Advocating Inspiring Strategies

The blogs in this category are related to the following critical leadership competencies:

  1. Advocating and then aligning strategies from both the perspective of your role and from the perspective of CEO or enterprise leader roles.
  2. Communicating compelling cases for change.
  3. Envisioning and articulating ideal future states.
  4. Accurately assessing current state.
  5. Distinguishing optimal paths forward including resolving primary constraints, addressing root causes, following critical paths, achieving key milestones and creating game changers.
  6. Mapping strategic choices.
  7. Discerning, codifying and optimizing competitive advantage.


How A Team Aligns Strategies Across An Enterprise

This video covers a team-based approach to designing and aligning strategies (3:31 mins).

Here are 4 key take aways to watch for:

  • A definition of a business (very viral)

  • The Business Triangle

  • The 7 Key Business Scope Decisions

  • A process for aligning strategies across businesses and functions

Seven Anchors For A Compelling Case For Change

Without a clear and compelling case for change, it is easy for major change initiatives to drift, hit the cliffs and sink. This article recommends setting seven anchors. If just one of these anchors is missing you can expect danger. We are not talking theory. The need for each of these anchors comes from real world experience guiding major high-stakes change initiatives including; business model turnarounds, post merger integrations and business culture overhauls. Read this article, apply these anchors and avoid failure.

The Unique Challenges of Family Owned Businesses

family owned business

The unique challenges of family owned businesses center on performance - low performance. If you have family owned businesses, there are two studies worth paying attention to, one just published, the other from 2007. Both place family owned businesses in last place in two critical categories. The first is business performance. The second is board performance.

The 2007 study, a pedigreed academic work  from the School’s of Economics at both Stanford and London, and McKinsey surveyed 4000 mid-sized companies. The upshot of that study is that a relatively small and sustained investment in leadership training results in a 25% increase in staff productivity and 65% increase in return on capital. Most organizations underplay such investments, often in favor...

CSR: Harvard Business Review Over-Simplifies The Point


arvard Business Review posts The Daily Stat. I recommend subscribing. Here's today's post - it's problematic:

Investors May React Emotionally to Corporate Responsibility (CSR)

In an experiment, graduate business students who studied a fictional retailer’s finances valued the company at $25.92 per share if they were told it had an above-average record on such corporate-responsibility issues as labor and the environment, and just $19.14 per share if its performance on those measures was said to be below average, according to a team led by Mark E. Peecher of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. But the valuation gap disappeared when the participants were encouraged to think carefully about the company’s CSR, suggesting that the high valuations in the above-average case were “unintentional” and based on emotions. “One wants to avoid being overly swayed by” CSR, the researchers say.

Here's my response: Oh boy. Context is everything...

Business Strategy for Nonprofits—A Primer


The ability to craft effective business strategies is essential for nonprofit organizations being able to respond to rapidly changing conditions and deliver on their mission. The excerpt below from an article in the Stanford Social Innovation Review (a must-read for nonprofit leaders) addresses a key element of what is needed: strategic thinking. And to take this one step further, we need to develop cultures of strategic thinkers—teams working together to constantly create, innovate and test strategies for growth.

“We think that what is necessary today is a strategy that breaks free of static plans to be adaptive and directive, that emphasizes learning and control, and that reclaims the value of strategic thinking for the world that now surrounds us.”

The Strategic Plan is Dead. Long Live Strategy—Stanford Social Innovation Review

Are There Blind Spots That Doom Post-Merger Integration?

Are there blind spots that doom post merger integration? Yes. Business owners, after years of hard work, facing a payday, can be blissfully blind to cultural and leadership land mines. Triggered in the fog of post-merger integration, they cost organizations dearly, in terms of talent loss, workflow capability, and strategic alignment. I saw this blind spot six months ago in my local Starbucks ...
There I ran into a business acquaintance of mine (call him John). John is the CEO of a successful healthcare consultancy that has grown into a national player in the corporate health arena. I learned that John was out of the office studying an offer for the purchase of his firm by a large European conglomerate. The calculator was out and there was a look in his eye that said, “Leave me alone. I have been waiting my whole life for this moment." Nonetheless, I pushed into the conversation. I was puzzled because John had spent twelve years building a dream team to leverage his successful business model, vowing he would never sell...