Tag Archives: strategic initiatives

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

Agile Thinking, Habits, and Strategic Initiative Leadership: Transcending the Buzz for Useful Insights

This article is a critique of, “agile thinking,” with examples provided for a strategic initiative at Corning: Agile Business Innovation.

In present use, agile thinking means to embrace the “agile values” declared by agile software evangelists, those values being things like flexibility, speed, customer responsiveness, change, and good engineering. Greg Githens explains that by recognizing that agilists are talking about values, we can then turn our attention to the appropriateness of the values to the situation. We can design an approach that best maximizes our chances of success. The core challenge for agilists is that they are saying that their values might be better than there audience’s values. They want to change habits, but often lose sight of whether changing habits is good for the business.

As a cognitive process, there are no practical differences between agile thinking and creative thinking. The article concludes by suggesting five questions for looking at habits.

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Posted in Examples of Strategic Initiatives, Strategy, Ambiguity, and Strong-Minded Thinking, Transforming the Organization | Tagged , , , , | 9 Comments

Strategic Leadership is “Replacing Old Stories with New Stories”

Leaders should see strategy as a narrative arc from the founding to the present launch of a strategic initiative. The techniques of corporate time lines and identifying turning points help with the analysis. Then, future cast for a new vision with these questions:What present problems and opportunities are relevant to our future? What are the scenarios of the future? Where (and over whom) will we find advantage? What are the insights? A current strategic initiative could be seen as an episode of an organization’s history, with a turning point. Continue reading

Posted in How to Improve Your Story Telling Chops, Transforming the Organization, Useful Practices & Management Tools | Tagged , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

A Simple Idea that Every Good Strategist Knows

Strategy is a series of conversations about important business issues culminating in the commitment to act. The trick to implementation success is to use conversations as a tool for gaining agreement on problems and solutions and to make commitments to each other. Strategy implementation depends upon its socialization by stakeholders. A good strategy is the right actions on the right things. Continue reading

Posted in Competencies of Strategic Initiative Leaders, Strategic Planning Issues for Strategic Initiatives, Useful Practices & Management Tools | Tagged , | 12 Comments

Identify Performance Gaps and Get Out of the Rut of Solutioneering

Strategic initiatives close performance gaps, yet many managers rush into “solutioneering.” It is better to identify and graph performance gaps and business models. Continue reading

Posted in Success Principles for Strategic Initiatives | Tagged , | 6 Comments

The Purpose of a Strategic Initiative is Closing a Performance Gap

Performance gaps are a powerful focusing and motivating force for a strategic initiative. This article illustrates the concept and discusses analytics that help to clarifying the gap. Knowing your performance gap facilitates strategic alignment. The article offers two useful questions and a practical hint for provoking a discussion on strategy. Continue reading

Posted in Competencies of Strategic Initiative Leaders, Program & Portfolio Management, Success Principles for Strategic Initiatives | Tagged , , , , , , , | 15 Comments

Five Rules for Managing Complex Strategic Initiatives

Complex strategic initiatives operate in un-ordered environments. Greg offers 5 rules: manage initial (starting) conditions, broaden the involvement of stake holders, dissent strengthens the strategy, increase learning with rapid experimentation, and monitor for emergence. Continue reading

Posted in Ambiguity and Strong-Minded Thinking, Strategic Planning Issues for Strategic Initiatives, Strategy, Success Principles for Strategic Initiatives | Tagged , , , , , , | 9 Comments