Category Archives: Competencies of Strategic Initiative Leaders

Leadership is a fundamental for strategic initiatives program management.

Critical Asking

A challenge of strategy execution is that visionary people (executives and managers) have visions, ideas, goals, and solutions; they need others to realize the benefits. Often, the tactical people react to the request with pushback: “That will never work. We … Continue reading

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Complexity: Four Principles for Program Managers

I started writing this article to report and elaborate on eleven useful practices as identified in a 2014 Project Management Institute (PMI) publication titled Navigating Complexity: A Practice Guide. I thought it would be a straightforward project, but it morphed … Continue reading

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Use the PAVER Framework to Assure Strategic Commitments

As they left the courthouse on the day their divorce was finalized, Mark apologized to his now ex-wife Renee, “I told you I would do some things for the benefit of our marriage. I didn’t do them, and I’m sorry.” … Continue reading

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Strategic Experiments & Agile Responses

Most strategic initiatives involve complex environments. The emergent nature of complexity means that the use of experimentation is essential to progress. A good strategic initiatives design is one of experimenting, testing a hypothesis, and expecting emerging solutions. You want to … Continue reading

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Beginners Guide: Competent Strategic Initiatives

Do you want to become more competent in the arts of strategic initiative leadership? This article explains the acquisition of competency as a learning journey, with the key point being acquiring “reflective competency.” Because strategic initiatives involve many areas of knowledge, the author suggests starting with a few fundamentals and expanding the base of knowledge and “knowledge in action.” http://wp.me/pZCkk-11A Continue reading

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Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, & Ambiguity (VUCA)

Greg explains how to resolve volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity for a strategic initiative. He also provides a critique of the so-called VUCA prime model (vision, understanding, clarity, & agility) concluding that the VUCA prime model is only 25% valid.
http://wp.me/pZCkk-11q 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

A Simple Idea that Every Good Strategist Knows

Strategy is a series of conversations about important business issues culminating in the commitment to act. The trick to implementation success is to use conversations as a tool for gaining agreement on problems and solutions and to make commitments to each other. Strategy implementation depends upon its socialization by stakeholders. A good strategy is the right actions on the right things. Continue reading

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The Job of the Program Manager is to…..

Strategic initiatives are programs led by very capable individuals. In a nutshell, the job of the program manager is to look outward and upward, conveying messages to stakeholders about the stakeholder receiving benefits. The program offers these benefits in exchange for the stakeholder’s commitment to the program. The article explores some of the nuances of this position, and provides helpful links to other content relevant to the competencies of program managers. Continue reading

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The Purpose of a Strategic Initiative is Closing a Performance Gap

Performance gaps are a powerful focusing and motivating force for a strategic initiative. This article illustrates the concept and discusses analytics that help to clarifying the gap. Knowing your performance gap facilitates strategic alignment. The article offers two useful questions and a practical hint for provoking a discussion on strategy. Continue reading

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