Tag Archives: Strategic planning

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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The “20%-of-Your-Time” Rule-of-Thumb

Gaining the commitment of the right resources is arguably the greatest success factor for strategic initiatives. I inevitably hear people on the strategic initiative team verbalize this pattern: “This performance gap is huge and needs to be addressed. I am happy to be part of the solution. But where am I going to find time to participate?” When resourcing of a strategic initiative, follow this rule, “Each key player in the strategic initiative must devote at least 20% of their time to the initiative.” The article also includes a list of five challenges for resourcing a strategic initiative: Ambiguity about purpose, Novelty, Run-the-business work consumes time, Corporate-level budgeting & talent management processes don’t plan with enough granularity, Burn-out and balance of personal life with work life. Continue reading

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That’s the Fact, Jack: Data Drive Strategic Initiatives

A strategic initiative is more likely to be successful if there is an accessible record of facts, data, and patterns. Domino’s Pizza and Google are discussed as two good examples where data support a valid, useful diagnosis and narrative for the strategic initiative. By contrast, a failed initiative at Cooper Tire failed to convince middle managers. Because stakeholders often don’t agree on strategic direction, the leader can use tools like the ladder of inference and White Hat thinking to get facts and connect them to strategy. Continue reading

Posted in Competencies of Strategic Initiative Leaders, Strategic Planning Issues for Strategic Initiatives, Strategy Coaching and Facilitation, Success Principles for Strategic Initiatives, Useful Practices & Management Tools | Tagged , , , | 4 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

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Advice for Strategic Initiative Charters

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

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How to Improve Strategic-Operational Collaboration

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

Posted in Strategic Planning Issues for Strategic Initiatives, Strategy Coaching and Facilitation, Strategy, Ambiguity, and Strong-Minded Thinking, Transforming the Organization | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Strategy-as-Story: The ABCDE Model

This tip for strategy and story telling (third in a series) describes the ABCDE model (assess, baseline, components, delivery, evaluation). It explains that strategic initiatives are chartered in the C to D steps. It also provides four useful questions that help gain strategic perspective: Where are we at? Where do we want to be? How will we get there? How will we evaluate ourselves? It also provides an example story that illustrates the principles. Continue reading

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How to Be Strong Minded (3 Capabilities and 5 Tips for Strategic Thinking)

Strong minds produce strong ideas. Strong minds do not fail. Strong minded thinkers have three competencies: 1) they are good a probing and sensing, 2) they imagine the logical future consequences of decisions and actions, and 3) they look for opportunities to apply ingenuity. The article provides practical questions that will help the reader develop these competencies. The article also provides five tips for robustness: avoid mistakes, develop emotional resiliency, reflect, and generate alternative solutions. Continue reading

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Why Your Organization Will Perform Better With Fewer Strategic Initiatives: Six Bits Evidence

Companies that have fewer strategic initiatives more likely to be at the top of their industry. Why? The discipline and focus of strategic choice! Too many projects and initiatives tend to cause fire fighting, distraction, frustration, etc. This article will provide you with examples and good talking points for maintaining focus on the “vital few” strategies rather than the trivial many. Continue reading

Posted in Program & Portfolio Management, Strategic Planning Issues for Strategic Initiatives, Success Principles for Strategic Initiatives | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

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

Posted in Examples of Strategic Initiatives, Interpreting Strategy Documents, Transforming the Organization, Useful Practices & Management Tools | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments