New Perspectives
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Is ‘Broken Telephone’ Disrupting Your Strategy & Messaging?

Welcome to the second edition of Strateco’s New Perspectives e-newsletter!

This past month we had the opportunity to help a client with a re-calibration of their strategy.  The exercise seemed straight forward.  The strategy had been in place for several years, it had been approved by the Board, and several Leadership Team members had been involved with creating it. 
 
However, when we got together as a team we discovered that crucial pieces of the strategy were not consistently understood.  In fact, some of the team members were at opposite ends of the spectrum.
 
It struck me how often we see this scenario play out – presumed alignment with a strategy that is not consistently understood.  A bit like “broken telephone” where the true nature of the message has been slowly diluted over time.
 
With strategy representing the main filter through which key decisions are made and critical resources allocated, the consequences of vagueness and misaligment can be dire:  sub-optimal execution and performance along with a less engaged culture. 
 
As we offer up this month’s articles and links in New Perspectives, please take a few minutes to reflect on how clear your strategy is and how well you can articulate it.  Consider how well it’s understood with the major players in your firm.
 
Do you have one overarching strategic objective?  Are major priorities aligning across all roles and is the organization moving in cadence to that?
 
Focus, alignment and execution are the hallmarks of great organizations.  On a scale of 1 – 10, where do you feel your firm is on this spectrum?  And if you’re not a 10, what will it take to get you there?  As always, we’re happy to help!
 
Wishing you a productive and fulfilling month!

 
 
 

Interested in learning about the evolution of a new paradigm in business?

Check out our white paper, Strategy + Leadership 2.0, to learn how Stakeholder Strategy and Purposeful Leadership are shaping the era of Capitalism 2.0

 
CEO perspectives on the changing landscape of business:
   1.  17th Annual CEO Survey: Fit for the Future – PWC

Two intriguing TED Talks:
   2.  Michael Porter:  Business & Solving Social Problems
   3.  Daniel Goleman: Why Aren’t We More Compassionate

Three powerful articles:
   4.  The Big Lie of Strategic Planning – HBR Article
   5.  Why Most of What We Know About Management is…Dead Wrong – Forbes
   6.  Southwest Motivates Its Employees with a Purpose – Forbes

February’s recommended reading:
   7.  Conscious Capitalism
 

 
1.  17th ANNUAL CEO SURVEY – FIT FOR THE FUTURE
     Jan 2014     
 
As capitalism and the global economy continue to evolve, how are CEOs responding to this changing global footprint?
 
While opportunities for strategic growth grow tougher, twice as many CEOs as polled in the 2013 survey believe the global economy will improve in the next 12 months.
 
CEOs feel three fundamental external forces will most greatly impact their businesses in the next five years:
 
1)  Technological Advances – harnessing technology to create value in new ways
2)  Demographic Changes – capitalizing on shifts to develop tomorrow’s
3)  Global Economic Shifts – serving consumers in a new economic landscape
 
 
 
2.  WHY BUSINESS CAN BE GOOD AT SOLVING SOCIAL PROBLEMS
     Michael Porter’s TED Talk – Jun 2013     
 
Why do we turn to nonprofits, NGOs and governments to solve society’s biggest problems?
 
Though Porter admits he’s biased he wants you to hear his case for letting business try to solve massive problems like climate change and access to water.
 
Why you may ask? Because when business solves a problem, it makes a profit – which lets that solution grow.
 
To go deeper into Porter’s thinking check out his HBR article, Shared Value, which spawned this awesome Ted Talk along with his follow up report for FSG, Measuring Shared Value!

 
3.  WHY AREN’T WE MORE COMPASSIONATE
     Daniel Goleman’s TED Talk – Jun 2013     
 
What do you think of compassion when it comes to leading others and high performing teams?  Do you feel you’re a compassionate leader? 
 
In this fascinating Talk, Daniel Goleman asks why people aren’t more compassionate more of the time and opens the door to understanding a person’s “success” from an EI perspective.
 
Goleman asserts that people are hard-wired to feel compassion and establish a standard of self-regard as the appropriate way to treat others.
 
 
 
4.  THE BIG LIE OF STRATEGIC PLANNING
     Roger Martin in HBR – Jan 2014     
 
Strategy-making forces executives to confront a future they can only guess at. It’s not surprising they try to make the task less daunting by comprehensively planning how to achieve its short and long-term goals.
 
But good strategy is not the product of endless research and modeling; it’s the result of a simple process of thinking through how to hit a target and whether it’s realistic to try.
 
Discomfort is part of the process. As Martin says, if you’re entirely comfortable, your strategy probably isn’t very good!
 
 
 
5.  WHY MOST OF WHAT WE KNOW ABOUT MANAGEMENT IS…DEAD WRONG
     Steve Denning in Forbes – Jan 2014     
 
Wondering how your organization and management will evolve in the new age of Capitalism and a changing global economy? 
 
Denning states two distinct economies have emerged on the heels of recent incredible social and economic changes: 

  • Traditional – the one of factories, command and control, economies of scale, big hierarchical bureaucracies
  • Creative – the technology-driven one of continuous innovation, transformation, and profitable ecosystems

 

Organizational shifts toward a more ‘Creative’ management structure will directly impact companies’:

  • Organizational Goals – shifting focus from inward (shareholders) to outward (ecosystems)
  • Organizational Structures – from controlling people to enabling collaboration
  • Coordination of Work – from hierarchical bureaucracies to regular direct interaction
  • Firm’s Values – from single-minded profits to growing accompanying ecosystems
  • Communications – from top-down directives to multi-directional conversations 

 
 
6.  SOUTHWEST MOTIVATES…WITH A PURPOSE 
     Carmine Gallo in Forbes – Jan 2014     
 
Do your employees feel as though they’re part of something, something with a purpose, a purpose far beyond receiving a cheque twice a month?
 
In January 2013 Southwest unveiled a new corporate vision and purpose, intended to motivate an internal audience of employees to raise their game.
 
Incredibly their plan will leverage the power of storytelling to ensure its 46,000 employees deeply understand and engage with the company’s strategy and vision every day.

 
 
7.  CONSCIOUS CAPITALISM
       By John Mackey, Rajendra Sisodia, Bill George 
       Check out this book at Amazon
 
What do Whole Foods, Starbucks, SouthWest, and Costco all have in common?  They all practice ‘conscious capitalism’.
 
According to the authors, John Mackey (Co-CEO of Whole Foods) and Raj Sisodia (Professor,  Bentley University), conscious capitalism is an evolving paradigm for business that simultaneously creates multiple kinds of value and well-being for all stakeholders: financial, intellectual, physical, ecological, social, cultural, emotional, ethical, and even spiritual.
 
The book “Conscious Capitalism” promotes a business culture that embodies trust, accountability, caring, transparency, integrity, loyalty, and egalitarianism.
 
The management ideal of conscious Capitalism contains four key elements:

  • Decentralization
  • Empowerment
  • Innovation
  • Collaboration

 

However for these ideals to be successful careful attention must be paid to four underlying tenets: 

  • Higher purpose and core values
  • Stakeholder integration
  • Conscious leadership
  • Conscious culture and management

 
To learn about how the practice of conscious capitalism is creating competitive advantage also check out – Companies that Practice Conscious Capitalism Perform 10x Better (HBR)
 
 
 

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Strateco is a new breed of consulting firm that seamlessly integrates Strategy with Leadership.   We help organizations create, integrate, and execute winning strategies, while developing higher functioning leaders.   To get a sense of our philosophy download a copy of our white paper:  Strategy + Leadership 2.0
 
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