With my doctoral thesis now out to review (sent to my supervisors on Monday), I have decided to take a couple of days out to catch up with myself and reflect on the events of the past twelve months. I also need to start thinking about upcoming priorities because, in addition to refining the thesis based on the feedback from my supervisors, my diary contains several teaching, speaking, advisory and facilitation engagements; in New Zealand, the UK and Europe.
Amongst the engagements are several strategy development workshops, to lead boards and executive teams on a journey of discovery and critical thinking; the goal being a coherent strategy. These workshops are fun: I get to ask some searching questions and to help the participants think about the future prospects of their business. Often, we need to go back to basics, to discuss and agree what strategy is (and is not). Sadly, many managers have a predilection for detail, which means their expectations are of a highly detailed plan (more akin to an annual operating plan). The causality is pragmatism.
Thankfully, there is no need to forfeit pragmatism. If a holistic framework is used and the debate is focussed on the purpose of the company, business performance, and a set of strategic priorities to achieve the purpose, then the strategy that emerges is likely to be coherent, succinct and workable. Many frameworks and tools are available. The framework that I use is StratCross. It contains the sum of my knowledge and experience gained over fifteen or more years of helping companies create effective, winning strategies. If you'd like to know more, please get in touch.
Thoughts on corporate governance, strategy and the craft of board work; our place in the world; and, other things that catch my attention.