When I started GlobalEdg in 2006, one of my long-term goals was to continue to teach and coach leaders on how to think strategically, solve problems quickly and build that capability into their organizations. I underestimated how our approach and tools were really going to help make a difference. Not only were we building critical leadership skills, we were helping leaders knock down barriers and drive a culture where innovation could flourish!
What we have been finding
We consistently come across (no matter how large the organization) 6 common roadblocks:
- Functional (Siloed) thinking, multiple sub-cultures, and lack of focus make it difficult to “talk to each other” particularly on strategic issues.
- Resources are wasted in trying to get “people on the same page”
- There is a lack of clarity around what people are really trying to solve for
- Open to new ways of thinking “We have always done it here this way” honest assumptions are not challenged in a non-threatening way –
- People are never really empowered because they have not been trained on a common approach on how to solve problems
- They focus on the right answers versus the most important questions.
The Implication — Less alignment, focus and slow uninformed decision making
Innovation stalls because people tend to approach problems in different ways … with different disciplines… and even used different descriptors and languages. These multiple and divergent approaches to problem-solving aren’t unusual.
So, what can you do?
- Assess current strategic thinking and alignment capability. What is the information telling you?
- Implement a proven, systematic, strategic thinking process for analyzing and implementing business opportunities
- Train cross-functionally as people learn from each other and can practice using the process to demonstrate proficiency
- Use a common toolkit which allows you to begin applying the process to a real-life business opportunity/challenge
- Utilize a shared strategic communications framework for written analysis and “presentations”
- Use senior leaders as faculty and coaches
*Behavior does change as our research shows improvement in the three key areas:
- Focus: a 90% increase in the ability to focus on the most important issues
- Decision Making: 53% increase in fact- based decision making
- Alignment: Increase in alignment of project plans to strategies by 68%
In the last 10+ years our — STAR (Strategic Thinking – Action – Results) alumni have grown to over 3,000 people. Many have gone on to build great brands, turn around failing business or launch successful startups. They have applied the learning and scored incredible wins.
For more information about diagnostics and bringing the capability into your organization, including certification programs –please contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org
*Source: Think-to-Win Unleashing the Power of Strategic Thinking, McGraw-Hill 2015 http://www.thinktowin.net/book.html