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Posts Tagged ‘Strategy’

Five Fundamental Strategic Questions for Leaders

Growth StepsEvery Excellent Leader stays totally aware of their organizations growth. More specifically, the Leader is the Navigator for Organizational Direction.

Therefore, the Growth of the Organization is – or will be – a “Top of Mind” activity.

There are five fundamental Strategic Growth questions you can use to measure the success of your growth plan in the current economic environments.

Stages of Leadership: Applicability and Connectivity

Stage Two of Four

All businesses have a need for interconnectedness.  Executives have a need to understand how various business processes are inter-related.  In addition to inter-relatedness inside the processes of the company itself, executives must be able to relate content, strategy, and reasoning with regard to global interactions, technological advances, societal expectations, as well as politics.

You’ve Got to Spend Money to Make Money

Looking around at all the headlines and listening the discussions at management meetings, it is obvious why we are in a recession. No one wants to spend any money.

Well, I remember a wise and wealthy Cajun from Louisiana who liked me and shared a lot of his personal philosophies with me. One that I will always remember was…

“You got to Spend Money to Make Money!”

Now this statement is not rocket science, yet, it is sound economic theory if you want to make money in the future. Let me rephrase it to…

Specialist or Generalist for CEO and Leadership?

This is a question that seems to get more attention during periods of tough economic times. There are supporters for both sides of this question, so why ask the question?

Well, in a perfect world we would have a specialist called Chief Executive Officer and the question would go away. However, since they is no specialist incubator for the CEO position we have to deal with the question at hand. Who makes a better CEO – a specialist or a generalist?

Here is my take on the issue and I’m looking forward to comments from others on this topic.

Three Keys for Successful Growth

During these time of downturn, it is not acceptable to stop thinking and acting on growth opportunities. The time is ripe for Growth. And, Growth Opportunities are all around us. It is a time to focus on the three things that create steady, consistent and profitable growth. There are three keys to these type of growth.

  1. Leadership – the ability to focus on the future and relate it to present day action plans; clarify the vision with everyone in the organization, motivate a culture for growth and make the right (and tough) decisions to ensure the success of the whole.
  2. Technology – the ability to maximize productivity; to have reporting systems that alert you to potential issues; to allow people to use their minds for higher level results; and to create a customer experience that exceeds all expectations of service and contact.
  3. Sales & Marketing – the ability to coordinate two diverse units into one representing the best interests of the company and the customer; to develop an ongoing lead generation system; to sell using the same message or intent across the company; and enable the company to grow faster than the competition – as well as helping their customers grow.

Each of these three keys for growth will need to be discussed individually. Check back over the next three days and read more about each key. This information was compiled through research and actual experience of working with companies over the past three decades.

Finally one last thought. While the focus of this post is on companies and organizations – it also applies to individuals who want to grow and develop. It is easy to see the correlation of each key and how the three steps can be applied at the individual level. There will be a future post outlining these traits for individuals.

What’s happening to Performance Management?

I’m asking this question about Performance Management because of a disturbing research item I found this week. While doing some keyword and trend research on Google, I found that U.S. managers searching for Performance Management were not in the top ten countries for this keyword combination. What is the reason for this?

While English speaking countries were leading the list – India, South Africa and U.K. – the USA was no where to be found. Do the US Managers, Leaders and Executives already know everything about Performance Management?

Well, not based upon what I have seen, heard and read about for the past decade. Performance Management is one of the most important processes that can be used by companies today. Yet, the execution of strategic goals and objectives continue to be a hit and miss exercise – with little thought about how can we execute the plan consistently? Enter Performance Management.

Do You Have a Clear Vision of the Future?

This is the question that separates the winners from the losers. Do YOU have a clear vision of the future? This question applies to companies, departments, teams and people. The best take creating their future very seriously and will take the time to create and design their future.

The Losers of the world live by the Law of Accident – which means they have no plan or vision for the future – they just wait for others to tell them what to do or worst, just take things as the occur no matter what the consequences! Unfortunately, this is where the vast majority of people hang their hats. They live to execute others’ plans and vision. What amazes me is that they have the time to complain about how they lack of success and how dull their lives have become.

What can you do to create your future?

It’s Time for a New Road Map – the Old One Doesn’t Work!

Yes it’s that time again with a major twist. We need a new road map for ourself and our company. Why a new map? Because the old one doesn’t work in this economy. In fact, I would suggest that very few people really understand the ramifications of the new economy.

Let me explain this using an analogy. I’m a pretty good map reader and can find my way around with a good map. This year I made a trip to an area that I had never been to before. I got a map at the car rental place and had printed off a couple of other maps from the Internet. However, major details were left off of all the maps that I got. But I was confident that I would find my way because of my past success.

What is Driving Your Company?

Now this is an interesting question. Just what are asking about with this question? Actually, from a strategic point of view, it is a basic and very important question. What is driving your Company is all about understanding what is your Major Driving Force.

Every company has a unique major driving force. This major driving force determines the major strategic issue to focus upon and the at least two areas of excellence you must have to be successful. Your entire business concept gravitates from the major driving force.

There are ten possible driving forces that cover a range of alternatives. A company’s executive team then have the ability to choose the one that will give them a competitive advantage in the marketplace. What happens to a company when  the major driving force is unknown? Usually bad things – like poor performance and results, low marketshare in the marketplace, wasted resources, poor investments and poor hiring practices. Everything about the future is tied to the major driving force.

Are You one of the Fast & Quick? Or the Slow & Steady?

I’m writing this using an analogy of the Hawk and the Dove AND NO – this is not about the war stuff. First, let me set the stage – this past weekend I witnessed a nature activity that could be a sad thing or just one of the facts of life.

You see, we have this Dove family that has lived at our house for the past four or five years. Each year building a new nest and having more family. This little family has entertained us for years. They hang out together and have shown no interest in separating.

This past summer a young Hawk landed close to our bird feeder and we had a grand time watching it as it tried to figure out how to eat at the community bird feeder. Well, he was totally unsuccessful with the birdseed feeder – but he must have gained some intel while there.

This weekend I was at the window with my cup of Java, and I noticed the Hawk in the yard – eating something. It turned out to be one of the Dove family! I was appalled that this had happened to the nice little bird family that always seemed calm and cool even when we approached the birds.

As it turned out, that is the reason the Dove is no more! It was slow, calm and steady. A great target for a bird of prey like the Hawk! Later, I found out from the bird store owner that Hawks take out Doves on a regular basis due to their slowness to react to situations.

As I thought about the situation, I began to think about the current economic crisis, the number of mergers – hostile or not – that have taken place over the past couple of years, and how people are approaching the need for sales growth in a down economy. I realized that I had seen an analogy to the impact or effects of the Slow and Steady (change resistance) and the Fast & Quick – who make things happen when the opportunity arises.

Companies and Individuals who are slow to act or resistant to change are just like the Dove. Cute and lovable, yet soon to become the victim or totally gone when faced with the aggressive and hostile company or individual. You must adapt to the current environment and balance your actions between the fast and the slow or the Quick and the Steady. Moderation is important. Understanding the consequences of inaction can align you with actionable choices.

Think about your highest priorities – company or individual – and immediately launch a plan of action to accomplish this objective. Too often, smart people wait until it is too late to move – like the Dove – and lose their independence or their competitive edge. Take charge and become one of the Fast and Quick during these economic times – be a winner.

If you need help understanding how to set the highest priorities, monitor their results or progress, and other options you need to be successful, then call us immediately – that’s now – at 901-757-4434.