Category Archives: How to Improve Your Story Telling Chops

These articles provide the reader with practical insights and skills, centered on conceptualizing a strategic initiative as a story. As a story, it has a beginning, end, and compelling tension that moves it forward. It has an audience. It reveals truths and has a call to action.

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

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Know The “Follow-The-Money” Story. How was Your Strategic Initiative Funded?

The leader of a strategic initiative needs to know about the investors and their performance expectations. Using the famous line from the movie, All The President’s Men, Greg Githens provides some practical leadership advice for understanding the funding of a strategic initiative. Continue reading

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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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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

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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

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