Monthly Archives: November 2011

HSBC’s Powerful Idea: Separate “Change the Business” from “Run the Business”

Strategic initiatives are intended to change the business, but have to compete with run the business imperatives for resources. HSBC has a simple powerful concept for portfolio prioritization: it’s either run the business or change the business. Greg Githens explains the concept, and covers three lessons for leaders of strategic initiatives: use this as a first cut, pay attention to the follow-the-money story, and think more deeply about the question, What is strategic alignment? Continue reading

Posted in Program & Portfolio Management, Success Principles for Strategic Initiatives | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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

Posted in Strategy, Ambiguity, and Strong-Minded Thinking | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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 , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Strategic Initiative Case Study: Delivering Large Cost Savings in Healthcare IT Infrastructure

How a manager saw an opportunity to align his work with executive vision for IT cost savings, and drove significant benefits through a large healthcare organization. Summarizes value of elevator speech, key actions, team building, managing around a boss, and incremental benefits delivery. Continue reading

Posted in Competencies of Strategic Initiative Leaders, Examples of Strategic Initiatives, Transforming the Organization | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

Strategy as the Backstory: Another Leadership Tip

In explaining the strategic initiative, the leader needs to skillfully weave in the backstory of strategy; that is, identify the relevant parts of the larger narrative and include in the communications to stakeholders. Modern audiences are impatient, so keep the amount of backstory limited. The exception is when the strategic initiative involves a heritage story (example heritage stories from Starbucks and Domino’s Pizza). The strategy-as-backstory can include SWOT, mission, vision, values, etc. This tip is part of the “How to Improve Your Story Telling Chops” series. Continue reading

Posted in How to Improve Your Story Telling Chops | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

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

Posted in How to Improve Your Story Telling Chops | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments