Tag Archives: strategic thinking

The Strategic Initiative Leader: The #1 Success Factor!

Greg Githens relates his advice to a CEO determined to succeed at a strategic initiative: recruit a capable program manager. He explains that the capable person provides leverage: for example, shaping and influencing the vision and strategy, managing interfaces with other groups, attracting/negotiating resources, etc. He explains the competencies and characteristics of a strategic initiative program manager; they have strengths in strategic thinking, matched by use of leadership skills, determination, and a commitment to a vision. Continue reading

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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

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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

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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How to Be Strong Minded (3 Capabilities and 5 Tips for Strategic Thinking)

Strong minds produce strong ideas. Strong minds do not fail. Strong minded thinkers have three competencies: 1) they are good a probing and sensing, 2) they imagine the logical future consequences of decisions and actions, and 3) they look for opportunities to apply ingenuity. The article provides practical questions that will help the reader develop these competencies. The article also provides five tips for robustness: avoid mistakes, develop emotional resiliency, reflect, and generate alternative solutions. Continue reading

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Strategic Initiative Case Study: Delivering Large Cost Savings in Healthcare IT Infrastructure

How a manager saw an opportunity to align his work with executive vision for IT cost savings, and drove significant benefits through a large healthcare organization. Summarizes value of elevator speech, key actions, team building, managing around a boss, and incremental benefits delivery. 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

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How to Build Consensus in the Strategic Initiatives Team

Consensus is a vital skill for strategic initiatives. Consensus means that there is 100% agreement to support the IMPLEMENTATION of the decision. Greg Githens explains the two necessary factors for achieving consensus (define the team and have a visible signal) and describes a personal experience in helping an IT group reach agreement on requirements. Continue reading

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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

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Fast and Effective Decisions Drive the Strategic Initiative

Fast and effective decisions drive the strategic initiative program. Greg Githens provides useful ideas for making faster and better decisions. Continue reading

Posted in Strategy Coaching and Facilitation, Success Principles for Strategic Initiatives, Useful Practices & Management Tools | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments