Archive for the ‘Strategy Execution’ Category

In 100 Words: Iterate without Lurching

Monday, September 16th, 2019 by Troy Schrock

How do you rate a leadership team’s strategic ability? One thought – look at the team’s ability to iterate strategically without lurching wildly in different directions. Can the team adapt the organization’s strategy to produce more than one economically successful business model over time? Time, in this case, is a decade plus. Success for that duration typically involves at least one business model shift when you consider changing customer preferences, technological advancements and competitive forces.

On this course, teams will need to master two key elements:

• strategy thinking – both the creative and analytical aspects, and
• execution – consistent, disciplined action over time.

“There is another old poet whose name I do not now remember who said, ‘Truth is the daughter of Time.’” Abraham Lincoln

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In 100 Words: Road of Routines

Thursday, August 1st, 2019 by Troy Schrock

Operational success runs down the Road of Routines. Leaders strive for consistent execution while avoiding two ditches.

The Ditch of Boredom – the numb, drained feeling from efforts to keep staff working good disciplines consistently. Leaders may pursue new ideas simply as an escape. The organization careens from one new idea to another.

The Ditch of Process Lock – the pull to become too comfortable and never change processes. People may begin idolizing the process itself. The organization slides into complexity and bureaucracy.

Staying out of the ditches allows leaders to enjoy both the journey and destination on the Road of Routines.

“For every mile of road there are two miles of ditches.” Irish Proverb

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In 100 Words: Swarm Your Priorities

Wednesday, May 1st, 2019 by Troy Schrock

Visualize a swarm of insects or birds in nature moving en masse then descending on and devouring a food source with shocking speed. They completely overwhelm the present condition.

This is the mental picture for how your team should tackle top priorities. Swarm – fully activate and intensely concentrate people and resources to overwhelm the obstacles to accomplishing the objective. Such singular passion and effort will create enough energy to break the inertia of the present condition. Conversely, chipping away at the priority with too few resources applied too late will leave you short. Swarm early and descend on the priority.

“It is not always what we know or analyzed before we make a decision that makes it a great decision. It is what we do after we make the decision to implement and execute it that makes it a good decision.” William Pollard

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In 100 Words: Maximize Trade-offs

Thursday, January 31st, 2019 by Troy Schrock

A perfect option does not exist for many choices we make. Rather, the decision involves a trade-off between a set of upsides and downsides; advantages and disadvantages. We try to balance the trade-offs. Oddly enough, though, we sometimes become concerned when the expected downsides occur. Hoping for a better solution, we work to amend the negative trade-offs without realizing we may miss the full benefit of the positive trade-offs in the process.

Don’t waste energy on the downsides if you want to maximize decision trade-offs. Identify the trade-offs. Get comfortable with your decision path. Enjoy the upsides of the trade-off!

“There are no solutions; there are only trade-offs.” Thomas Sowell

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In 100 Words: Pattern or Anomaly?

Friday, September 14th, 2018 by Troy Schrock

How well do you distinguish between patterns and anomalies when assessing an issue? Sometimes we approach anomalies as if they were patterns and waste resources. Two types of anomalies should give us caution – problem anomalies and success anomalies. Our key risk with problem anomalies is we end up increasing complexity, frustration and cost by adding processes across a broad array of activities in the organization to ensure “X never happens again.” Create process solutions to problems that exhibit a pattern. Train staff to navigate anomalies as they arise – greater freedom and less process.

Success anomalies will be next edition’s topic.

“To understand is to perceive patterns.” Isaiah Berlin

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In 100 Words: Be Patient with Pivots

Friday, June 15th, 2018 by Troy Schrock

The pace of market change has many organizations currently in some stage of a business model pivot. To successfully execute the shift leaders should actively:

1. Engage deeply in early conversations and projects with customers. Listen closely and iterate quickly.
2. Shape the “Why and How” message to people inside the organization. Repeat yourself frequently.

It will require patience to see the full pivot… the change will likely take longer than initially anticipated. People need time to adjust their thinking and behaviors. It also takes effort to build new capabilities and the related inter-linking delivery systems. Give the pivot time.

“The strongest of all warriors are these two — Time and Patience.” Leo Tolstoy in War and Peace

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