Blog Posts

Post Category: ‘How we make & take decisions’

Strategy does not exist without tensions

Many years ago I realised something while working with clients on their strategy.  I realised that there were points in the strategy process and in strategy workshops, when the strategy, as explored, discussed and articulated, was clearly NOT complete.  We did not have the whole story.  Something important was missing. Then, we would reach a point, or go through a …

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Thinking fast and slow: lessons for the annual off-site strategy event

Ever had an annual strategy off-site, developed some great ideas and plans, walked away….  and a year later very few of those ideas or plans were implemented? So often I hear of organisations, or rather their management teams, who have decided that once a year, they need an off-site to think about their strategy for next year.  (I have certainly …

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Leading indicators: Ten different types for different situations

Leading and lagging indicators seem to create confusion for some people, yet with a clear understanding, it is easy to see explain how they work and help people think productively about how to create and use them. In this article I want to explain how different types of leading indicators are needed and will occur in different circumstances.  I will …

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The Six Step Decision Process: How executive teams make effective decisions

At Excitant we help clients improve their strategy and how they manage their organisations.  How they make and take decisions, and their whole decision making process, is fundamental to this. Over the years we have watched and helped teams make many many decisions about their strategy and their organisations.  They have often found it helpful when  we have highlighted where …

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Thinking, fast and slow, about strategy and decision making

If you are involved with strategy in any way, I strongly recommend that you read the latest book by the Nobel prize winning Psychologist, Daniel Kahneman.  If 430 pages of research from a Psychologist is too much, then I’ll be summarising aspects and their implications in these articles.   In his introduction, Kahneman explains how he hopes that his book will …

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Strategy, analysis and decision making, as a conversation.

The more I talk through the idea of “quality of conversation” with executives and managers i meet and work with, the more I have absolutely no doubt that the quality of analysis and decision making that goes on in an organisation is directly related to the quality of conversation. So I was intrigued to read how Daniel Kahneman, the Nobel …

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Decision Making and Decision Taking: they are different

Some time ago I was talking to a client about some decisions that they were dealing with and the problems they were having.  The situation involved their strategy, who was involved in the discussions and who had decided what, already. I suggested that the heart of problem was that some people though the decision had been taken, whilst others were …

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Rationale people: Econs, Workers and Human beings – encouraging behaviours.

There is a running joke between economists and psychologists: Economists, have a model of a rational decision maker.  Psychologists are used to people being emotional and less rational and try to understand that irrationality.  So Psychologists say that Economists work with ‘Econs’ whilst they work with ‘Human beings’.   (Fortunately, these two camps are starting to meet in a camp known …

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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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