Tag Archives: Decision making

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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Posted in Program & Portfolio Management, 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

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

Apple versus Samsung: Three Lessons for Strategic Initiative Leaders

Here are three lessons for strategic initiative leaders drawn from analysis of the Samsung Apple iPhone patent infringement verdict. 1. Tell the better story. 2. Make better strategic bets. 3. Value originality. Continue reading

Posted in How to Improve Your Story Telling Chops, Success Principles for Strategic Initiatives | 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

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What’s Scary, Weird, Stupid, or Hard? A Tip for Improving your Story Telling

The strategic initiative leader is the chief story teller. Stories have turning points that resolves tension. Humor can help with tension resolution. By identifying what is scary, weird, stupid, and hard, the leader can find humor. Includes application of the four areas to Domino’s Pizza Turnaround strategic initiative case.This tip is the first of the “How to Improve Your Story Telling Chops” series. Continue reading

Posted in How to Improve Your Story Telling Chops | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments