Facilitating Strategic Conversations

November 30, 2020

A business is only as good as its conversations. Think about it for a moment: every step of progress your business takes, from establishing mission and vision, to creating a new product offerings, to servicing customers, all flows through conversations. When we think of ways to improve the business, how often does “have higher quality, more efficient conversations” factor in?…

3 Keys to a Successful Strategy Session

November 12, 2020

It’s ironic that business strategy is designed to clarify a group’s direction, but the meetings to discuss it can often be muddied, disjointed, and result in greater confusion. Research from the Rotman School of Management found that 67 percent of managers believe their organization is bad at developing strategy. Having facilitated hundreds of strategic thinking and strategic planning sessions with…

Beware the StrategyLight Zone!

October 27, 2020

Halloween approaches and I wanted to pay homage to the Twilight Zone TV show and its creator Rod Serling with this video entitled, “The StrategyLight Zone.” Research shows that 43% of managers are not able to articulate their strategy and only 19% say their groups have a distinct process for developing strategy. In this brief video, I share three keys…

Stop Reacting Tactically & Start Thinking Strategically

October 5, 2020

Are you a strategic partner or tactical order taker? Being a true strategic partner to your colleagues and customers requires leaders to make trade-offs, avoid fire drills and generate new insights. Saying yes to every request that comes through isn’t leadership; it’s tactical order taking. Doing the same things in the same ways as all the other companies in your…

What is Strategy?

September 23, 2020

Essence (noun): the basic, real, and invariable nature of a thing. If there was ever one “thing” that needed to be returned to its “basic, real, and invariable nature,” that thing is strategy. Like a boat with no anchor flailing about in the open sea, strategy has become unmoored from its’ true meaning. It has become meaningless. Research with 400…

Lead at Your Level

September 16, 2020

How many managers in your organization are wasting their time and talent performing tasks that they should be delegating? Research shows a startling 41 percent of activities managers are working on are actually items that could and should be performed by the people that report to them. While it may feel good to roll up the sleeves and knock out…

Designing Your Strategic Road Map

July 29, 2020

“We’re on a road to nowhere, come on inside. Taking that ride to nowhere, we’ll take that ride.” Talking Heads If your team is working without a strategic road map for the business, you may feel like you’re living the lyrics to the Talking Heads’ song “Road to Nowhere” each and every day. What are the symptoms? A culture of fire…

The Origin of Strategy

July 1, 2020

As we celebrate the Declaration of Independence on July 4th,, it can be a time to reflect on origins. While the drivers of this independence are grounded in characteristics such as courage, ambition, and spirit, strategy also played a role in the formation of our United States of America. While political and military strategy were instrumental in 1776, to understand…

What’s Your Strategic Approach?

June 16, 2020

“Business leadership, business acumen, and business strategy development—these  three areas of expertise are considered non-negotiable: they are essential for success in any C-Suite position.”  Omar Ishrak, CEO, Medtronic Being a senior executive requires you to lead, manage, and monitor many different elements of the business at the same time on a continual basis. Sometimes it can feel like an intellectual…

What CEOs Think About Strategy

May 21, 2020

In episode 4 of “Strategic Thinking for the C-Suite,” I share research I conducted with 300 CEOs to gauge their perspectives on a number of strategy topics, including how often they update strategy, the top strategy challenges they face, and the percentage of managers in their organizations that they believe are strategic. The business acumen of CEOs is often developed…