Tag Archives: Strategic management

How to Prioritize Strategic Initiatives

This article concludes with five recommendations for prioritizing strategic initiatives. It describes a the challenges that organizations face with too many projects, and explains that strategy is used to screen all of these important – or so-called strategic – projects into a much smaller portfolio of projects.
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Posted in Interpreting Strategy Documents, Program & Portfolio Management, Strategic Planning Issues for Strategic Initiatives, Success Principles for Strategic Initiatives | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Use Small Wins to Attract Allies To Your Strategic Initiative (and Overcome Shabby Thinking)

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

Posted in Strategy, Ambiguity, and Strong-Minded Thinking, Success Principles for Strategic Initiatives, Transforming the Organization, Useful Practices & Management Tools | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Use the Prospective Hindsight Technique to Improve Your Vision Statements and Story Telling

The practical technique of prospective hindsight – on both the disaster scenario and the delight scenario – will help your strategic initiative team identify risks and think more strategically about turning the vision the vision into results. The difference between a prospective story and retrospective story is also discussed. Continue reading

Posted in How to Improve Your Story Telling Chops, Strategy Coaching and Facilitation, Useful Practices & Management Tools | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

How to Identify Strategic Assumptions

Strategic assumptions are an important tool for establishing and controlling a strategic initiative. The assumptions fall into four categories: marketing, organizational, technological, and resources. An examples of a team that failed to examine strategic assumptions is discussed. Continue reading

Posted in Strategic Planning Issues for Strategic Initiatives, Strategy Coaching and Facilitation, Useful Practices & Management Tools | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

The Strategic Initiative Leader: The #1 Success Factor!

Greg Githens relates his advice to a CEO determined to succeed at a strategic initiative: recruit a capable program manager. He explains that the capable person provides leverage: for example, shaping and influencing the vision and strategy, managing interfaces with other groups, attracting/negotiating resources, etc. He explains the competencies and characteristics of a strategic initiative program manager; they have strengths in strategic thinking, matched by use of leadership skills, determination, and a commitment to a vision. Continue reading

Posted in Competencies of Strategic Initiative Leaders, Strategy Coaching and Facilitation, Success Principles for Strategic Initiatives | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Strategic Initiatives | Executive Sponsor Roles, Power, & Politics

Strategic initiatives differ from strategic projects and programs. One difference is in the way that the executive sponsor and program manager develop partnerships for four functions (energizing and guiding decisions, clarifying direction, providing a sense of balance, network building). Importantly, power (influence over scarce resources) and politics (desire to gain power) are essential competencies. Continue reading

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Path Finding and Way Finding

Path finding for a strategic initiative is composed of the activities of pattern searching, sense making, and nudging. It is a straightforward method for addressing strategic complexity. Greg Githens first provides the analogy of path finding through a forest, and then briefly illustrates with examples from Google, Wal-Mart, and Domino’s Pizza. Please provide comments. Continue reading

Posted in Competencies of Strategic Initiative Leaders, Strategy Coaching and Facilitation, Success Principles for Strategic Initiatives, Useful Practices & Management Tools | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments