Tag Archives: questions

Grasping Essentials When You’re NOT the Expert

What can a person do when he needs to quickly grasp essential knowledge and there is little opportunity to delegate the decision to an expert? This article provides you learn a technique for improving the effectiveness of your learning of specialist knowledge. I discovered a solution that finds a middle ground between formalized textbook-style learning and muddling through. This approach, works by asking focus questions and constructing propositions. The result is a hierarchical concept maps that renders a scaffold of relevant knowledge.I heartily endorse concept maps as a useful tool and hope you will practice and build skill. They are deceptively simple when you see a good one that has been developed by someone else. I encourage you to persist.

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Achieve, Preserve, Avoid: Another Nifty Technique for Gaining Strategic Perspective

Strategy is inherently ambiguous, with goals and expectations differing depending upon the stakeholder. Because people tend to feel uncomfortable with ambiguity, a leader needs to clear the fog; a process that is best called gaining perspective. Before the leader can help others, s/he needs to clarify their her/his own view of the rewards and the risks. This article identifies three useful questions for gaining perspective: What do I want to achieve? What do I want to preserve? What do I want to avoid? First answer this for the individual, then for the group. The article provides an example of its application by a newly promoted vice president sponsoring improvements to new product development productivity.
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Posted in Strategy Coaching and Facilitation, Strategy, Ambiguity, and Strong-Minded Thinking, Useful Practices & Management Tools | Tagged , | 2 Comments

Don’t Ask About Deadlines and Due Dates

Don’t ask about dead lines, instead the strategic initiative leader should probe for timing expectations and the sense of urgency held by his/her stakeholders. Continue reading

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A Master List of Questions for Strategic Initiatives

More than 80 good questions for leaders of strategic initiatives, provided by Greg Githens, who notes that “leaders lead by asking questions.” These questions are categorized: strategic path finding; betterment of risk, issues, and decisions; and elaborating requirements, solution design, and value propositions. Continue reading

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What’s Scary, Weird, Stupid, or Hard? A Tip for Improving your Story Telling

The strategic initiative leader is the chief story teller. Stories have turning points that resolves tension. Humor can help with tension resolution. By identifying what is scary, weird, stupid, and hard, the leader can find humor. Includes application of the four areas to Domino’s Pizza Turnaround strategic initiative case.This tip is the first of the “How to Improve Your Story Telling Chops” series. Continue reading

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Use the As-Is-&-To-Be Table to Clarify Strategic Initiative Vision

This is a practical technique for strategic initiative vision, similar to gap analysis. It includes a case example of how Greg Githens used it to help a COO and team structure a floundering strategic initiative for better performance. He advises more effort on the To Be visioning and addressing ambiguity. He cautions about the risk of analysis paralysis. This article can help managers involved in strategy formulation and strategy execution. Continue reading

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Use the Columbo Question to Get Strategic Information

In the inquiry mode of leadership, questions help to set strategic direction and discover requirements and intentions. Greg Githens explains that the last question in an interview is, “Is there any question that I should have asked that I haven’t asked.” Continue reading

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