Category Archives: Strategy Coaching and Facilitation

Facilitating the Business Model Canvas: A Few Lessons Learned (Part 1)

This short article describes some lessons learned by the author in facilitating the Business Model Canvas. He recommends providing clear and relevant examples and providing plenty of time. It is also important to set up the benefits to the individuals and the organization in using this useful tool.
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Posted in Strategic Planning Issues for Strategic Initiatives, Strategy Coaching and Facilitation, Useful Practices & Management Tools | Tagged , , , | 2 Comments

The Real Reason Strategy Implementation is Difficult (and the Solution to It)

There are two people-related problems that cause poor strategy execution: stakeholders lack a mutual understanding of the nature of the situation & the organization’s social and emotional environment is not supportive for individuals to step outside of their comfort zone. To overcome, use the concepts of dialogue and deliberation, following the analogy of jury duty. An effective jury reaches consensus. Similarly, and effective strategy is one that reaches consensus; that is, people agree to support the implementation. Continue reading

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Achieve, Preserve, Avoid: Another Nifty Technique for Gaining Strategic Perspective

Strategy is inherently ambiguous, with goals and expectations differing depending upon the stakeholder. Because people tend to feel uncomfortable with ambiguity, a leader needs to clear the fog; a process that is best called gaining perspective. Before the leader can help others, s/he needs to clarify their her/his own view of the rewards and the risks. This article identifies three useful questions for gaining perspective: What do I want to achieve? What do I want to preserve? What do I want to avoid? First answer this for the individual, then for the group. The article provides an example of its application by a newly promoted vice president sponsoring improvements to new product development productivity.
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Posted in Strategy Coaching and Facilitation, Strategy, Ambiguity, and Strong-Minded Thinking, Useful Practices & Management Tools | Tagged , | 2 Comments

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

Use the Prospective Hindsight Technique to Improve Your Vision Statements and Story Telling

The practical technique of prospective hindsight – on both the disaster scenario and the delight scenario – will help your strategic initiative team identify risks and think more strategically about turning the vision the vision into results. The difference between a prospective story and retrospective story is also discussed. Continue reading

Posted in How to Improve Your Story Telling Chops, Strategy Coaching and Facilitation, Useful Practices & Management Tools | Tagged , , , , | 2 Comments

How to Develop Completion Criteria and Success Metrics

Two important strategic initiative questions are “What does done look like?” and “How will you know if you were successful?” Greg Githens provides a helpful “how to” article for answering those questions, using a project that was part of a growth playbook strategic initiative. Continue reading

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How to Identify Strategic Assumptions

Strategic assumptions are an important tool for establishing and controlling a strategic initiative. The assumptions fall into four categories: marketing, organizational, technological, and resources. An examples of a team that failed to examine strategic assumptions is discussed. Continue reading

Posted in Strategic Planning Issues for Strategic Initiatives, Strategy Coaching and Facilitation, Useful Practices & Management Tools | Tagged , , , , , , | 3 Comments