Category Archives: Success Principles for Strategic Initiatives

Fundamentals that need to be present for strategic success.

Avoiding Four Pitfalls of Rapid Growth

I was recently invited to join an expert panel who were addressing the challenges of strategic initiatives. This question was asked, and what follows is my response: What is your best advice for avoiding common pitfalls during rapid growth? #1. Adding … Continue reading

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Design Thinking: Five Landmarks for Strategic Initiatives 

I find that when I adopt a design-thinking mentality, I develop more effective approaches for a strategic initiative. Here are five important landmarks of design thinking. Functionality – Strategic initiatives, by definition, are endeavors intended to close an organizational performance … Continue reading

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Seven Must-Do’s for Better Strategy Execution

A 2005 survey identified seven factors necessary to close the strategy-to-performance gap and those factors are valid for strategic initiatives launched in the present day. The survey 197 senior executives at companies with sales of at least $500 million. You can … 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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Four Recommendations for Effective Program Governance

This article discusses good design of program governance, tailored to the special case of strategic initiatives. It identifies three common mistakes, and then four recommendations. The recommendations are: 1) People respect what you inspect, 2) Allow for mistakes, 3) You want to selectively impose policy, and 4) Design so that the organization is concentrating on the decisive aspects of the strategy. The article concludes with few remarks on striking a balance between conflicting needs such as strategy and risk management.
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Five Ways to Involve Smart New Voices in the Strategy & Agile Innovation Conversation

Organizations need to include new, smart voices in their strategy development and in their strategic initiatives. The author provides five suggestions: Engage, Listen, Tweet, Encourage Disruptive Thinking, Learn
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Designing Strategic Initiatives for Results: The Two Kinds of Coherence

A leader of a strategic initiative should be asking this question, How can I recognize and increase the coherence and integrity of my strategic initiative? The article describes the concept of coherence and explains that there is narrative coherence and design coherence. The author advises starting with narrative coherence and look at the elements of storytelling to find a tension between two forces and then articulating possible futures, as the strategic initiative is an attempt to navigate the organization towards that new future. Look to identify, historically, how constraints were addressed. Finally, a function of leadership is to impose design onto an organization by persuasion or by more formal authority mechanisms.
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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.

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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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Accountability is the Willingness to Have Your Performance Measured

Accountability is frequently cited as a strategic initiative success factor.Strategic initiatives reflect and are constrained by the culture, but a leader and create a “micro-culture” for the team. With that idea in mind, I offer this definition, Accountability is the willingness to have your performance measured. The practical implications are: Performance outcomes must be known. Consequences should be discussed. Transparency is valued in the initiative. Sponsor and program roles become clearer. Integrity becomes thought of as the alignment of thought, words, and actions.
Trust is improved. Continue reading

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