Taking Strategic Daily Action

BinocularSaltFlatsJoe, the executive, (not his real name) confided in me: “A year since I started, and I’ve been assimilated. I’m now part of the problem I was hired to solve.”

His plight – dealing with an almost overwhelming amount of operational detail, while trying at the same time to effect strategic change – is not unique. Even when executives know they need to keep their eye on the business goals one to three years out, they struggle to connect their priorities this quarter, this month, this week, and today, to the long-term goal.

Once we have helped the organization develop a sound business strategy and goal, our role changes to one of implementation coach. Now, Joe, an experienced executive, really does know what to do. Our role as a a thought partner is to help interrupt the immediate demands on him. We instituted a brief  Shape of the Week meeting every Friday.  Conducted using Skype video and screen-sharing, the goal of the meeting is to help Joe review and sequence the key priorities to act upon in the upcoming week to best build momentum toward the three-year business goal.

Example topics of discussion:

  • Capacity for Accelerated Growth – of the people you need to bring on board in order to fuel growth, in what sequence should you hire to both produce cashflow, this quarter, and momentum, long-term? Are you hiring builders and not maintainers where your strategy calls for new growth or significant change? (see our post Oct 29, 2004 for more…)
  • Management Capacity – What changes in your managers will increase their capacity to manage, and thus, give you more capacity? How effectively do they mentor to grow productivity in their own people?
  • Critical Decisions – What decisions about the next quarter and the next year need to be made, now, so that they do not become crises when the moment of action arrives? (With Digital Decision-Making, effective decisions can be made well in advance of the point of action.)
  • Emerging Market Trends and Discontinuities – What is your future scan turning up? What is your Plan ‘B’ for trends and potential disrupts to either your industry or your business model?
  • Culling for Growth – If your strategy calls for a change in the future, what should you stop doing? Why? When? How?

My broad recommendation for leaders and executives is to create your own planning discipline – a breathing space, a thought partner, a walk in the park – for getting above the daily demands and making the upcoming week count in the journey to your strategic goal.


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Call me! - Ann Ralston


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Call me! - Gary Ralston

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Date: Sunday, August 18th, 2019 - 06:56:55am

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