We recently had an experience that all clients can learn from. A client prospect called us to inquire about our strategic planning consulting services. We had a very solid conversation about their needs and our experience. The chemistry was good, and the client said they wanted to take advantage of our standing offer for an … More »
Among members of the C-suite, there’s perhaps no more important issue than alignment. After all, this is the group that’s supposed to be steering the course of the enterprise. So just ask yourself how successful they can be in their journey if they don’t agree on the final destination!
In our work as consultants, we often find ourselves assessing the team dynamic among the members of a given executive team. It may be as a prelude to doing leadership development work with the group. Or as part of the front-end assessment to a strategic planning process. Or as context to an executive coaching engagement … More »
Consider this: There are three kinds of power: position power, knowledge power and presence power. If you’re the CEO or President of your company, or division or group leader in your company, it’s quite possible you have a good bit of all three. You may not think this is a big deal, but make no … More »
We’ve written elsewhere about just how critical the effectiveness of your system of meetings is to your company’s organizational health and business success. But of course, the building blocks of that system are your individual meetings themselves. Think for a moment of just how much time you spend in meetings. Then multiply that by the … More »
“Change has no constituency.” So famously said Jack Welch, legendary former CEO of General Electric many years ago. And, if you’re trying to bring about significant change in your company – even for the better – you know it’s true. None of us likes change.
Fact: Executive time is the most valuable and expensive commodity in your company. So at every turn you need to maximize its investment in whatever you do. But if you’re either developing a comprehensive strategic plan for the very first time or completely refreshing an outdated one, you know what a time sink planning retreats … More »
As happens regularly in our line of work, we were recently contacted by an industry journalist to contribute our thinking to an article – this time on the topic of “employee empowerment.” “How do you define it?” she asked. “How important is it to business organizations?” “Does it really matter to employees?” “And what are … More »
Cutting costs by better managing supplier relationships is a familiar theme in procurement these days. Phrases such as “earlier supplier involvement,” “tiered supplier relationships” and enhanced “supplier development” are familiar refrains. But if you come from a tradition of tough, power-play negotiations, how do you overcome that history and move to a more even-handed, transparent … More »
There’s no doubt that teaming is a fact of life in contemporary business. The complexity and cross-functionality of business life require it. But whether you’re talking about your executive team or project or task teams, you’re dreaming if you think that just declaring a group to be a “team” because they’ve been assembled against a … More »
Whenever we’re asked by a client to help with strategic planning, we always begin with the same initial step: comprehensive, one-on-one, confidential interviews of the company’s leadership team – namely, the CEO and his or her direct reports. There’s a simple reason for this: As a first step in establishing the context for planning we … More »
We’ve mentioned elsewhere the consulting mentor of ours who was fond of saying that strategic planning was, at one and the same time, the most important task you can undertake as a business leader and also “a waste of time.” Of course, what he meant was, like New Year’s resolutions, it’s not the resolving that … More »
If you’re launching a strategic planning effort in your company, the first step to be completed – assuming you haven’t done so already – is a careful statement of your company’s “core values.” Since, to some, the term “values” suggests abstraction, we find this task strikes some business people as a bit “squishy” or “touchy-feely.” … More »
“A bad process will beat a good person every time.” So famously said quality guru W. Edwards Deming, and we agree. We’ve seen it time and time again. Business processes – such as your budgeting process, your new-product development process, your engineering process, etc., etc. – by definition, cut across multiple business functions, groups or … More »
It’s not unusual for us to meet leaders who have little patience for the topic of corporate “culture.” That’s understandable. Business executives, by and large, are practical people, who like dealing with concrete facts and data that can drive measurable results – today vs. tomorrow.
Probably the biggest “rap” against strategic planning is that, all too often, it’s an “academic,” “blue-sky” exercise that doesn’t translate into concrete results in the “real world.” While we can’t deny there are probably far too many plans gathering dust on too many shelves, we’d contend this isn’t usually the fault of
It may sound like the ultimate redundancy, but there’s no denying it: you can drastically increase your chances of success in your strategic planning efforts by “planning to plan.” Here’s the point: you’ll be investing a significant amount of time from the most “expensive” people in your organization in this effort.
When you launch a strategic planning effort, one of the first questions you need to answer, of course, is: “Who should be involved?” The most typical first response to this question is: “the executive team.” This usually means the CEO and his or her direct reports. And, of course, this is a valid answer – … More »