Tag Archives: strategy execution

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

Coherence: It is Only a Good Plan (Strategy) If It Makes Good Sense

Coherence means that things make sense. In the context of strategy, it means that the committed resources, policies, and actions are consistent and coordinated. A plan is only a good plan if it makes good sense. Unfortunately, most organizations pursue multiple objectives that are unconnected with one another (and sometimes even conflict).They are anything but coherent! Insert the concept of coherence into your discussions. How? One way is to ask simple questions, “Does this make sense? Where are the gaps? Are there conflicting objectives?” Another way to encourage coherence is to activate the Chief Story Teller role. Imposing coherence and discipline on an organization is difficult and takes hard work by the strategic initiative leader.

http://wp.me/pZCkk-Z2 Continue reading

Posted in How to Improve Your Story Telling Chops, Interpreting Strategy Documents, Strategy, Ambiguity, and Strong-Minded Thinking, Useful Practices & Management Tools | Tagged , , , | 3 Comments

Use Small Wins to Attract Allies To Your Strategic Initiative (and Overcome Shabby Thinking)

Organizations often use strategic initiatives as a tool for improving operations. The success rate for these process-improvement initiatives is about 1 in 3. I find it best to think of tool and process deployment as a social process of adopting an innovation. The bottoms-up approach of small wins is a useful alternative to autocratic approaches. A small win, defined by Karl Weick, is a “series of concrete, complete outcomes of moderate importance that build a pattern that attracts allies and deters opponents.” An example is provided, with the leadership lessons of defining benefits, being authentic, generating trust, and encouraging experimentation.

The word “opponent” is a bit of an overstatement for most internal change efforts.The opponent is often not a person, it is a ill-defined ideology. Recommendations: Base your conclusions on good evidence, not gut feelings. Don’t let half-truths go unchallenged; over time they become accepted truth. Continue reading

Posted in Strategy, Ambiguity, and Strong-Minded Thinking, Success Principles for Strategic Initiatives, Transforming the Organization, Useful Practices & Management Tools | Tagged , , , , , , | 4 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

Strategic Initiatives | Are You Ready to Implement?

Readiness to implement strategy is achieved when the physical resources are in place and there is a will to take action. A strategic initiative should formally assess readiness by either of two methods: self-audit or use of an outside resource. Leaders are advised to recognize and avoid the causes of failure: poor requirements, poor communications, and inadequate resources. The article also includes a set of do’s and don’t for strategic initiatives. http://wp.me/pZCkk-G1 Continue reading

Posted in Success Principles for Strategic Initiatives, Useful Practices & Management Tools | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 7 Comments

Know The “Follow-The-Money” Story. How was Your Strategic Initiative Funded?

The leader of a strategic initiative needs to know about the investors and their performance expectations. Using the famous line from the movie, All The President’s Men, Greg Githens provides some practical leadership advice for understanding the funding of a strategic initiative. Continue reading

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

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