Category Archives: Useful Practices & Management Tools

Practical idea that will help you lead a strategic initiative team.

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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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 , , , | 3 Comments

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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Posted in Interpreting Strategy Documents, Success Principles for Strategic Initiatives, Useful Practices & Management Tools | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

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

Posted in Strategy Coaching and Facilitation, Useful Practices & Management Tools | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Grasping Essentials When You’re NOT the Expert

What can a person do when he needs to quickly grasp essential knowledge and there is little opportunity to delegate the decision to an expert? This article provides you learn a technique for improving the effectiveness of your learning of specialist knowledge. I discovered a solution that finds a middle ground between formalized textbook-style learning and muddling through. This approach, works by asking focus questions and constructing propositions. The result is a hierarchical concept maps that renders a scaffold of relevant knowledge.I heartily endorse concept maps as a useful tool and hope you will practice and build skill. They are deceptively simple when you see a good one that has been developed by someone else. I encourage you to persist.

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