Alessandro Di Fiore, writing here for HBR, has tackled the misnomer that agile is somehow lest robust, or that planning is obsolete in an agile strategic planning approach such as Stragile. She points out that many say, “Now, strategic planning has fallen out of favor. In the face of relentless technological change, disruptive forces in industry after industry, global competition”, and so on, planning seems like pointless wishful thinking. Alessandro argues the counter.
Research has shown that only about 8% of company leaders excel at both strategy and execution. Leaders who master both strategy and execution start by building a bold but executable strategy, addressing the questions “What are we great at?” and “What are we able to achieve?” rather than coming up with lofty plans and asking functional and business-unit teams to do their best to execute. Next, leaders must ensure that the company is investing behind the change, which means linking the budget closely to the strategy.
When you embark on a new strategic journey to sustain and grow your organization in an uncertain world, what do you prioritize? If you’re like most of the leaders we know, you start with organizational structure and processes. We asked 80 senior executives from 20 countries and 25 industries where they focus their attention throughout strategic execution.
New innovations can seem like they come out of nowhere. How could so many people have missed the solution to the problem for so long? And how in the world did the first person come up with that solution at all? In fact, most people who come up with creative solutions rely on a relatively straightforward method: finding a solution inside the collective memory of the people working on the problem. That is, someone working to solve the problem knows something that will help them find a solution — they just haven’t realized yet that they know it. When doing creative problem solving, the statement of the problem is the cue to memory.
Change is hard. Leading change is even harder. Don’t let culture be an afterthought. Use it!
Though well-intentioned, that’s why over half of major transformation efforts fail. Why? Many reasons can include but aren’t limited to a bad strategy, a weak culture lacking trust and accountability, poor communication, low levels of buy-in, change fatigue and competing priorities. But one area where many company leaders fail regularly is learning how to leverage the company culture to drive change.
It’s the combination of mental, business, and measurement models that enables real transformation. The airline industry is a cautionary tale of what happens when companies emulate new business models without bringing over the associated mental models.
Strength-based practice involves identifying a client’s strengths and building on them to create a reliable foundation for dealing with conflict or reaching future goals. There’s enough proof–and enough anecdotal evidence in my own life–that a strength-based approach works.
Improving customer experience is often a top business priority, but what about employee experience?
Can you run fast and go deep at the same time? Sprints break an otherwise long, complex process into sizable, achievable chunks that can be accomplished at greater speed.