Tag Archives: Strategic initiative

Launching a Strategic Initiative? Here are Three Good Practices

Observations of a new product development kickoff strategic initiative. Cultural challenges make the natural ambiguity of strategy even more difficult. Three good practices are 1. travel the world and get in front of stakeholders, 2. Identify key contributors and help them step up, 3. Initial milestones are guidelines; not millstones around your neck. Continue reading

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Strategic Initiatives Case Study: Best Buy’s “Renew Blue” Turnaround

Renew Blue is the name of a strategic initiative intended to reverse the competitive decline of Best Buy. This article analyzes the initiative’s strategy and raises questions about the correctness of the situation diagnosis. It examines the Renew Blue vision & strategic pillars, and concludes with a list of 7 learnings for leaders of strategic initiatives. Continue reading

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The “20%-of-Your-Time” Rule-of-Thumb

Gaining the commitment of the right resources is arguably the greatest success factor for strategic initiatives. I inevitably hear people on the strategic initiative team verbalize this pattern: “This performance gap is huge and needs to be addressed. I am happy to be part of the solution. But where am I going to find time to participate?” When resourcing of a strategic initiative, follow this rule, “Each key player in the strategic initiative must devote at least 20% of their time to the initiative.” The article also includes a list of five challenges for resourcing a strategic initiative: Ambiguity about purpose, Novelty, Run-the-business work consumes time, Corporate-level budgeting & talent management processes don’t plan with enough granularity, Burn-out and balance of personal life with work life. Continue reading

Posted in Strategic Planning Issues for Strategic Initiatives, Success Principles for Strategic Initiatives, Useful Practices & Management Tools | Tagged , , | 4 Comments

That’s the Fact, Jack: Data Drive Strategic Initiatives

A strategic initiative is more likely to be successful if there is an accessible record of facts, data, and patterns. Domino’s Pizza and Google are discussed as two good examples where data support a valid, useful diagnosis and narrative for the strategic initiative. By contrast, a failed initiative at Cooper Tire failed to convince middle managers. Because stakeholders often don’t agree on strategic direction, the leader can use tools like the ladder of inference and White Hat thinking to get facts and connect them to strategy. Continue reading

Posted in Competencies of Strategic Initiative Leaders, Strategic Planning Issues for Strategic Initiatives, Strategy Coaching and Facilitation, Success Principles for Strategic Initiatives, Useful Practices & Management Tools | Tagged , , , | 4 Comments

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

Four Things Strategic Initiative Leaders Need to Know About Requirements

Requirements capture and management is critical to the success of a strategic initiative. Leaders need to know: 1. It is some of the hardest work, 2. Requirements are a concept that is distinct from solution design, 3. Capturing requirements requires structure, 4. Integrate requirements into program governance. Continue reading

Posted in Program & Portfolio Management, Success Principles for Strategic Initiatives, Useful Practices & Management Tools | Tagged , , , , , , | 6 Comments

The “Call to Action:” A Useful Leadership Tool

A strategic initiative is a rejection of the status quo and with a movement towards a new vision. A call to action is a request to the audience that describes specific actions and the rationale for taking those actions. A well-constructed call to action helps people grasp a vision, contrast it with the status quo, and make a choice about their response.You will always get better support for a strategic initiative if the call for action is presented as a choice, and not a commandment. The article references several practical tools,and addresses the issue of the refusal of a call to action. Continue reading

Posted in How to Improve Your Story Telling Chops, Transforming the Organization, Useful Practices & Management Tools | Tagged , , | 2 Comments