Category Archives: Competencies of Strategic Initiative Leaders

Leadership is a fundamental for strategic initiatives program management.

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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Posted in Competencies of Strategic Initiative Leaders, Strategic Planning Issues for Strategic Initiatives, Useful Practices & Management Tools | Tagged , | 12 Comments

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

Posted in Competencies of Strategic Initiative Leaders, Program & Portfolio Management | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

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

Posted in Competencies of Strategic Initiative Leaders, Program & Portfolio Management, Success Principles for Strategic Initiatives | Tagged , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Incremental Benefits Delivery: The Key to Sustaining Commitment to Strategy

Greg Githens offers four guiding ideas for managing benefits in strategic initiatives: 1) Different stakeholders have different ideas of and expectations for program benefits, 2) there are two types of benefits:economic and emotive, 3) people prefer their benefits early, and 4) partition benefits into compact, incremental releases. A skillful strategic initiative leader will develop an operating rhythm that delivers incremental benefits and sustains commitment for the strategic initiative. Continue reading

Posted in Competencies of Strategic Initiative Leaders, How to Improve Your Story Telling Chops, Incremental Benefits Delivery, Success Principles for Strategic Initiatives | Tagged , , , , , , , | 7 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 , , , , , , | 7 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 , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments