Here are our weekly picks of articles on Strategy Execution for the week ending Thursday, May 6th. Enjoy!

MANAGEMENT INNOVATION

Forces of nature by David K. Hurst

An exploration of what the author describes as the adaptive cycle in business. It outlines a process in which a business starts as a customer-centric entrepreneurial experiment, and, if successful, matures over time into a competition to acquire resources from an internal bureaucracy! These mature corporations then either die or are engulfed by regenerative ecosystems – and the cycle starts again. I’m still pondering this framing and wondering if there isn’t something enduring here.


STRATEGIC CLARITY

Eliminate Strategic Overload by Felix Oberholzer-Gee

A few week’s back, I added a podcast on this book to our weekly favorites list, and I mused that it was an idea to watch – but I wasn’t convinced. This week, the book was given to me by a client CEO who applauded the simple focus on value in the framework! Well, I’m dutifully turning the pages. A new article this week goes beyond the “value stick” and explores the “value map” (which seems to evolve Blue Ocean’s strategy canvas). I liked this push to consider the competitive positioning of the attributes of a business’s customer value proposition when considering how to create more value at the Willingness-to-Pay end of the value stick. I recommend the article. Please share your thoughts if you do read it!


PREPARED MINDS

Getting AI to Scale by Tim Fountaine, Brian McCarthy, and Tamim Saleh

Enjoyed listening to Workday’s CEO as he talked about the value of “culture fit” – and his primary commitment to Workday’s people and the company’s hiring process. In reference to fit, the best line was “one company’s “Perfect 10” will be another’s “Zero”. I also appreciated his celebration of diversity within the frame of culture. A engaging podcast; as you also get Reid Hoffman’s perspective and some cameos from other prominent CEOs.


CULTURAL COHESION

The elusive formula for great hiring, Interview by Reid Hoffman w/ Workday’s Aneel Bhusri

Another article focused on the merits and challenges of AI. This one suggests that to reap a win that will propel you forward in your data science journey, you need to focus on what they call a “critical slice of the business” or a “domain”. A domain is an area large enough to make a dent in the business. They suggest that you invest heavily in a domain to get the type of results that turns heads. I like this focused approach – as I believe in the merits of AI if the opportunity, data, and focus are there!


RESOURCE FLUIDITY

[no recommendation this week]


ENABLING TECHNOLOGY

[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.