovation. Continue reading
“I know that I should be a person that makes it happen for this strategic initiative,” confided Steve, “but, when I consider the risks and obstacles, the best I can do it help the strategic initiative along.” Greg Githens defines true commitment and explains how it is different from enrollment or compliance. He provides leadership tips for building commitment. Continue reading
Greg Githens explains that commitment – or “buy in” – means people accept and support a specific concept or course of action. He explains how to advocate benefits to stakeholders. Benefits are of two types: emotive (soft) and economic. The secret sauce is to establish the emotive benefits first, which serves to motivate stakeholders and buys time for acquiring economic benefits. Continue reading