Injecting Strategy into Your Plan

March 4, 2016

When I’m asked to help facilitate strategic planning for an organization, the first thing I do is look at their current process. But here’s the kicker: research shows that only 19% of companies have a formal process for developing strategy. Why? Because in many cases, poor strategic planning has led to burdensome processes and plans that aren’t actually used to…

New Year, New Results?

January 5, 2016

The first month of the year brings with it cold weather and a clean slate. Anything’s possible, and the sky is the limit. Or is it? For many people, the sky isn’t the limit. Their mind is the limit. The boundaries of their perception of what’s possible shrink back to the constricted thoughts of what they did last year and…

Fire Drills Extinguish Strategy

March 3, 2014

It’s Monday morning, you’ve developed a plan for the week based on your top 3 goals and your executing your strategies to achieve them. Then the email comes through from one of the top fire-starters in the group. There’s another emergency that the team needs to address. Everybody clear the decks and be available at 2 pm for the meeting….

Strategy Spring Training: Part 1

February 19, 2013

Major League Baseball’s annual spring training means the welcoming back of warmer weather, the smell of freshly mown grass and another year of the Chicago Cubs not winning the World Series. Men making millions of dollars a year, the best in the world, invest approximately six weeks to refresh on the basic skills of the game. When is the last…

If Abbott & Costello Did Strategic Planning

June 1, 2012

Abbott: Well Costello, this year’s strategic plan has to be the best ever. Costello: Yes, Abbott and we’ve got to get it just right. The first thing we need to do is make sure everybody understands the key planning terms. What is a goal? Abbott: That’s exactly right: what you’re trying to achieve is the goal. Costello: I don’t think…

Strategic Thinker or Strategyless?

April 27, 2011

Here’s a quick quiz you can share with folks in your group to see how strategic people are (answers follow the quiz): 1. At the heart of business strategy is: A. The intelligent allocation of limited resources. B. Distributing resources across all potential growth opportunities. C. Working to be better and faster than the competition. 2. Successful business strategy is about: A. Being…

Strategy and Tactics

October 4, 2010

The two terms “strategy” and “tactics” are misused, confused and abused in many different ways. The difference between strategy and tactics is often described as “strategy is long-term and tactics are short-term.” While the two terms may adopt these characteristics at certain times, this is an inaccurate and incomplete way of explaining their meanings. Strategy and tactics are both how…

Destination Unknown

May 7, 2010

A feature on many of today’s automobiles is the voice navigation system. Here’s what it might sound like if the voice navigation system (VNS) were applied to a business: VNS (alluring female voice): Please enter a destination. Manager: I’d like to grow market share and increase shareholder value. VNS: Please enter a valid destination. Manager: I’ve already told you I…

The Million-Dollar Oops

August 3, 2009

Take a close look at your organization’s strategy. Is it truly a strategy? Or is it a goal masquerading as a strategy? When Yahoo and Microsoft announced their web-search deal, Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz said, “Our strategy as a company is growing audience and enhancing our display-advertising business. That is what really makes sense.” What really doesn’t make sense is…