Our thoughts on the latest consultancy news, trends and ideas.
By John Barrington
In our work with clients across all sectors, and with organisations of all sizes, we see two common failings in most strategic plans:
“If I had an hour to solve a problem and my life depended on the solution, I would spend the first 55 minutes determining the proper question to ask, for once I know the proper question, I could solve the problem in less than five minutes.”
In discussion with a wide range of CEOs across Australia, it is a source of constant amazement that many are unclear, or cannot articulate, the Purpose of their organisation. One would think that this is a fundamental understanding required of the chief executive of any organisation. Why would this not be the case? I think there are a number of reasons, including the fact that many leaders are either too scared to be honest about why the organisation exists or are too confused to bring clarity to what should be a relatively simple question.
When boards and management embark upon strategy development or strategic review, there are often a number of related matters that rise to the surface as requiring action. Each seemingly requires urgent attention, even though they may have been an issue for an extended period of time.
This week’s blog is hardly strategic and while operational in focus, it goes to what is often the heart of implementation. It is about action planning and delegation.
A Chairman of a public company rang me to ask my views on the key elements of effective leadership. I outlined my thoughts on clarity of the Purpose of the organisation, clarity about what outcomes are to be delivered, insight into the Strategic Issues that must be addressed (as opposed to what an executive may want to address), aligning resources to deliver the agreed outcomes, designing and implementing appropriate strategies to address the issues, and holding people to account to ensure the intended results are achieved.
In one of the more insightful interpretations of the 3 horizons methodology, I heard Jonathan Holloway, Artistic Director of the Perth International Arts Festival, inspire an audience as to their responsibility for creative development in Western Australia.
A colleague recently asked me about the 1-page strategic plan format. We advise clients to use 1-page plans to communicate their direction and strategies to staff and he had seen how one of our clients had successfully deployed this approach.
Last week’s blogs discussed the disintermediation occurring at a quickening pace due to the influence of the Internet.
Further to yesterday’s blog on internet disintermediation, I read some recent Wharton research that highlights the importance of bricks and mortar retailers pursuing a multi-channel or omni-channel distribution strategy.