Tag Archives: strategic thinking

Interpreting Vague Strategy: The Compact Approach

Strategic initiatives are often launched with a vague directive. Ask these three questions: What are the mistakes I must not make? What are the mistakes that others must not make? What resources do I have to deal with the unexpected. Greg Githens calls this the Compact Approach to Strategy. Continue reading

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Balanced Score Cards and Strategic Initiatives

The leader of a strategic initiative needs to have a good understanding of the purpose and application of the balanced score card. This article overviews the four perspectives and provides four valuable questions that inform the strategic intent. Continue reading

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Pillars of Strategic Initiative Success

Greg Githens explains that good strategy, strong commitment, and strategic planning and thinking are the strategic pillars for success with strategic initiatives. Continue reading

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Eight Distinctions between Portfolio Management & Program Management

This article clarifies the differences between program management, portfolio management, and program management along 8 dimensions: purpose, temporal nature, aggregation, strategic alignment, success criteria, risk, decisions, & competencies. Greg Githens explains four implications for leaders of strategic initiatives: meaning of strategic alignment, number of strategic initiatives in the portfolio, strategic initiatives as programs, and immature standards. The leader applies strategic thinking to do that. Continue reading

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Use the Columbo Question to Get Strategic Information

In the inquiry mode of leadership, questions help to set strategic direction and discover requirements and intentions. Greg Githens explains that the last question in an interview is, “Is there any question that I should have asked that I haven’t asked.” Continue reading

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A Practical Tool for Gaining Program Management Insights

Greg Githens describes the SIMple model (SIM = Strategy, Inquiry, Metrics) as a tool for framing key issues in a strategic initiative. He recommends starting with inquiry and metrics, and using that to evaluate and refine the program strategy. Continue reading

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Does Your Strategic Initiative Need a Fresh Perspective?

Greg explains how to overcome headwinds in a strategic initiative with 4 perspectives: storytelling, learning, integration, and decisions. He illustrates how each role is applied through a case study.

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L.I.D.S – The Four Leadership Roles of the Strategic Program Manager

Stories, Learning, Integration, and Decisions are keys to good leadership of strategic initiatives. Greg Githens explains that the leader is the Chief of each. Individually and collectively these program manager roles provide a framework for strategy execution.

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Two Tools for Describing Strategic Context (Strategic Thinking Part 3)

Greg Githens explains the PESTLE acronym for evaluating strategic context, and the “walk the fenceline” technique. Strategic thinkers have an “outside in” perspective that allows them understand how external context affects strategy. Continue reading

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Strategic Thinking (Part 2): Framing Decisions with the Four Types of Ambiguity

Good strategic thinkers are strong minded; they cope effectively with ambiguous information. This article explains how to recognize the four types of goal ambiguity (methods, metrics, priorities, and outcomes). The strategic initiative leader needs to frame decisions to cope with this ambiguity. Continue reading

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