“Weekly Picks” (May 27th)

Here are our weekly picks of articles on Strategy Execution for the week ending Thursday, May 27th. Enjoy!


What makes problems complex and how can we approach complex problems? by Catarina Batista (Might)

The “A” in AVUCA (Accelerating. Volatile. Uncertain. Complex. Ambiguous) is somewhat new to me, so I thought it was worth a mention. This post is a foray into the “C” for “Complexity”, and what it entails. I feel like I need to be so much more familiar with the individual dimensions of AVUCA environments. I liken the need for this better understanding to my need to understand the differences in mental health/illness, and how much my understanding helps me to walk alongside those who are navigating uncertain futures.


Every Company Needs a Narrative by John Hagel III (HBR.org)

Energizing post on leveraing corporate narrative to engage customers and to reduce anxiety in employees.


Why process is key for financial institutions’ operational excellence by By Mike Schank (E&Y)

Love this sketch of operational excellence in financial institutions (not sure it doesn’t apply to all industries), and the idea of having an integrated process map for the entire company, so “operations [are] traceable and transparent”. The idea of having a business model mapped out on the wall, with digital alerts and areas of focus, is my dream. We are almost there when combine this deep analysis work with the technology counterpart of digital twins!


It’s Time to Free the Middle Manager by Brian Elliott (HBR.org)

In anticipation of a continued shift in the role of middle managers, this article suggests that managers leverage new digital tools to cut out the time sink of filtering and routing information between top executives and line workers. With the savings of time, the article goes on to suggest that these same managers allocate their time to the higher value activities of people development and team construction.


Scenarios: Learning And Acting From The Future by Paulo Soeiro de Carvalho (Paulo Soeiro de Carvalho)

Deep dive into scenario planning. Not for the faint of heart, so only go there if you love the topic. The chapter/short book explores characteristics of scenario planning like time horizons, the definition of “uncertainties, what I deem to be the meaning of internally consistent futures, and lots more.


This AI platform tracks corporate climate risks around the world by Adele Peters (Fast Company)

Interesting review of a platform that tracks and predict physical environment trends and risks around the globe. This seems like a great data set to pipe into scenario planning and simulation efforts. I could see the same thing being automated for the other dimensions of risk present in our environment (see Amy Webb’s 11 Sources of Disruption).

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.