Decision-Making Clarity and Intentionality: Critical Pre-requisites for Effective Leadership

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 with the CEO or one of the team members.

No matter what the context, we never fail to probe the group’s decision-making process. Continue reading “Decision-Making Clarity and Intentionality: Critical Pre-requisites for Effective Leadership”

Leaders! Dialogue — Don’t Just Preside!

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 mistake, whenever you’re in the room, it is a big deal to everyone else. Continue reading “Leaders! Dialogue — Don’t Just Preside!”

Maximize Your Meeting Impact: The Process Check

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 numbers of people in your company.  Consequently, if you have a culture of sloppy, ineffective meeting practices, your company has a productivity time sink of alarming proportions. Continue reading “Maximize Your Meeting Impact: The Process Check”

Jump-Start Your Strategic Planning Retreat — With A Briefing Document

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  But if you’re either developing a comprehensive strategic plan for the very first time or completely refreshing an outdated one, you know what a time sink planning retreats can be for your leadership team. Continue reading “Jump-Start Your Strategic Planning Retreat — With A Briefing Document”

Empowerment: Buzzword or Bedrock?

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 some examples of empowerment actually working in real companies?” Continue reading “Empowerment: Buzzword or Bedrock?”

A New Spin on Supplier Development: Don’t Negotiate — Collaborate!

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 and collaborative relationship with your suppliers? Continue reading “A New Spin on Supplier Development: Don’t Negotiate — Collaborate!”

A Nine-Point Checklist for Effective Teaming: It Doesn’t Just Happen!

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 problem or “plugged into” the same “org” chart really makes them a “well-oiled machine.”

So what does make the difference between just a group of people and an effective, efficient, functioning team? Continue reading “A Nine-Point Checklist for Effective Teaming: It Doesn’t Just Happen!”

Strategic Planning: The Executive Interview Process

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 want to know where they stand on the company, its environment, its challenges, its future as well as themselves as a leadership team.  Just as importantly, since achieving leadership consensus is arguably the entire purpose of strategic planning, establishing a “baseline,” via interviews, as to how aligned or unaligned executives are to begin with allows us to assess just how difficult it’s going to be to bring them together on a final plan.  Consequently, interviews are an indispensable first step that we simply would never do without.

Here, in brief, are a few of the major areas we probe in these all-important interview sessions: Continue reading “Strategic Planning: The Executive Interview Process”