Archive for the ‘Management’ Category

In 100 Words: Pry Open Strategy Thinking…With Questions

Friday, October 30th, 2020 by Troy Schrock

Thinking about the future during times of significant uncertainty can be mind-bending for leaders. A good set of questions is valuable in making sense of what we are experiencing and for setting priorities for the future.

• What brutal facts are we aware of, but ignoring to our detriment?
• Where is our arrogance causing disabling ignorance?
• What assumptions about our business model are no longer valid?
• What offerings are getting the most traction in the market? Why?
• What outcomes have surprised us (good or bad)?

What questions will be levers for your team for thought and conversation about the upcoming year?

“A prudent question is one-half of wisdom.” Francis Bacon

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In 100 Words: Guard Against Over-Correction

Tuesday, September 15th, 2020 by Troy Schrock

There is a reason for the adage, “don’t go to extremes.” It is especially difficult for us to gauge risk on problems we have not experienced. When fear increases leaders may begin reacting strongly and severely causing over-correction.

Over-correction can stunt improvement or create new negative consequences. Here are three guards against over-corrective choice paths:

1. Strong teams – experience and trust matter. Surface different perspectives for an informed, balanced view.
2. Decision frameworks – document trade-offs, required resources, and expected outcomes for key options. Note: include “do nothing” in the option set.
3. Faster feedback loops – compare actual to expected outcomes.

“The things we fear most in organizations – fluctuations, disturbances, imbalances – are the primary sources of creativity.” Margaret Wheatley

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In 100 Words: The Action is at the Edges

Friday, July 31st, 2020 by Troy Schrock

Phase changes of elemental substances happen at the edges. The edges are dynamic. For example, lava cools, ice melts and water evaporates at the edges. Conversely, the center is static – insulated and isolated.

Yet, leaders typically spend most of their time working close to the internal center of the organization. Consequently, they primarily interact with others inside the same environment – people with similar values, ideas, and assumptions.

Market dynamics shape organizations at the edges. People at the organization’s edges interact with outsiders – customers (or non-customers), vendors, community representatives and competitors. Get into the action – spend more time at the edges.

“When spring comes, snow melts first at the periphery, because that is where it is most exposed.” Andy Grove

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In 100 Words: Old Trends, New Lines

Friday, May 1st, 2020 by Troy Schrock

Some trends move slowly and then, BANG, a significant event radically shifts the arc of the curve. A “new” reality emerges as people quickly adjust their decision and behavior paths in response to the major event. Surprisingly, it is easy to get caught off guard with the accelerated trend shift even when the underlying change was happening for years. We became comfortable with the “old” rate of change and assumed it in our plans. Now we must assume the old change rate is gone. Are you examining existing trends for accelerated shifts to help your organization adjust to the new?

“The greatest danger in times of turbulence is not the turbulence – it is to act with yesterday’s logic.”
Peter Drucker

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In 100 Words: Assured Leadership in Accelerated Change

Monday, March 16th, 2020 by Troy Schrock

The current COVID-19 health crisis has people, homes, communities and organizations managing inside a vortex of change. Government restrictions have mandated restrictions by some organizations which in turn are rippling out and negatively impacting most organizations.

In this environment of accelerated change, I hope you can focus on remaining:

• Bold – Clearly lead.
• Healthy – Stress takes an extra physical and mental toll so maintain disciplines that will keep you healthy.
• Genuine – It is okay to not have all the answers.
• Human – Be gracious; realize changes are cascading rapidly, and sometimes severely, into people’s lives.
• Positive – People will feed off your energy.

“Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm.” Publius Syrus

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In 100 Words: Why We Plan

Friday, January 31st, 2020 by Troy Schrock

It’s wonderful to begin a new year with a fresh plan! We enjoy the feeling of getting our organizational and personal goals identified. But,… the process is work. We must understand the market, research opportunities, and then debate which objectives should be priority.

Why do we go to this effort? The answer centers around three ways we, as human beings, are designed. We have:

• A natural excitement for the future.
• The capacity to think and plan.
• The desire to shape the elements around us to realize potential.
In short, we make plans to have an impact and shape our future.

“While I take inspiration from the past, like most Americans, I live for the future.” Ronald Reagan

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