Blog: Strategy Café

Welcome to my blog, Strategy Café.

My objective for strategy café is to provide clients and interested readers with informative articles on strategic management that are short enough to be read while savouring a cup of your favourite coffee.

We welcome comments and hope you’ll be moved to add to the discussion.

Enjoy!

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Two practical ways to implement your strategic priorities FAST

Posted by on Feb 29, 2012 in business, change management, change process, communicating strategy, employee engagement, Latest News, organizational change, performance measurement, priorities, prioritization, productivity improvement, strategic planning, strategic priorities, strategic prioritization, strategy implementation | Comments Off

Two practical ways to implement your strategic priorities FAST

In all my years as a management consultant, one of the funniest expressions I’ve heard is “it may work in practice, but it will never fly in theory”. Our last two articles on strategic prioritization were more theoretical and conceptual, but this week, let’s get practical. Senior managers may put a lot of effort into selecting the right strategic priorities, but it goes for naught unless they’re converted to action.  This week we’ll describe two simple, practical ways to convert your priorities to understanding throughout the organization,...

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How to prioritize for faster strategy implementation

Posted by on Feb 20, 2012 in change management, change process, Latest News, organizational change, performance measurement, priorities, prioritization, strategic planning, strategic priorities, strategic prioritization | 3 comments

How to prioritize for faster strategy implementation

The hard choices of strategic prioritization So you know you have to finally decide  Say yes to some and let the other ones ride  There’s so many choices, not all can be tried  Yes you know you have to finally decide (With apologies to the “Lovin’ Spoonful”) In last week’s article we discussed the importance of setting a few critical strategic priorities to accelerate implementation, and the reasons why teams often neglect this important step. This week we’ll set out guidelines for prioritization to help your...

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A little-known secret to successful strategy implementation

Posted by on Feb 13, 2012 in business model, change management, change process, Latest News, organization development, organizational change, priorities, prioritization, productivity improvement, skills to manage change, strategic planning, strategic priorities, strategic prioritization, strategic thinking, strategy implementation | 2 comments

A little-known secret to successful strategy implementation

Set strategic priorities for fast implementation We all know that success requires a sound strategy that fits your know-how and resources. However, there’s an often overlooked but critical factor required for successful implementation – strategic prioritization. Strategy has always been about getting the biggest bang for the buck.  But this is different.  This is about focusing on a few of your initiatives for immediate implementation, while others await their turn. The concept is very simple, yet few senior teams do it.  Most find it...

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Why plan in a retreat setting?

Posted by on Feb 6, 2012 in creative thinking, innovation, Latest News, organization development, organizational change, performance measurement, Preparing for planning, strategic planning, strategic thinking, strategy implementation, teamwork | 3 comments

Why plan in a retreat setting?

Retreats can be highly productive During my career I’ve worked with more than 100 client organizations, public, private, for-profit and not for profit. The most productive planning meetings I’ve facilitated have been multi-day meetings held offsite, usually in locations requiring an overnight stay. The reason for selecting a retreat location is well known to those who have participated. These meetings are nobody’s idea of a vacation. It’s common to work 10 to 12 hours per day, interrupted only by breaks, and without the distraction of people...

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Are CEOs really overpaid and mostly not worth it? Part 3

Posted by on Jan 23, 2012 in CEO compensation, CEO salaries, Executive compensation, Latest News, Mintzberg, Moral hazard, organizational change, performance measurement, productivity improvement, strategic planning, strategic thinking, strategy implementation, talent management, teamwork | 2 comments

Are CEOs really overpaid and mostly not worth it? Part 3

Recap In Parts 1 and 2 of this topic, we reviewed studies and opinions on executive pay. We found that the research shows: CEO pay has grown faster than the capitalization or profits of the companies they head, and this is most likely the result of measurement difficulties and remuneration policies that may be skewed by self-interest. This week we’ll conclude by answering the key strategic question “what should companies do about it”.  Our answer may surprise you. What the data does – and doesn’t – tell us As with nearly all...

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Are CEOs really overpaid and mostly not worth it? Part 2

Posted by on Jan 16, 2012 in business, economics, Latest News, organizational change, performance measurement, strategic planning, strategic thinking, talent management, teamwork | 1 comment

Are CEOs really overpaid and mostly not worth it? Part 2

Last week, in Part 1 of this topic, we introduced the following questions: Are the highest paid CEOs really worth what they’re being paid? And does paying top dollar for a CEO add to the bottom line, where it really matters? The answers, supported by studies cited last week, are that the Fortune and FT 500 firms with the highest paid CEOs experienced negative abnormal returns over the subsequent 5 year period. (See details in Part 1 of this report.) This week we’ll explore more data and review opinions from some of the top researchers in the...

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Are CEOs really overpaid and mostly not worth it? Part 1

Posted by on Jan 10, 2012 in business, business model, change management, change process, communicating strategy, employee engagement, Latest News, organizational change, performance measurement, strategic planning, strategic thinking | 2 comments

Are CEOs really overpaid and mostly not worth it?  Part 1

Are the highest paid CEOs really worth what they’re being paid? And does paying top dollar for a CEO add to the bottom line, where it really matters? CEO compensation has come under the spotlight in recent years like never before. Smoldering public outrage burst into a brush fire after the US government bailed out major financial institutions with more than 1 trillion dollars in taxpayer money only to see some of it doled out as bonuses to bank executives whose actions either caused the debacle or whose inaction allowed it to happen. The...

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Are you troubled by visions?

Posted by on Nov 23, 2011 in Latest News | 2 comments

Visioning: Timing, Involvement and Format are Critical Several of our clients have confided recently that they are troubled by “visions”. But before you reach for that long-sleeved canvas jacket, note that they’re talking about vision statements! Common concerns we’ve heard include whether having a vision statement is important or, for those who already have one, whether it’s actually helping. Almost any organization would benefit with the introduction of a clear, compelling vision that convincingly summarizes leaders’ aspirations and infuses...

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

Posted by on Sep 29, 2011 in creative thinking, Latest News, organizational change, performance measurement, Preparing for planning, strategic planning, strategic thinking, strategy implementation, vision | Comments Off

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...

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Grow your payoff by investing more in the highest leverage leadership activity.

Posted by on Sep 19, 2011 in business, creative thinking, Mintzberg, organization development, Preparing for planning, productivity improvement, strategic planning, strategic thinking, strategy implementation, teamwork | 4 comments

What is the highest leverage leadership activity? Since we began consulting on strategic planning in 1989, we’ve been strong advocates of advance preparation for planning sessions.  When client teams short-change advance preparation, it takes longer to create plans.  Perhaps worse, the resulting plans tend to focus on short term and operational issues.  In short, lack of preparation means your plans aren’t likely to have the desired positive impact on your organization’s future. We can’t think of a better way to increase your...

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