GlobalEdg Launches New Product & Service on Executing Business Strategies

March 31st, 2014

Southbury, CT, March 31, 2014 - GlobalEdg, a management-consulting firm focused on organizational development announced today the launch of a new product and service. The A.C.E (Alignment, Collaboration and Execution) system is designed to help translate business strategy into action. Its purpose is to build the capability in leaders on how to best execute strategies. The product and service is a follow-up to GlobalEdg’s world-renown, STAR (Strategic, Thinking, Action and Results) methodology which has over 3,000 Alumni. “We are excited to work with our clients as they continue to look for proven solutions on how to build their capabilities in the all-important area of how to best deliver on organizational strategies; and ACE is designed to do just that,” said Paul Butler, President of GlobalEdg.

The product is a result of multi-year effort that combines our research and client work.  What we found is that execution has a lot to do with organizational alignment, cross functional/team collaboration and building a results-based execution plan. These three elements, Alignment, Collaboration and Execution form the basis of ACE,” adds Butler.

The program has been successfully tested in several companies over the last six months.

What your organization gets are leaders who are better able to:

· Focus limited resources (time, money, and people) on the right work.

· Navigate the matrix organization leaders are playing in.

· Improved understanding of stakeholder needs and how to influence effectively.

· Clarity on the right results and the right resources needed to succeed.

The A.C.E. System

About GlobalEdg

GlobalEdg is a company dedicated to helping organizations WIN by building leadership & team capability in focusing and executing on what’s most important, and aligning and engaging people to deliver exceptional results. GlobalEdg’s model is to teach organizations how to integrate these practices into the way they work. GlobalEdg’s methodology is “Leaders Teaching Leaders” and has been used by leaders in many of the world’s most successful companies.

For additional information regarding this press release, please contact Paul Butler at pbutler@globaledg.com or jyoung@globaledg.com or call (203) 304-1820.

GlobalEdg, LLC.       (203) 304-1820 www.GlobalEdg.com

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What Will Your Brand Stand For In 2017?

March 3rd, 2014

New York Times Business Read.

After 127 years, Is the Coca Cola Brand really becoming irrelevant? What do you think?

Is your company brand a competitive advantage???  Thousands of executives who are alumni of our strategic thinking program identify this as one that is most sustainable competitive advantage for top and bottom-line growth (Sustainable means it can drive growth and profit for any organization for 3+ years). How differently will your brand be received in the marketplace in the year 2017? Read about Coke — click on the link below!

http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/01/business/challenges-for-coke-to-stay-on-top.html?rref=business

Learn how to identify and leverage your completive advantage!!!

Join us for our world renown strategic thinking program – STAR (Strategic Thinking – Action – Results) taking place in Boston on May 6-7, 2014.

Information and Registration : http://globaledg.com/workshop2014.php

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Strategic Thinking & Leadership Seminar [Video]

February 19th, 2014

Strategic Thinking & Leadership Seminar

President, Paul Butler of GlobalEdg in Newtown, CT, speaking to executives on how to improve leadership skills and strategically think to improve company profitability. Paul has taught and influenced many corporate executives using his STAR program.

For more information on GlobalEdg products and services visit GlobalEdg’s website @ www.globaledg.com.

‘Follow’ GlobalEdg on Twitter @paulatglobaledg, ‘Like’ us on Facebook, and ‘Follow’ our company page on LinkedIn.

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Why do organizations often add complexity with Strategy & Execution? — “Stuff” gets in the way!

December 3rd, 2013

Does you organization’s approach to strategy and execution becomes bureaucratic and cause people to add complexity? What happens? Stuff gets in the way. By “Stuff” I mean organization structures such as policies /procedures, design elements, behaviors and processes that exist in any organization – no matter the size. We know they exist — even if they or “written or unwritten.”
How do you reduce complexity and simplify your organization? How do you become faster, yet not lose what makes you successful?
Well the important question is how do you simplify and get at that “Stuff”? We have found that a structured and disciplined approach to this dilemma.
Structure must drive simplicity. It is the structure and approach to strategy and execution that makes a difference Here is how we simplify both:
First, focus on strategic thinking not planning. Learning some easy - to - understand principles and an easy- to-remember process —can make a real difference. Principles such as focusing on scope, linking analysis to solutions, being fact-based and using the law of the vital few can serve as a filter for the following process: 1) Determine what is going on; 2) Identify what actions you need to take; and 3) Communicate what will the impact be. This will drive clear thinking and subsequently and a clear set of choices. Think STAR — Strategic Thinking – Action – Results!
Secondly, everything is about execution. However, many organizations create what we call activity cultures. You should focus on Results and not activities. Try this — Work backwards from a due date, with different people committing to deliver results bring. This will bring commitment and clarity, drive a different behavior and makes it easy to understand who is accountable for delivering a plan. It will manage project scope, costs and time in a way that will take unnecessary “Stuff” that slows things down and hurts quality. Here, as with strategy three easy steps make a difference: 1) align those responsible on the initiative; 2) identify and change behaviors that slow implementation; and 3) create a results-based implementation plan with clear accountabilities. Think ACE Align, Collaborate, Execute!

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What are you trying to solve for? —A story

November 17th, 2013

It was a sunny Tuesday morning. Sharon, the Executive Director of a large non-profit pulled her car into the parking lot of her favorite coffee stop. She had trouble sleeping last night. Sharon had recently been promoted to her role and she was consumed with the conversation that took place at last night’s board meeting. She had been in her new role for less than a week. The former Executive Director (who was also her mentor) had recently retired –capping a life-long career at an organization he helped to create. He was an “institution” at the place and in many people’s eyes she was following a legend. The anxiety was related to what was immediately ahead of her. Along with Executive Director leaving, the board of directors were experiencing change. Several long-term appointees, who had been close to the former Executive Director, were replaced. Sharon was impressed with their credentials; but did not really know them. However, she realized that the board conversation was changing –different in what she had experienced in the past. Last night’s meeting began with usual review of agenda items — more operations of the organization, but shifted towards the end with the new board members asking more about the future direction of the organization. The board meeting ended with Sharon being tasked to create a 3 Year Plan for the organization. Although, the organization had a plan, it had not been updated in two years and was sitting on the shelf in her office. Although Sharon had been part of the previous strategic planning committee, she really couldn’t remember much of what was in it. Sharon was beginning to feel anxious.

However, the anxiety stemmed not so much from her own confidence with her new position, but in the circumstances that existed in the community and the consequences for her organization. She did not know where to begin. She too had questions and with her mind racing, she decided to grab her coffee, find a table in the back of the shop and jot down some of her thoughts. She took out her notes from last night’s board meeting and began reviewing them. Sharon began by reviewing the list of questions and many were very specific. How are we doing on our budget? Who on the staff needs training? What are the fundraising events planned for the next month. How was the renovation on the new property going? There were so many, she was having trouble getting her hands around them. Although, she thought she had secured some private space in the corner of the coffee shop, Sharon looked up and saw her neighbor and good friend Larry. “Hi Sharon” he said. “You look like you are deep in thought” Sharon replied “I have a lot on my mind –the new job and all. I need to brief my staff on last night’s board meeting later this morning, and I am trying to collect my thoughts. Larry, you are a seasoned executive, help me here! I have been asked to create a three year plan for our organization. There are so many things at stake here; I don’t know where to begin. I don’t want to go into my staff meeting this morning and look like I don’t know what I am doing. Strategic Planning is not my thing.” I don’t have all the answers, at this point just a list of questions and issues we need to address. “Sharon” Larry replied, “In the beginning that is all you should have, but that is not the place to start.” Great Larry, that helps – here is my list, where do I start?” Sharon said. Larry chuckled and replied, “Sharon, forget the list. “If it could answer one question for me, you would be off to a great start.”

“And what would that question be Larry?”

“You mentioned, that you tossed and turned al night…thinking about the board meeting. So Sharon, what is keeping you awake at night?”

One of the most common (and some say overused) phrases in business today is “what’s keeping you awake at night?” Yet we see how hard it is for people to articulate it. Try this …We have a similar but different question. It builds on the idea, yet puts it into the context of action. What would happen if you began every single meeting with the question “What are we trying to solve for? Would people begin to “think” differently? What would the conversation be like in your organization? What if we took it a step further and asked people to clearly articulate in a way that everyone understood it? What if we took another step and asked them to commit it to writing. Would the direction of the meeting be differently?

We do notice a difference in the people who have adopted this approach. They are able to jumpstart the thinking process by being able to clearly identify, articulate and align to the significance of what is at stake. In other words they gain agreement on what they are trying to solve for FIRST. This is there starting point!

Not knowing where to start is the most fundamental flaw in strategic thinking. Not being deliberate and disciplined about what you are trying to solve for at the highest strategic level dooms you to failure. We have seen it time and time again in all sorts of organizations. People are often slow out of the gate to get started, there is a lack of clarity on where to go first. People feel overwhelmed and misaligned from the outset. It takes forever to get started.

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Strategic Thinking: Do the Opposite! Asking the right questions is what really drives change in an organization.

November 12th, 2013

In the 1990’s one of the highest rated program in the U.S. was Seinfeld. The premise of this program was Jerry Seinfeld and his friends going through everyday life, talking about situations that many of us can relate to.  The personalities of the offbeat characters who make up Jerry’s social circle contribute to the fun. In one classic episode entitled The Opposite, Jerry’s theory that every instinct his friend George has is wrong. George decides to try the opposite, and that proves successful - finds a girlfriend, gets a great job and a nice apartment to live in — all not probable if he had followed his original instinct.  Obvious the sitcom does not always portray real life, but it I entertaining to think about.

So many times we focus on the answers to our questions and we miss the importance of asking the right questions.  If you approach that completely OPPOSITE - flipping the old way of thinking upside down — finding the right questions will definitely lead you to the right solution. Strategic thinking helps drive change in an organization only when the right questions are addressed.  Over the years, we have worked to identify which questions are most relevant.  Whether it is working with a large fortune 500 company or a small non-profit, we have seen the power of asking the RIGHT questions. Think about any situation you have been in …. How many time have you and your teammates jumped to solutions?  Have you ever heard the old saying “we have a solution looking for a problem”? If you approach that completely opposite - flipping the old way of thinking upside down — finding the right questions will definitely lead you to the right solution. Our Strategic Thinking Framework just does that, me and my colleague Jack Mastrianni have worked years to perfect this.  We use an hourglass to graphically display the questions. Next—Why the Hourglass -stay Tuned!

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Is Ryan Air CEO really listeing to Consumers?

October 29th, 2013

Interesting read from the New York Times on Ryan Air — this I the complete opposite of what we are finding with our work on two fronts:

-        Brand positioning as the “low cost” choice is an important one and works as long it provides Total value to  consumer

-        Employees will quickly become less engaged, because they feel they are not providing Total value to the consumer.  

see the link belwo for the article

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/10/29/business/international/ryanair-embarks-on-charm-offensive-as-competition-grows.html

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Challenging Assumptions Leads to Greater Innovation

October 17th, 2013

Challenging Assumptions Leads to Greater Innovation

 

One of the principles we teach as part of our practice is to challenge assumptions and to question accepted beliefs.  It’s important to use this principle in working with any team developing new plans.  It allows for a greater range of possibilities and ultimately could encourage greater innovation in whatever outcome you and your team are pursuing. But this principle isn’t easy to practice.  We, all have a set of mental models - the images, assumptions, and stories, which we carry in our mind about ourselves, other people, institutions, and every aspect of the world. [1]These mental models frame how we see and react to the world and ultimately are what create our assumptions.  Everyone has his or her own mental models, and that explains how two different people can see the same event and describe it very differently. 

 

The difficulty with challenging assumptions is it’s not easy to do.  It requires a lot of personal self awareness and willingness to be open to exploration.  So how to you develop an awareness of your mental models and how do you help your team do the same?  Here are some ideas to get your started.

 

·       Step 1 : Learn to recognize when you are going up the Chris Argyris’ ladder of inference.  The ladder of inference is a thinking process we can get caught in.  The way it works is

·       First, we have an experience – we see something or someone says something to us.  That experience is a data point.  Think about the last meeting you were in where someone quoted some data you disagreed or were unfamiliar with.  Think about how you reacted to that data?  

·       Second, those reactions are how we start to make meaning of the data.  If you disagreed with the data , why? Was it the person presenting it? You’ve got a “history” with this person. Was the data something you didn’t know about? Did the data start to make you angry or excited?

·       Third, we start to draw conclusions from the reactions and meanings we have made about the information. You may have found yourself saying – who does this guy think he is? Or What a great idea but it will never work here? See how assumptions can start to shut down new ideas.

·       Finally, we take actions from our conclusions. Did you jump into the conversation and tell the presenter why that idea won’t work here? Or did you take him out to lunch to learn more?  

·       Step 2:  Staying focused on challenging assumptions requires you to ask about the actual facts. What do we know for sure? What are the real numbers behind the situation? Some examples of questions that can get you actual data are:

·       What is our actual employee turnover?

·       What categories are increasing in our cost of goods?

·       What are sales in our emerging markets?

·       Step 3: Now, make your thinking transparent and ask others to do the same.  By doing this, everyone gets a better sense of how people are thinking.  People can understand where you are coming from and can ask you why you’re thinking what you are thinking.  Some examples:

·       Here is how I am interpreting the increase in our cost of goods?

·       This is how I am thinking about sales in China?

·       This is what I think is going on with our employee turnover. 

·       Ask others how they see the situation.  By getting everyone’s point of view on the situation you get a richer interpretation of the data. 

·       Now that you know how everyone sees the situation, you can assess whether the assumptions are valid or need to be challenged. 

 

This isn’t easy to do but it’s worth the effort to be able to explore new ideas, strategies and innovations that might have a huge impact on your business.  Having a trained facilitator can be helpful for teams to learn how to do challenge assumptions more effectively.  Share with us what successful practices or struggles you’ve had with this principle of Challenging Assumptions.

 

By Julie Young Senior Consultant


[1] Kleiner, Art, Senge, Peter, Ross, Richard, Smith, Bryan, Roberts, Charlotte; The Fifth Discipline Fieldbook, 1994.

 

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What do CEO’s need most.

July 15th, 2013

We have found it so many times …. We work with senior executives all over the world and are often struck by what we find.   Every successful encounter we have had — whether one-on-one, or facilitating a strategic leadership off-site meeting requires people to lead and work in an authentic manner.  It breaks down the barriers and allows real change and innovation to happen. This really came to light based on a coaching session with an executive. After facilitating an off-site retreat attending by the senior leaders of a  large organization, I asked  the  CEO why he felt he had to “put his  game face on” when he was at the office — his response, “it is funny you said that, my wife and I were hosting  a corporate awards ceremony  last month.  After we got back home that night she told me she did not recognize the person she was married to. “What is most important to you outside of “work” is what should also be most important to you inside of work. Click below to read an article that is in the latest issue of Psychology Today. 

http://www.psychologytoday.com/collections/201307/the-asset-ceos-need-most

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“Don’t get too touchy-feely”

July 8th, 2013

We have found it so many times …. We lead hundreds of  team sessions with executives all over the world and are often struck by what we find.  “Don’t get too touch – feely with us — focus on the business issues and really help us get to resolution.”  Every successful strategic planning session we have ever led has required that three principles be identified and brought to life: 1) Be open to what others have to say; 2) Carve out time to better understand who they are and what each member of the team brings to the table and; 3) Have a pulse on what others are saying about them as leaders who are not in the room.   It is then, and only then, can real progress be made.  This is not “touch — feely” only good business!  

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