Strategy

Your Values Are Questionable

We’re often pretty sure that we understand what values are. Defining them clearly and compellingly, though, is an entirely different matter. Values aren’t about defining the lowest common denominator of what is important. They get at the very heart of who we are, and particularly how we operate, decide and interact. Getting them right is critical; it also takes a great deal of work.



The Vision Thing

Vision statements—like mission statements—need to be specific, meaningful and clear. They reflect our future aspirations, and are an important test of where we are going and why that is important. Like mission statements, though, vision is often vague, imprecise and overly general. For vision to do something, it has to say something.



Your Mission, Should You Choose To Accept It

Pick a strategic plan. Any strategic plan. Read the mission statement, and ask what it tells you about what makes the organization it belongs to unique. All too often, the answer to that is “not much.” Rather than being defining statements of purpose, mission statements are often vague, generalized and designed to appeal to the lowest common denominator. It doesn’t have to be this way.



Strategy Doesn’t Mean What You Think It Does

We often think we know what we mean when we use the term “strategic.” It’s self evident, right? Except, in my experience, it is very often not. Strategic is often viewed as a vague concept outlining general ideas that don’t really provide much guidance, direction or usefulness. Which is exactly what we don’t need more of. My take on what strategic looks like, and the meaning that you should be seeking.



The Importance of “Why?”

We get taught the principles of inquiry at a young age. Who, what, where, when, why and how are essential dimensions of the work we do and changes that we make. The question that we most lose site of, though, is “Why?”



We Need A VP Of Chaos

How we think about change is stuck in the past. Judging by the way we organize, there are those who would like to keep it that way. We need to think differently about how we organize for change. And we need to change our organizations.



Best Practices Usually Aren’t

There are few terms that have the same unbridled acceptance in business as “best practices.” Except that, for many organizations, best practices fail to deliver on the theoretical promise implied by the term. Best implies one superior way of working, where in reality there are many practices dependent upon many different things.



Disrupting The Idea Of Disruption

Disruption has become sexy, and the idea of disruptive innovation has come to dominate (and begin to spread beyond) startup culture. Nonetheless, execution and exploitation have their place as well. We need to organize in a way that accommodates both.



Wrestling With Strategy & Change

Virtually my entire career has been, in one way or another, focussed on the creation of change. I am not a status-quo kind of guy. What I’ve learned about realizing strategy and managing change in organizations.



Startup-By-Numbers: Where Has The Creativity Gone?

I got into an interesting debate with a colleague a little while ago over lunch, about whether or not processes are relevant when organizations are starting out. The specific basis of this debate was a discussion around the business model canvas framework described in Business Model Generation, which I’ve been writing a lot about.



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