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Greg Githens is the author of How to Think Strategically (2019). He is a recognized thought leader in designing and delivering strategic initiatives.
Read these recent articles
- The Skills Stack for Resilience
- Five tips for speaking truth to power
- Better Conversations Generate Better Strategy
- Insights Are the Secret Sauce of Strategy
- How a Strategic Decision Differs From a Tactical Decision
- Unlearning, learning, and a culture of strategic thinking
- How Mapping Can Improve Your Strategic Thinking
- How to Measure Business Acumen
- Strategy Execution as a Learning Process
- Why I favor a mental stance of disorder
- Critical Asking
- Transcending the Status Quo
- Connecting Strategy to Execution
- Complexity: Four Principles for Program Managers
- Use the PAVER Framework to Assure Strategic Commitments
- Strategic Experiments & Agile Responses
- Avoiding Four Pitfalls of Rapid Growth
- Operational Excellence or Strategic Excellence?
- Design Thinking: Five Landmarks for Strategic Initiatives
- Seven Must-Do’s for Better Strategy Execution
- Strategy as Problem Solving: An Example from a Large Technology Organization.
- Five Mental Anchors that Impede Your Strategic Initiative
- Five Must-Know Patterns of Disruption
- Beginners Guide: Competent Strategic Initiatives
- Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, & Ambiguity (VUCA)
- Four Recommendations for Effective Program Governance
- Six Strategic Thinking Skills: Developing the Proactiveness Habit
- What’s the #Strategy? Let Me Tell You a #Story
- Benefits of Being a Visible Expert
- Strategy is Not Long-Range Planning, Vision, Mission, or Values
- Five Ways to Involve Smart New Voices in the Strategy & Agile Innovation Conversation
- Is it Possible to Have a Perfect Strategy?
- Facilitating the Business Model Canvas: A Few Lessons Learned (Part 1)
- Designing Strategic Initiatives for Results: The Two Kinds of Coherence
- Perspective is More Powerful than Vision
- The Real Reason Strategy Implementation is Difficult (and the Solution to It)
- Grasping Essentials When You’re NOT the Expert
Talk to the ExpertNeed a strategic planning facilitator, implementation coach, neutral mediator, workshop, seminar, or hands-on program manager? Greg Githens provides coaching, workshops, hands-on, and more. Contact him at GregoryDGithens@cs.com or 419.424.1164
- Ambiguity and Strong-Minded Thinking
- Competencies of Strategic Initiative Leaders
- Examples of Strategic Initiatives
- How to Improve Your Story Telling Chops
- Incremental Benefits Delivery
- Interpreting Strategy Documents
- Program & Portfolio Management
- Strategic Planning Issues for Strategic Initiatives
- Strategy Coaching and Facilitation
- Strategy, Ambiguity, and Strong-Minded Thinking
- Success Principles for Strategic Initiatives
- Transforming the Organization
- Useful Practices & Management Tools
Category Archives: Interpreting Strategy Documents
Strategy is Not Long-Range Planning, Vision, Mission, or Values
A strategic initiative is a response to performance gap. It’s purpose is to close it. A leader of a strategic initiative needs to watch out for the “fluff” of attractive artifacts like mission, vision, values, and long-range plans.
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Is it Possible to Have a Perfect Strategy?
There is a perfect strategy in the sense that you could design a strategy for a given moment in time that effectively addresses the core competitive challenge. Strategy as a crafted, designed response to a specific and important challenge. Perfection means it is entirely adequate for the situation and you would gain little benefit from further tweaking. You gain more benefits from bearing down on execution compared to polishing a presentation deck.
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Perspective is More Powerful than Vision
Having a perspective means that the ideas and direction are open to discussion, inviting more people into the discussion to contribute their perspectives. Importantly, it avoids the elitist nature of many vision statements.
Coherence: It is Only a Good Plan (Strategy) If It Makes Good Sense
Coherence means that things make sense. In the context of strategy, it means that the committed resources, policies, and actions are consistent and coordinated. A plan is only a good plan if it makes good sense. Unfortunately, most organizations pursue multiple objectives that are unconnected with one another (and sometimes even conflict).They are anything but coherent! Insert the concept of coherence into your discussions. How? One way is to ask simple questions, “Does this make sense? Where are the gaps? Are there conflicting objectives?” Another way to encourage coherence is to activate the Chief Story Teller role. Imposing coherence and discipline on an organization is difficult and takes hard work by the strategic initiative leader.
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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Posted in Interpreting Strategy Documents, Program & Portfolio Management, Strategic Planning Issues for Strategic Initiatives, Success Principles for Strategic Initiatives Tagged Enterprise PMO, portfolio management, prioritizing projects, program management office, project management office, Strategic initiative, Strategic management, Strategic planning, Strategic PMO 3 Comments
Strategic Initiatives Case Study: Best Buy’s “Renew Blue” Turnaround
Renew Blue is the name of a strategic initiative intended to reverse the competitive decline of Best Buy. This article analyzes the initiative’s strategy and raises questions about the correctness of the situation diagnosis. It examines the Renew Blue vision & strategic pillars, and concludes with a list of 7 learnings for leaders of strategic initiatives. Continue reading
The Business Value Proposition
Leaders of strategic initiatives need to have a working knowledge of the various perspectives on value propositions because organizations often charter strategic initiatives to close the gap (or create advantage) on value propositions. Using Best Buy’s Renew Blue strategic initiative, Greg Githens describes the business canvas approach and VALiD approaches to understanding value propositions. Continue reading
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
A Guide to the Three Types of Strategy and Business Model Scope
Strategic initiatives arise to support three types of strategies. Corporate strategies have to do with market selection. Business strategies have to do with competing within a business model. Functional strategies have to do with effective specialization. Each interact with the business model’s value proposition. Continue reading
Posted in Examples of Strategic Initiatives, Interpreting Strategy Documents, Strategic Planning Issues for Strategic Initiatives, Success Principles for Strategic Initiatives Tagged Business, Business model, Business Model Canvas, business value, case study, Domino's Pizza, Greg Githens, Initiative, Management, Microsoft, Nokia, program management, resource availability, strategic alignment, Strategic initiative, Strategic management, Strategic Planning Issues for Strategic Initiatives, Strategy, strategy execution, strategy formulation, Swiss Life, transformation 18 Comments