Tag Archives: ambiguity

Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, & Ambiguity (VUCA)

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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Posted in Competencies of Strategic Initiative Leaders, Incremental Benefits Delivery, 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

Scope Creep in Strategic Initiatives: How to Recognize It and Avoid It

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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Posted in Strategic Planning Issues for Strategic Initiatives, Strategy, Ambiguity, and Strong-Minded Thinking, Useful Practices & Management Tools | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Path Finding and Way Finding

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

Posted in Competencies of Strategic Initiative Leaders, Strategy Coaching and Facilitation, Success Principles for Strategic Initiatives, Useful Practices & Management Tools | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

A Master List of Questions for Strategic Initiatives

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

Posted in Competencies of Strategic Initiative Leaders, Useful Practices & Management Tools | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

Use the As-Is-&-To-Be Table to Clarify Strategic Initiative Vision

This is a practical technique for strategic initiative vision, similar to gap analysis. It includes a case example of how Greg Githens used it to help a COO and team structure a floundering strategic initiative for better performance. He advises more effort on the To Be visioning and addressing ambiguity. He cautions about the risk of analysis paralysis. This article can help managers involved in strategy formulation and strategy execution. Continue reading

Posted in Examples of Strategic Initiatives, Interpreting Strategy Documents, Transforming the Organization, Useful Practices & Management Tools | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 12 Comments

Resolving Ambiguity and Uncertainty (Strategic Thinking – Part 4)

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

Posted in Competencies of Strategic Initiative Leaders, Strategic Planning Issues for Strategic Initiatives, Success Principles for Strategic Initiatives | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 9 Comments