Blog Posts

Post Category: ‘Strategy & Strategic thinking’

Strategy on a page – well four actually

I was recently contacted by a client in a large charity who wanted to get their complex strategy on a single page. They had worked through the strategy with the board, and subsequently with key members of the management team.  The ideas were captured in a word document and in a spreadsheet relating to different themes of the strategy.  Each …

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Moving to Emergent strategy: Make sure your balanced scorecard does not stop you

Talking with a Chief Executive the other week about a new strategy map and balanced scorecard  for their  organisation, he had realised the importance of emergent strategy and wondered how the modern strategy map and scorecard supported it. Deliberate strategy Like many organisations, until recently, they ran an annual planning round from which the annual plan was developed.   Usually …

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Should you copy strategy? Or must strategy be different?

I frequently see postings and hear statements where people suggest that strategy is about being different.  Startegy is about differentiation. Saying strategy needs to be different is a myth.  It is only a competitive strategy in a market to create distinct profits that requires difference.   Actually strategy can be the same and can be copied – it is how you copy …

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What is the difference between strategy and planning?

I get this question a lot.  It is not that people don’t understand planning, but there is often an unclear line in their minds between where strategy stops and planning starts.  I have met senior people in “Strategic planning” roles who describe their job title as an oxymoron;  a contradiction in its own sentence. When I train people in strategy …

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Lessons from another Strategic Planning workshop

One of the difficulties with strategic away days and strategic planning days is in their name: they are only a day.  Last week I had a day and a half with a team: A team that hardly new each other as they were coming from four different countries and Operating Companies within the  same group.  That meant that we had …

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Using the “Good Strategy – Bad Strategy” approach to develop a strategy

This post is about using the  approach in “Good Strategy Bad Strategy” to question, review and develop an organisation’s strategy. I think  “Good Strategy – Bad Strategy” by Richard Rumelt is one of the  best books on strategy I have come across.  I was one of the first to read it, and once I picked it up I had trouble …

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Are you “just an employee” or “a person in the business”?

Recently I have been interviewing executives who have either created exceptionally high performing cultures, or who have achieved significant cultural change, especially around deeply embedded learnt behaviours. In one discussion the Managing Director was contrasting two different experiences she had had. The first, when working for another organisation she had no exposure to the finances, financial performance, revenue, profitability or …

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What we want is strategic agility and speed: What stops us and helps us?

Back in the dot.com boom around 2000 I was Chief Technology Officer of a start-up that changed direction 180 degrees in 6 months. Within the first six months we had speed: we had our solution up and running to demonstrate a net-market for trading materials between cable manufacturers and their suppliers.  (The solution cost around £200k – it had to, …

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New models of customer interaction & engagement

We are seeing new business models emerge:  Can our approach to managing strategy and performance accommodate them? The traditional models of customer intimacy, differentiation, and markets being “talked at” by companies, are being replaced.  (See Grant Leboff, Sticky marketing)  Social media and other internet technology means that the conversations amongst customers have much wider credibility.   The market has become a …

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Performance management and cultures: Nine tips

On a Linkedin discussion a Chief Executive from a Housing Association asked about how best to go about a)  the process of identifying and measuring leading performance indicators. b)  with practical experience of implementing performance management systems and cultures. Having worked with Housing Associations in the past, here were seven quick tips (Which would apply in almost any organisation): 1) …

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