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

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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.

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Posted in How to Improve Your Story Telling Chops, Interpreting Strategy Documents, Strategy, Ambiguity, and Strong-Minded Thinking, Useful Practices & Management Tools | Tagged , , , | 4 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 , , , , , , | 5 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

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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

How to Improve Strategic-Operational Collaboration

You can build support for strategy by understanding and using the strategy-operations polarity map.First, you acknowledge the values of the operational perspective (e.g., it gets results) and the downsides of strategy (it consumes time). Then, you can introduce some of the benefits of strategy work. This article will help the strategic initiative leader assure that the initiative does not flounder. Continue reading

Posted in Strategic Planning Issues for Strategic Initiatives, Strategy Coaching and Facilitation, Strategy, Ambiguity, and Strong-Minded Thinking, Transforming the Organization | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments

Strategy-as-Story: The ABCDE Model

This tip for strategy and story telling (third in a series) describes the ABCDE model (assess, baseline, components, delivery, evaluation). It explains that strategic initiatives are chartered in the C to D steps. It also provides four useful questions that help gain strategic perspective: Where are we at? Where do we want to be? How will we get there? How will we evaluate ourselves? It also provides an example story that illustrates the principles. Continue reading

Posted in How to Improve Your Story Telling Chops, Strategic Planning Issues for Strategic Initiatives | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Why Your Organization Will Perform Better With Fewer Strategic Initiatives: Six Bits Evidence

Companies that have fewer strategic initiatives more likely to be at the top of their industry. Why? The discipline and focus of strategic choice! Too many projects and initiatives tend to cause fire fighting, distraction, frustration, etc. This article will provide you with examples and good talking points for maintaining focus on the “vital few” strategies rather than the trivial many. Continue reading

Posted in Program & Portfolio Management, Strategic Planning Issues for Strategic Initiatives, Success Principles for Strategic Initiatives | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments