Curated News on Strategy Execution
Most of my work revolves around facilitating cross-boundary collaborations to solve complex problems. However, I agree with this article which states that we need to be careful about how much time we are collaborating – and be sure to maintain “focus time (defined as two-plus hours per day of uninterrupted time that can be dedicated to a task or project)”.
HBR.org ($) - Sep 7, 2021
Collaboration Overload Is Sinking Productivity
Many people have had the experience of being asked to do something and knowing with every fiber of their being that they should say no, but in a nano-second convince themselves why they need to do this thing after all. They jump in and then wonder six weeks later why they never have time for work that interests them.
I think this is the challenge of our day – How to embrace opposing viewpoints? Seems like we’ve lost the art of diplomacy, or maybe we’ve lost our ability to be self-aware. This article walks through a process to “build capacity to withstand cognitive discomfort”. The author leverages an analogy of building muscles in the weightroom, “as it requires us to embrace tension, grow through stress, and address damage”.
MIT Sloan Management Review ($) - Sep 15, 2021
The Problem With Certainty
One of the events that will be remembered from the 2021 Tokyo Olympic Games is U.S. gymnast Simone Biles’ decision to withdraw from several competitions — and then return to the stage to win a bronze medal. Media coverage of Biles’ actions echoed what tennis star Naomi Osaka experienced after her decision to withdraw from the 2021 French Open.
Fun post outlining the process that Autodesk took to detect and explore possible futures for their business. I found myself really wanting to be part of the process that was outlined. They created a training program on “foresight frameworks to scan for weak signals of change” and the use of “flash fiction scenarios to explore the near and longer-term implications of these signals”. What fun – and how valuable!
Ellen Hlozan - Medium ($) - Sep 17, 2021
An Experiment in Applied Foresight: Building Inclusive Futures with a Global Community of Innovators
The following article details a research experiment developed over the last year and a half within Autodesk Research. More specifically, we’ll walk you through a project exploring how to engage a global community of innovators with foresight methods and the learnings that were teased out of this process.
The idea of a Chief Leadership Officer seems so obvious after I read this post. It’s so hard for senior executives to give feedback to one another, especially for something as delicate as leadership behaviors. Imagine if an internal resource was given the permission to assess and develop the leadership capacity of the top team and beyond. It would need to be a very trusted advisor and gifted coach, but the rewards would be high. I like this idea.
Fast Company ($) - Sep 28, 2021
Why it finally may be time to hire a Chief Leadership Officer
This former Apple exec makes the case for a new C-suite post that would prevent toxic workplaces and help employees feel empowered.
I believe in a strong focus on the employee experience – what the article terms as EX. I really appreciate the way the post breaks it down into the employee’s social experience, work experience, and organizational experience. I think that we need a good rubric for thinking about our employees. This is the beginnings of one. Definitely worth reading.
McKinsey & Company - Sep 30, 2021
This time it’s personal: Shaping the ‘new possible’ through employee experience
In an era of workplace upheaval, companies that create tailored, authentic experiences strengthen employee purpose, ignite energy, and elevate organization-wide performance.
Laughed at the quote by the executive at his corporate strategy session, “I don’t know why we do this each year. It always turns out to be business-as-usual.” Love the subsequent challenge to get executives to move beyond traditional internal strategy sessions and get out and interview key stakeholders, because it is with these stakeholders that insight and learning can be found.
HBR.org ($) - Sep 21, 2021
Executives, Let Stakeholders Drive Your Strategy
The traditional process of making strategy is about managers finding a way to align a company’s capabilities with its opportunities and environment. That works well enough when environments are relatively stable, but not in highly unstable ones.
Interesting article on Xiaomi’s approach to exploring new business opportunities. In an effort to navigate a dynamic environment, they leverage a blend of corporate venturing and ecosystem development to make hundreds of strategic bets. It reminds me of Lowell Bryan’s portfolio of experiments, but it is actually a portfolio of third-party ventures. Really appreciate the level of experimentation, but, as the article states, time will tell its effectiveness.
HBR.org ($) - Sep 9, 2021
How Xiaomi Redefined What It Means to Be a Platform
Traditional platform businesses generally fall into one of two categories: Ecosystems, such as Apple’s App Store, which offer limited resources to a wide array of independently-run firms; and Corporate Venture Capital (CVC) companies, such as Intel Capital, which invest heavily into a small number of ventures that promise either financial or strategic returns.
This article is a tribute to the power of being present with and listening to one’s colleagues. I love the simplicity of the post, its message and its supporting anecdotes. The author calls this practice, “mindful attention”. In my consulting, I’ve been dismayed by how few leaders are actually mentally present with their staff. They appear to be listening, but their questions lack any type of playback or inquiry. I feel that the practice of “mindful attention” may be one of the biggest drivers of a healthy corporate culture.
Lauren Segedin, PhD - Medium ($) - Sep 14, 2021
Strengthen Your Work Culture With This One Technique
When we cultivate the skill of mindful listening, we can become more effective at our job while also improving relationships with colleagues, partners, and clients.
As the pandemic continues to hamper movement, local public spaces have become important points of congregation (physically distanced, as appropriate). As a matter of fact, many of us may have taken the pandemic as an opportunity to visit nearby spaces for the very first time! Have you begun to see these spaces in a new…
Listening to Community Voices
Shareholder value is being supplanted by a plethora of stakeholder values, and leaders must understand these diverse needs.
HBR.org ($) - Aug 30, 2021
You’ve Built a Racially Diverse Team. But Have You Built an Inclusive Culture?
It’s one thing to have a racially diverse team. It’s another to unleash that team’s potential to do great things in your organization. And yet there is very little guidance on how, exactly, to do the latter.
MIT Sloan Management Review ($) - Aug 24, 2021
How smaller firms can harness the potential of collaborative robots
Integrating robots into a manufacturing system is often prohibitively expensive. A new approach could change that.
McKinsey & Company - Aug 27, 2021
An ecosystem of partners: The foundation of capital project excellence
To deliver large capital projects in heavy industry more efficiently, project owners can consider forming an ecosystem of partners and fundamentally rethinking ways of working together.
adaptable - Aug 31, 2021
Top Articles on Strategy Execution – August 2021
This is adaptable’s Top Ten list on Strategy Execution for August 2021. Enjoy!
Let the Workshops Commence!
Workshops are an invaluable way for teams to surface great ideas and to forge new paths forward, acting as crucibles for iterative design work.
adaptable - Aug 26, 2021
“Weekly Picks” (August 26th)
These are adaptable’s favorite few articles on Strategy Execution for the week ending August 26th. Enjoy!
Wired ($) - Aug 24, 2021
Can Robots Evolve Into Machines of Loving Grace?
Perhaps, if we put bots together the right way, consciousness will simply emerge.
Forbes ($) - Aug 20, 2021
Annual Budgeting Is For The Birds
It is finally time to retire annual budgeting and make way for dynamic rolling forecasts.
MIT Sloan Management Review ($) - Aug 26, 2021
What You’re Getting Wrong About Burnout
The burnout crisis is here, but many managers are failing to address the root causes of stress for employees.
MIT Sloan Management Review ($) - Aug 23, 2021
How to find and fix hidden factories
An ever-growing list of workarounds is weighing on your productivity and profits. Finding these hidden factories can get your systems running again.