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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
Tag Archives: ambiguity
Greg explains how to resolve volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity for a strategic initiative. He also provides a critique of the so-called VUCA prime model (vision, understanding, clarity, & agility) concluding that the VUCA prime model is only 25% valid.
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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
Scope creep is a frequently-heard complaint. The word scope is ambiguous; experience shows that even highly experienced and trained professionals cannot agree on its meaning. The Includes-Excludes Table is a simple two-column table with the word “in” placed at the top of the left column and “out” at the top of the right column. It helps us to visualize scope creep as something that was determined to be “out” now has crept over the line to become “in.” The advice for the strategic initiative leader is straightforward: pay attention to the partitioning of in and out. Don’t let something that is out cross the line unless you understand the impacts on the governance of the program. Also, use preferred modifiers: Problem Scope, Product Scope, and Work Scope.
This process of describing the in and out, and making choices, encourages the strategist to think about their business model in a more complete and logical way. The Includes-Excludes Table can help you stay focused on root causes and core strategic problems. They key is to maintain a focus on the problem scope, and avoid the tendency to start designing solutions and implementing them.
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Path finding for a strategic initiative is composed of the activities of pattern searching, sense making, and nudging. It is a straightforward method for addressing strategic complexity. Greg Githens first provides the analogy of path finding through a forest, and then briefly illustrates with examples from Google, Wal-Mart, and Domino’s Pizza. Please provide comments. Continue reading
More than 80 good questions for leaders of strategic initiatives, provided by Greg Githens, who notes that “leaders lead by asking questions.” These questions are categorized: strategic path finding; betterment of risk, issues, and decisions; and elaborating requirements, solution design, and value propositions. Continue reading
Strategic initiatives leaders must understand the difference between ambiguity and uncertainty. Uncertainty deals with explicit questions, whereas ambiguity raises the point, “Are we asking the right questions?” Both are useful concepts, and strategic thinkers have tools (most importantly, questions) for dealing with both. This article continues a series on strategic thinking. Continue reading
This article clarifies the differences between program management, portfolio management, and program management along 8 dimensions: purpose, temporal nature, aggregation, strategic alignment, success criteria, risk, decisions, & competencies. Greg Githens explains four implications for leaders of strategic initiatives: meaning of strategic alignment, number of strategic initiatives in the portfolio, strategic initiatives as programs, and immature standards. The leader applies strategic thinking to do that. Continue reading
Greg explains how to overcome headwinds in a strategic initiative with 4 perspectives: storytelling, learning, integration, and decisions. He illustrates how each role is applied through a case study.
Stories, Learning, Integration, and Decisions are keys to good leadership of strategic initiatives. Greg Githens explains that the leader is the Chief of each. Individually and collectively these program manager roles provide a framework for strategy execution.