Company Strategy, Now in 3D

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Leading, Organizations, Strategy, What=Compelling Focus
Reading time: 2 min.

If your organization’s strategy seems confused, ineffective, or coming up short, then it may have some holes. A full strategy covers both sides of these 3 dimensions:

  1. Private and Public – Expressed your strategy in two voices: private for you and your organization, public for your clients and your marketing. The way you understand your company (private) is necessarily more detailed than the way you engage your clients (public).
  2. Internal and External – Focus on what’s important to two different audiences: those inside your organization (employee-focused) and those outside (client-focused). So that they stay, both audiences need to understand from their own perspective the value and potential of the organization.
  3. Short-term and Aspirational – Specify both short-term, practical goals and long-term, aspirational ones.

Your complete strategy has something to say about each combination of these three dimensions. It includes, for example, the private (for your eyes), external (client-focused), and short-term: “We will increase project gross margin to 0.31 next year.” And it would include the public (client/marketing version), internal (employee-focused), aspirational: “We hope to remain your favorite supplier of these products. To that end, we not only invest heavily in R&D, we invest an equal amount in our processes, culture, leadership, and well-being as a company.”

 

In your corner,

Mike

No Mystery

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Success
Reading time: 1

Good business strategies and good career strategies are neither difficult nor mysterious. They share the same features.

Your career or business strategy will be strong and meaningful if they

  • employ a unique constellation of talents, yours or your business’s
  • engage your or your business’s values and passions
  • satisfy your needs, wants, or desires or those of your business, and
  • bring more happiness, freedom, and abundance to others by meeting their need, wants, and desires.

Simple, eh?

To your continued success,

Mike

Unstick Your Strategy with an Often Ignored Type of Thinking

Posted Leave a commentPosted in Strategy, Success, Will=Our inner game
Reading time: 3 min.

When getting the right strategy for you or your organization is proving difficult, it may be down to an odd way we all tend to think. To have what your want in your life, career, or organization, use a better kind of thinking when it’s time to think about your personal or organizational strategy.

When what you have is a hammer, the whole world looks like a nail.

We have been trained to be very good at one type of thinking: critical, problem-solving thinking. We’ve also learned to value it highly. We usually judge whether we or others are smart by how good we are critical thinking. Look at what is considered important in school, at work, in politics to see all of this is true.  And so we use critical, problem-solving thinking everywhere, usually to good effect. Sometimes, however, our habit of using critical thinking gets in the way.

When the future is uncertain–when either the goal or the path to the goal is unclear–critical or problem-solving thinking is not appropriate. In fact, it and our habit of using it everywhere get in the way. What’s really needed when looking to the future is creative thinking.

And, please wait. Before you are tempted to apply the hammer of critical thinking to my above assertion (e.g. “Yeah, but, I’m not that creative” or “Yeah, but, critical thinking is important.”), hear me out.

Creative Thinking and You

Let’s start with these simple, practical definitions of creative and critical thinking:

  • Creative thinking is no more than considering and answering three questions: What is true now? What do I/we want to be true? And, why?
  • Critical thinking is no more than considering and answering these three questions: When? How? and Who?

Can you see how creative thinking is exactly what’s needed when the future or the path to the future is unclear? And can you see how, despite what you may have thought, you and all of us can be very creative thinkers? We just have to answer some simple questions.

Critical Thinking, at the Right Time

Of course, critical thinking is still important. Once we have a direction, a strategy, or some other path to the future, we will tap our critical thinking to help get us there. We just have to use it at the right time and not use it when it’s time for creative thinking.

Hint: if you apply critical thinking when it’s time for creative thinking, it often takes the form of a “Yeah, but…” statement. And “Yeah, buts” have a nasty tendency to kill off good, creative thinking before they even see the light of day. More on that in the next post.