For any leader or management team struggling to navigate strategy, there are two tools I find incredibly useful in helping groups navigate complexity. They share a common trait in challenging strategy groups to focus their energy on cultivating a clear picture of a firm's reality and then defining a way forward, before defining actions. Too many teams jump to the actions and skip the heavy lifting and deep thinking. These tools keep you honest when it comes to strategy.
Enjoy those days when all seems to be good in the universe. Just watch out for that reality check about to blindside you!
We're taught from an early age in school what we need to do to earn the "A." Unfortunately, the real world isn't that structured, predictable, or kind. Learning to tolerate ambiguity and uncertainty in business is essential for survival. Learning to leverage these characteristics is essential for success.
Letting go of the past is frightening but almost always necessary for growth. However, one part of our past is worthy of retaining and reigniting: the dreams of our youth. Somewhere in those dreams were clues to our true purpose and the potential for us to be at our best. Instead of letting go, reel the thin line that still connects you to that dream and explore how you can bring it to life. Letting go in other areas is an important part of this process.
Large scale organizational transformations often create more problems than they solve. That's why my new Level-Up program focuses on identifying discrete behaviors that what adopted and reinforced, offer the potential to drive big results.
Humans are creatures of habit, and our approach to solving problems is no different. We tend to attack every problem in familiar ways, without taking the time or making the effort to consider creative options. The tracks of our minds are well grooved. Effective leaders recognize the hard work and heavy lifting involved with finding creative solutions and strive to push their teams out of those grooves.
I've always enjoyed time-travel stories. What if in business, we could travel ahead in time to see our mistakes and then go back and correct them and change the future for the better? While Einstein and others suggest it is impossible, I beg to differ. In the case of leading change, we can travel through [...]
Our leadership and management focus on productivity ignores the critical need for us to move strategically. For most of us, strategy is a series of incremental moves around a long-standing theme. Today's world demands that we find a way to punctuate equilibrium or we risk going out of business one efficient day at a time.
In a recent discussion with a potential literary agent for my book proposal for, "Level-Up—The Career Guide to Surviving and Thriving in an Era of Change," the agent suggested that books built around the theme of "change" were unlikely to sell. That perspective is preposterous. Learning to help our organizations navigate change while constantly leveling up in our own careers is a core challenge that all of us face in our professional lives. We need more help on this, not less, regardless of the views of publishers. Here's why...
Crises happen and the right top leadership and organizational response is essential for survival. Unfortunately, too many of these events catch our firms and top leaders unprepared. A starting point is to adopt a standard of required behaviors in the face of a crisis. Consider these "10 Commandments for Acceptable Corporate Crisis Behaviors" as a starting point.