Strategic Management Blog

From Theory to Practice

LBL Brings SMPS Boot Camp to Dubai

By LBL Strategies Team

Our VP of Operations, Doug Maris, is in Dubai – and not just for the nice weather! Doug brought our Strategic Management Performance System Boot Camp with him to help professionals from across the globe build skills required in all phases of business strategy. Learners from Dubai, UAE, Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom and Egypt have been experiencing intensive, hands-on …

Is Your Business Transformation Strategy Going Down the Drain?

By Randall Rollinson

This post was originally published on July 24th, 2016. It was just featured in PMI Chicagoland Chapter’s Newsletter! How many times have you heard the term “Business Transformation?”  Have you ever wondered about the exact meaning of this widely used term?  I have.  Basically it is a change management strategy which has the aim to align people, process and technology initiatives of …

What Exactly Does Performance Management Mean in Relation to Strategy?

By Randall Rollinson

The term “performance management” has many meanings in the world of business. A common one is “employee performance management,” where businesses track how well an employee is contributing to the organization. This is not the type of performance management we’re talking about here. Performance management takes on a new meaning when brought up in the context of organization strategy. To …

The Benefits of Becoming ASP Certified

By Randall Rollinson

When you compare strategies between businesses, you’ll find that no two are exactly alike. Each business is trying to accomplish something another isn’t – ­­however large or small the differences end up being. This fact could lead you to believe that a strategy professional’s talents are unique to each business too, with no transferable skills. But, when you look into …

Never Stop Evaluating Your Strategic Plan

By LBL Strategies Team

As the rate of innovation, disruption and change accelerates across all sectors private, public and nonprofit, the requirements of strategic planning are called into question. New methodologies, techniques and tools such as OKRs come to the fore challenging organizations to adopt shorter timetables and be more nimble in the formulation of strategy, evaluating performance and making course corrections. In the …

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A Peek Behind the Curtain: How Do Successful Companies “Innovate”?

By Gail Stout Perry

The topic of innovation can be daunting, filled with vague terminology and mysterious processes. How does an organization innovate? How does one create a culture of innovation? And how does one guard against – or create – disruptive innovation? And what does all of the above even mean? Steve Jobs said it best, “Creativity is just connecting things. When you …

Data vs. Experience: Is Going with Your Gut Obsolete?

By LBL Strategies Team

As the business world’s dependence on data collection and analytics continues to grow, many strategic planners are left wondering what their role is going to be in this new era of computer-driven decision making. Is the old-school CEO going to be usurped by technology, or is there still room for someone with professional experience to make the call? The answer …

By LBL Strategies Team

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How to Facilitate a Successful Meeting

By Randall Rollinson

Everyone has been in a meeting that lacked structure, leaving it to suddenly veer wildly off track. Maybe someone takes too much control over the conversation, or discussion devolves to off-topic complaints or topics. Whatever the reason, as a meeting organizer you’re left in a tough place. At this point the reason you assembled everyone in the first place – …

What is your Organization’s Appetite and Tolerance for Risk?

By Randall Rollinson

Over the past several months we developed a strategic thinking course for one of our primary clients.  As we got into the design and development of the course, we discovered that managing risk is a critically important consideration in thinking strategically. Solid strategic thinking related to executing the organization’s strategy includes assessing the trade-offs involved in selecting a particular course …

Is Your Business Transformation Strategy Going Down the Drain?

By Randall Rollinson

How many times have you heard the term “Business Transformation?”  Have you ever wondered about the exact meaning of this widely used term?  I have.  Basically it is a change management strategy which has the aim to align people, process and technology initiatives of a company more closely with its business strategy and vision. Assuming we can generally agree with this definition, I’m …

The Most Important Role in Strategy Execution… The CEO

By Randall Rollinson

A few years ago our team completed an intense assignment with a mid-sized organization located in the Midwest.  Our charge was twofold. In Phase 1 we helped the organization set and communicate a new strategy for the future.  As part of this process we conducted a thorough environmental assessment with more than fifty key stakeholders.  We took the findings and …

Achieving a Delicate Balance

By Randall Rollinson

I want to make a point about a dynamic that too often occurs in mission driven organizations.  To strike the right working balance between seasoned board members, senior executives and new leaders requires appropriate orientation and training in strategic management roles and responsibilities.  When little or no up-front guidance is provided new board members regarding appropriate behavior it can enable …

Slouching Toward Failure: 5 Reasons Organizations Lose Sight of Their Core Values

By Doug Maris

In working with clients on developing “Strategic Thinking” skills within an organization, there is a lot of attention on ensuring that every employee within the organization has “line of sight” from their respective role to the high-level mission and vision of the organization. The need for this connection is obvious . . . as most organizations struggle with the challenge …

What’s the Difference between Strategic Thinking and Strategic Planning?

By Doug Maris

Recently a client asked a very simple, and yet extremely complex, question: “What’s the difference between ‘strategic thinking’ and ‘strategic planning’?” Great question! A quick Google search reveals that academics have pondered and debated this question since the early 1990’s. One extremely helpful scholarly overview can be found in the June 1998 volume 31 of Long Range Planning, in a …

The 5 Most Important Factors to Successfully Implement Strategy

By Randall Rollinson

To effectively and efficiently implement an organization-wide strategy requires many factors come into alignment before successful implementation can occur. First, an accountability model must be clearly defined and embraced for each element of the strategy. Who owns each objective in the plan? Who is responsible for each of the organization’s strategic initiatives? Who is responsible for defining, collecting and reporting …

Five Methods to Kill Your Strategic Management and Planning Process

By Doug Maris

There are countless ways to derail a strategic planning process. Sometimes a process is undone by the tyranny of the urgent. Other times the process can be intentionally sabotaged by c-level staff who fear the process encroaches on their territory. But most often, when a strategic planning process unravels, it is due to one of the following sure-fire methods, virtually …

The Quintessential Killer of the Corporate Vision

By Richard Faulkner

“Your vision will become clear only when you can look into your own heart. Who looks outside, dreams; who looks inside, awakes.” (Carl Jung) Carl Jung’s work in understanding the human psyche (conscious and unconscious) fundamentally informed the development of modern psychoanalysis. His quote elegantly frames the challenge within the human condition to find balance between what we want (desire) …

How do we decide which initiatives and projects make the most sense for us to achieve our strategic objectives?

By Randall Rollinson

That is an excellent question! It’s always exciting when your organization comes to consensus about where you’re headed and the strategies to get you there. Once you get to the point of determining the objectives you expect from each strategy, the obvious next step is to determine the initiatives and projects that will help accomplish those objectives. Sounds easy, but …

What is the optimal approach and team size for a strategic planning effort?

By Randall Rollinson

There is no one answer to this question.  The level and scope of the initial program should reflect the best use of management capabilities, and equally important, leadership preferences on how to initiate strategic management activities—regardless of the ultimate level and scope of the strategic management process aspired to and eventually realized. Organizations, even those performing the same functions and …

What are the basics of environmental scanning?

By Randall Rollinson

No one can predict with any certainty what will occur over the next few years.  The transformation taking place in the global and domestic economy is unprecedented and it will take some time for new economic patterns to sort themselves out.  Regardless, history tells us that there will be winners and losers in every industry.   Some industry participants will …

How do I know where to begin a strategic planning project?

By Randall Rollinson

To create an effective strategic plan and management system is a major challenge for any organization. To do so without the necessary preparatory steps will, in all probability, result in wasted time, energy, misdirected efforts and can even lead to the resulting plan failing. Having a clear understanding of where your organization’s journey begins is vitally important and too often …

What is the difference between a KRA and a KPI?

By Randall Rollinson

A key result area (KRA) is an strategic factor either internal to the organization or external, where strong positive results must be realized for the organization to achieve its strategic goal(s), and therefore, move toward realizing the organization’s longer term vision of success.  Key result areas are sometimes referred to “critical success factors”  or “key drivers of success.”    Once …

Building a Strategic Information “Radar” System – Part II

By Randall Rollinson

In this the second segment of our “Radar” post. We offer insights into facilitating the learning and strategic thinking processes in leadership teams of mid-sized organizations. Whether it is in a private sector, public sector or nonprofit organization we believe these principals apply. Let’s begin with a clear statement of our baseline assumptions. Accurate assessment of any strategic environment is …

Building a Strategic Information “Radar” System

By Randall Rollinson

To build strategic information radar requires executive management interact with key managers and staff on a continuous, scheduled basis to gather and evaluate strategically significant information of potential relevance to the strategic management of the organization. We begin construction by acknowledging what we consider key characteristics of “strategically significant information” to be: Information from any source, direct or indirect, primary …