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
- 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
- Advice for Strategic Initiative Charters
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: Strategic management
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
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
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
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
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
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
This practical article establishes the idea that brand positioning is a useful complement to strategic initiative program communications. Develop the program brand and you develop trust. Continue reading
This case study of a global new product development launch by a joint venture provides seven leadership lessons. One is to get people out of their comfort zone and into their learning zone. Continue reading
Complex strategic initiatives operate in un-ordered environments. Greg offers 5 rules: manage initial (starting) conditions, broaden the involvement of stake holders, dissent strengthens the strategy, increase learning with rapid experimentation, and monitor for emergence. Continue reading
Strategic initiative charters are different than typical project and program charters that are expecting a pre-determined result. Greg Githens explains the functions of strategic initiative charter. He provides practical advise such as the “two page” rule and outlines 12 elements that should be found in a strategic initiative charter. Continue reading