McKinsey posted a very interesting article here on why change initiatives fail. I think that it hints at a core issue that we have.
Our strategies often require the staff who we lead to change. For two years the biggest complaint that we had from the field was that the corporate staff were generating too much change. Our response (of which I have been a champion) is for the corporate staff to create fewer initiatives, and to space those that we do generate. This article argues that this is the wrong approach, and that our emphasis should not be on limiting the change that we allow to be created, but to create an organizational culture that has change management as a core process, so that changes that are necessary (preferably organically generated from the local level) can be implemented as a matter of course.
Food for though. Comments on this article anyone?
Please see here a presentation made through the Association for Strategic Planning yesterday.
This is the best summary presentation on strategic planning management tools and techniques that I have seen to date. It covers all of the key tools and theories from the last 30 years. Please note that this is strategic planning and management, not strategic leadership. Despite this difference, I think that this is a really useful summary of key tools for those practicing strategic leadership.
The good news is that nearly all of the key things mentioned in this presentation are available in our organization. Note my choice of words there 🙂
This presentation is reproduced here with kind permission from the presenter, Randy Rollinson, who you can contact at:
Randall Rollinson, President, LBL Strategies, Ltd.
I’m at a conference, listening to a round table discussion on strategy implementation. The bottom line from the heads of strategy at corporate headquarters of BP, Orange, BAT and Compass:
- Trust people
- Review dashboards that show metrics of results
- Integrate strategic planning and budgets
- Track outcomes vs. just actions in strategy execution
So, do we do these things?
There’s no point in having a strategy that is not implemented.
I spent last week with my colleagues in Francophone West Africa, where we went through the tools Stellar Execution and 4 Disciplines of Execution to help them implement the things that are most important to them over the next 6 years
If you are in my organization then you can contact me for more information about Stellar Execution. If you are not in my organization, then please contact Bob Lewis at Lewis Leadership consulting.
In the meantime, I heard a really good webinar on execution of strategy from a chap called Jeroen De Flander. He has a lot of great public domain tools relating to strategy execution on his consultancy’s website at www.the-performance-factory.com.
A while back I asked if you wanted to attend another meeting. The idea was that it is worth taking time to monitor the most important thing to do. Not convinced?
Well, I like the following quote from the Chairman and CEO of Societe Generale. He leads one of the world’s biggest banks, which has 154,000 employees.
“Because we are a service company, our principal differentiator is our people. I am very happy to see the progress our employees have made around client satisfaction. For example, the branches have decided to close for a half hour to an hour every week to discuss and monitor their progress on client satisfaction. The decision to close was a very difficult one, because obviously it meant less access for our clients. However, the branches are very pleased with the management benefit this time provides them. Some branches only have three or four employees, so they rarely, if ever, had time to meet as a team. In the end, I think this illustrates our people’s commitment to the vision, because their decision involved risk and they were able to see that the benefit outweighed that risk.”
Apparently, it is more important to close your business for 30 minutes a week to figure out if you are doing the right thing the other 39.5 hours, than it is to keep going because there is too much work to do. I find myself agreeing with this. Two key questions for all of us:
- What is the goal that we are trying to achieve?
- Are we achieving it?
They say that you get what you measure in an organization. You can also measure just about everything. So, how many measurements should we focus on?
When putting together business cases as a product manager, we could include a hundred metrics: from sales by customer to material costs. However, only two things mattered in deciding if it was a go or a no go: Internal Rate of Return (IRR) and Net Present Value (NPV). It was easy to compare investment opportunities when you only had to compare 2 metrics, as opposed to the 100 or so things that contributed to those metrics.
In the 4 Disciplines of Execution (http://vimeo.com/46230250) Chris McChesney says that there are diminishing returns when an organization focuses on more than three goals. I don’t know if McChesney’s research is scientifically valid, but it aligns with my personal experience.
So, how many goals do you have? Do you have too many goals upon which to practically focus?
If you have too many goals for practical pursuit at the moment, which are the most important ones? Can some of the less important goals be the subject of focus after having achieved the most important goals?