“Weekly Picks” (July 29th)

Here are our top picks of articles on Strategy Execution for the week ending Thursday, July 29th. Enjoy!


Unsuck your next work meeting w/ Sam Spurlin
by Aaron Dignan, Rodney Evans, and Sam Spurlin (Brave New Work)

adaptable comment: “Unsuck”, as in “not suck” the life out of everyone involved, is the term that this post uses as the podcasters dissect the critical elements of any group meeting. I found the honest dialog around each of the individual meeting elements to be on point and compelling. However, the time allotments provided at the end of the podcast are simply not possible – without a careful picking and choosing of what elements to include (which is my suggestion). Worth listening to for anyone who runs lots of meetings each day.


[no recommendation this week]


Radical Knowledge Management: Using Lessons Learned From Artists to Create Sustainable Workplace
by Stephanie Barnes (Frontiers)

adaptable comment: I like this article’s approach to knowledge management. The researcher/author is searching for a way to leverage or incorporate key attributes of creativity to instruct the evolution of traditional knowledge management – from what has traditionally focused on organized document management to that of continuous learning. The author cites various attributes that she also equates with artists, and she talks about how these attributes should be infused into the knowledge management function to bring the function to life. The article is a bit dense and meanders a bit, but it is worth skimming for the idea.


Overcoming Obstacles to Successful Culture Change
by John Kotter, Vanessa Akhtar, and Gaurav Gupta (MIT Sloan Management Review)

adaptable comment: Two claps for this article! I totally agree that organizational culture is built on a set of behaviors/values that are applauded and rewarded over time. The reinforcing mechanism of celebration turns these actions taken by individuals into actions that everyone is copying and owning. The leader has the opportunity to identify and celebrate those activities that support the purpose and strategy of the organization and, thereby, influence what becomes the culture of the organization.


Real-World Supply Chain Resilience
by Rainer Schuster, Gaurav Nath, Pepe Rodriguez, Chrissy O’Brien, Ben Aylor, Boris Sidopoulos, Daniel Weise, and Bitan Datta (BCG)

adaptable comment: This article does a great job of summarizing some of the key risks and mitigation efforts to enable what the authors call a “resilient supply chain”. The article also talks (although only briefly) about how resource planning methods can be used to analyze risk and identify mitigation opportunities for early signs of break points (definitely read the sidebar on the medical device company!).


[no recommendation this week]

About George Veth

George Veth is a consultant in the areas of strategy execution and initiative management. Most recently, he has been leading a cross-boundary collaboration program with teams from cities across North America and Europe. He lives in Cambridge, MA, and runs a nonprofit SME Impact Fund in East Africa. His subject matter interests are organizational culture, management [system] innovation, and public value management.