In the absence of strategic thinking, strategic planning will probably maintain the status quo

Posted by on Sep 29, 2011

How to Stimulate Strategic Thinking In last week’s blog we wrote about the importance of advance preparation for strategy sessions. A comment from one of our clients got us thinking more systematically about what kind of advance preparation is most helpful, and we decided to share our thoughts in this week’s article. What is best for advance preparation depends on where the leadership team is in its progress towards becoming a strategy-driven team. Most clients come to us in when they are in one of four categories. Each benefits from a different approach to advance preparation.  This...

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Is lack of clarity delaying implementation of your big strategic initiative?

Posted by on Feb 13, 2011

Popular mythology asserts that university professors are isolated from the real world and waste money on esoteric and irrelevant research. But that’s not what I saw in a recent planning session held at UC Davis in January. The session brought together scientists from 4 universities, 2 each from California and Canada. They met to begin planning what they hope will revolutionize the way offices are illuminated everywhere. They faced a daunting – and common – roadblock in implementation: creating a plan for something no one in the room had ever done before. In their case, achieving their...

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Branding – More Than Skin Deep

Posted by on Feb 3, 2011

Over the years, several of our clients have retained advertising agencies to help boost their visibility and image in the market. While clients often think this will be limited to logos, images, slogans and ad copy, many ad agencies view it as an opportunity for rebranding. This carries a hidden risk. We’ve seen executives approve an exciting new brand before fully understanding its strategic implications and before integrating supporting changes into their strategic plan. At best, this slows the implementation of the new brand. But worse, it may require backing away from the new brand...

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Schools drop “honour rolls” – Should we follow at work?

Posted by on Jan 12, 2011

An article in this morning’s Vancouver Sun is bound to stir up controversy about the decisions of some BC schools to drop the “honour roll” used to recognize top achievements by students. School officials say they’d prefer ceremonies to award students for their “individual strengths and passions”. Principal Chris Wejr of Aggasiz asks “why are we still having huge ceremonies that award a select few and fail to recognize so many strengths, talents and interests of our students?” Comments posted online to The Sun so far are predictable, including “this is intended...

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When creating strategy, speed kills.

Posted by on Jan 10, 2011

When making strategy, speed can kill in several ways. This will be the topic of my next three blog posts. First, I’ll explain how trying to plan too hastily kills the quality of a new strategy.  In the second post, I’ll write about how speed kills your momentum and any potential advantages you could have gained when you can’t execute your strategy quickly enough.  Finally, I’ll write about how speed kills your competitors’ advantages and builds yours when you have a great strategy and execute it quickly and effectively. In his landmark book “The Rise and Fall of Strategic Planning”, Henry...

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