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“Strategic fallout points”; is a term used to explain how innovative forms of new strategic thinking starkly differ from the norms of academic strategic practice and design.

13 Oct

We all have “strategic fall out points”. Mainly, it is because of the nature of our strategic reality changing still even today, the way we have to do things keeps changing. You can’t really compete in the world if you don’t understand it, and how change changes things.

Consequently “Strategic fall out points” occur where we do things in an “unorthodox” or radically different manner from the set norm, as taught academically, to stay both efficient and effective.

Even academic and qualified people also, deviate from certain “set piece” applications and taught theory, and then they fall out on that point, with the strategic norm…that is.

Surely no one is still “brave” enough to say that “one size strategy fits all” anymore – when looking at strategy from a academic perspective, no one set perspective can set the tone for all the practice of strategy existing, for all types of business and projects today still, which can be used throughout all industries and across the globe. No, even strategy and how it’s done traditionally has changed, strategy today is now more concerned with people… than at any other time in our human history…

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Finding leaders fit to lead is a question of perception and specifics

30 Apr

How we perceive leaders, and their characteristics, is how we will formulate a leadership role and function. It is seldom based on facts, in the main it’s more of a personal flavour we can or want to associate with, perception is seldom informed, and it is a condition, of conditioning. We see leaders the way they are portrayed in the media, by comrades, equals, friends, family, piers, and because of their status.

Therefore; developing leaders is no easy task. As we first have to change people’s perception about what leadership is, it is not a charismatic outlook, a fairy-tale, or a comic book hero. Leaders are fallible, mortal, and have a history each. This binds them, good and bad.

Leadership therefore is not a condition, a state of existence that is effective at a certain point of its life cycle, in performing specific and required functions, of whatever nature required well. No, leadership is a chosen action that is circumstantial, a leader does not lead daily, or every waken moment, no, it’s by choice. We make a conscious decision to act the part, and take the lead, and direct, command, and organise. It takes very little talent, but it does stake a lot of is confidence that comes from experience.

It never ends there either. Looking for the right raw material and trying to mould someone into a leader has proven to be a hit and miss affair. As leadership requirements differ from day-to-day, from situation to situation, and so I can site many instances. The crux of this matter is; it is never just that one thing, or two, or three or even a list, which will guarantee a good profile of leadership ability ever.

Psychology, science and academia even military tradition have also given it a go, and still, there is no one size fits all.

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Strategy without a solid corner stone, sociology – will become a mental stonewall, built with only bias and denial.

9 Dec

info

We are our own worst enemy

How many times have you heard that? Indeed it true, we are our own worst enemy, especially when it comes to neglecting to think about or do certain things that we don’t want or like, somehow we almost instinctively steer away from that which we don’t like or want. However, it’s not always ideal, especially where its things we have to deal with, then simply avoiding them does not mean they don’t exist any more, or will go away, we have all I am sure practiced this behaviour, when we start using avoidance, or denial, then we are in fact just poisoning our mental well-being (or capacity).

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The Biggest problem with corporate strategy is trying to predict the future and to “dictate the marketplace.”!!!

21 Oct

Almost all strategic planning sessions start off with the vision, mission, goals, values, and objectives scenario – yes? This begs the question, how good is our track record for predicting the future – I bet it’s pretty bad?

Maybe it’s time to become radical, and to totally change our strategic start up design perspective. If I tell you that there is a far better way to hit the bull, more often than not would you be interested?

Would you consider yet another reality; May I change that perspective, and let’s see if that is still all true.

(My theory is if we change our perspective and not just our perceptions, we will get a much better look at the real problem, and the way we look at things, then creates scenarios in the brain, that keeps changing with the new perspective).

Because if we only believe we can’t predict the future with much certainty then we won’t bother planning it in much detail, will we? Safe to say; No one can predict with up-most certainty anything that is in the future, let alone what will happen next week…

Nevertheless, forecasting is of the up-most importance in business.

Therefore, strategist, and forecaster alike need to probe beyond that curtain of uncertainty, and predict what the eventuality could/ would be like if we stay, start the course with our current strategy.

(The academics teach us to apply the laws of averages here, to find the average, and then to summarise risk, and come up with a worst case, average and best case scenario.)

Now days we see a change, away from that norm, towards looking at broad spectrum analyse of strategic challenges – by firstly looking at both internal (environment) as well as external (environment) and scanning it for defects, and misplaced links, between structure and strategy…, translating into emergent strategy; There are two approaches to strategy making – a deliberate or emergent strategy. The deliberate strategy is analytical and structured – Vision Statement, Mission Statements, Strengths and Weaknesses (SWOT), Objectives etc.

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Enhancing our “Predatory Traits” with CAPS!!!

21 Oct

Predators are focused on a – Revolutionary Radical Strategy – that is always well conceived, well planned, time-phased and engineered to be flexible, with true resilience and vigilance thus epitomising the symbol of the predator character. Where we act cool and calm, calculated in our aims, we are preserving our strength and not showing our weakness until the decisive moment. Designed and equipped for precision styled work. The predator waits his turn; he ambushes his pray and avoids conflict by doing so. Poised for that decisive moment, at which a calculated blow should be rendered, with precision; towards the “strategic target” of the body. Here he uses all his strength, power and tactics – to make the conclusion – final and the conflict brief. His strategy reduces any possibility of on-going confrontation, thus avoiding tension, as well as avoiding the possibility of injury to him-self or allows the objective to escape and evade.

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We are still not getting the basics of strategy right, are we?

14 Oct

We need to do this strategic, we have a strategy, and it’s our strategy… You hear about it all the time. Executives like to say “strategy” this “strategy“ that, we hear it a lot, then it sounds big, complicated and even important.

When in fact it is far from it…strategy is not always complicated

Strategy in itself – at the basic level – is very simple actually; it’s dealing with the details that can make it seem complicated.

We seem to get stuck in the details of the scheme mostly, and not really in strategy making itself.

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Looking at the basic concepts of cognitive Strategic Management

23 Jun

Background

Strategic management should exist at all levels of management for it to have any value and impact. This is well taught and understood, however, we never teach cognitive strategy, the part where we need critical thinking, to put it all together, the theory and the practice. With that said, it must be seen to be overlapping and intersecting, like limbs on a body. For the theory on strategy is all good, but without the mental maps, and critical thinking we can’t draw strategic deductions, then things are just organised chaos.

Strategy needs a tight fit between mental and practical application. Because it gets easily influenced both by internal aspects; like culture, perception, structure, policy, politics, finances, perception and bias, to name but a few, all of them way to powerful forces to trust not to interfere.

 

Thant’s just internally, then we still need to go externally, starting with the immediate environment surrounding the habitat; legislation, rates and taxes, infrastructure, government policy, local area challenges, etc… The point is strategy is part of something; therefore it connects to everything else, before it gets its own character and purpose.

Strategy derived from a need, a necessity, tends to serves a purpose. It aligns parts to form a whole, to steer an agenda with.

This process needs more insight; the thin line that joins cognitive and relative, as we navigate strategy we find many more diversions, setting in. Everyone and thing seems to want to divert us. Therefore it’s important to be systematic and critical when thinking, and applying a strategic mind set. It requires a set process…that will unite and focus efforts… Continue reading

Strategy and leadership development will be the two cardinal keys to future survival of organisations

19 Jun

Strategy and leadership development requires skills and talents, as well as experience to cement them. Without the talents and skills, you will never develop beyond a set point. Skills are about a leaders’ ability to use leverage and maximize the impact of his or her people’s efforts through the utilization of both leadership and strategy. True strategic Leaders harness the whole, by being able to direct its parts, so that the organisations power is released to achieve goals with, fast and accurately.  It’s truly a mix of skills, and talents required to get the right mix to become a strategist. Continue reading

Business Modelling

12 Jan

Strategic Planning; the Business of applying and finding Best Practices and Business Models.

First off, we are not talking about a business plan here, that’s something totally different. We are talking about a business model.

Strategic planning has to become a systematic and procedural affair to become an effective management tool.

We have to model the very process of strategic management for our organisations, and our selves first.  So that it becomes one “game plan” for all to use and identify with, with one set of rules, played and followed by all.

This brings about perfection, and unity of effort. Anything else is just scattered mumbo-jumbo. Where we have diverged strategic models of design in one habitat, we end up with diverging effort, and over utilisation of resources, conflicting efforts – very little else delivers like unity of effort.

What are these best practices, or business models we speak of?

A business model or business practice or best practice is this;

  1. best practice is a method or technique that has consistently shown results
  2. best practice is a technique or methodology that, through experience and research, has been proven to reliably lead to a desired result
  3. best practice is the recognized methods of correctly running businesses or providing services
  4. A Business model is The plan implemented by a company to generate revenue and make a profit from operations
  5. A business model isn’t something you build from the ground up
  6. A business model is a document describing the operations of a business including the components of the business, the functions, and design.

Best practices could be seen as the tactics and Models as the strategy of the business…

  • Tactics; are how we do things we planned, with what we have, in the time we have been given
  • Strategy; is with what, where, when, and how we want things done, as well as who get to do it and how much will it cost.
  • This requires structure, and systems, to merge both tactics and strategy with.

Models requires systems design

Creating systems; is a business process – that of systems design. Here we look at best practices to base our design on. A best practice is a method or technique that has consistently shown results superior to those achieved via other means, and becomes a benchmark or standard to which a task must comply with.

In addition, a “best” practice can also evolve to become better – with the use of technology -as improvements are discovered. The process of developing and following a standard way of doing things that multiple people can use – saves time and money in training – and error finding. It creates steps, a recipe to follow, with measures of time and ingredients, that translates into a process that becomes part of a system, working to deliver a result.

Systems follow logical steps, translating into logical action that then becomes action plans or items.  Action plans are subordinate to strategic plans, they give action to the planning, with the use of systems, resources, logistics, financial value (cost), time frames, to deliver a pre-set outcome – that delivers a required specific result or output over time…

PROCCESSES ARE PROCDURAL; their aim is to create order, and structured work flow and packages. Only where work is broken up and distributed as packaged to create a chain of events that delivers a result, can we talk about systems design then.  

Strategic planning has to become a best practice, and have a business model, in our management sphere today, for us to have any cardinal use for it.

This can be done when we have a system for design that everyone follows when designing a strategic plan. This is for establish organisations only. New and emerging will follow a totally different paradigm.

The steps are;

  1. Asses your history; so that you may not repeat the same mistakes made in the past…
  2. Determine your customer; are they still our customer and why, if not, who is and why, focus, on fulfilling wants, needs, and requirements. Review your market share and start prospecting with new markets. Get a grasp on new entrants, technology and product.
  3. Asses your current situation; with an environmental scan and project where you will be, and then want to be. Then predict your cost effectiveness and survivability.
  4. Perform a GAP analysis; devise four scenarios; worst case, better, ideal, and ultimate.  
  5. Question your business assumptions; what are we doing right, good, wrong and not at all? What should we be doing more off and then also less of? To eliminate waste.
  6. Evaluate your current structure; is it still in line with the current strategy? (or even the original structure). Perform a CAPS analysis; Concept Attributes, Perception, Systems – Analysis to find the deficits and strengths. Attributes that will typically emerge are;
    1.     Alienation of core function and focus; change in directions have alienated the core function, we need to redesign or
    2.     Structure is not efficient and effective anymore
    3.     Technology has changed and
    4.     Under resourced
    5.     Red tape, administrative chock points
    6.     Lack of focus and drive
    7.     Lack of experience and expertise
    8.     Lack of capacity and or ability
    9.     Lack of training, or sub standard training
    10.     Lack of direction and effective managing
    11.     Total collapse of support functions
    12.     Lack of command and control
    13.     Maintenance and repair has lapsed or fallen behind
    14.     Too much diversification
    15.     Calibration; of the vision and mission statement, is this still what we want, need, and do?
    16.     Calibration of the culture, the values and principles we hold onto as organisation
    17.     Perform a needs assessment, what do we need to become…

10. Determine the main future thrust and focus, the core business, from today on and forward..

  1.     Projects that need to get special attention to realign the organisation;

                                          i.    Identify; KPA – Key Performance Areas, and KPC Key performance Criteria

                                        ii.    Quantify: Who, What, Where, When, How, and How much

                                       iii.    Qualify: That this is the best course of action, research, test assumptions, mediate, consult, train, teach, staff, equip and implement…in phases…evaluate and fine tune.

                                       iv.    Budget; work out the budget

  1.     Operations cost
  2.     Insurance
  3.     Training needs and requirements
  4.     Infrastructure and logistics
  5.     Transport and telecoms etc…

11. Define responsibility and accountability, enter into contracts, and draw up new job descriptions, structures, positions, and posts. Interview and assign/ place.

12. Educate and communicate, network and teach, mentoring and counselling, enforce discipline.

13. Manage and measure, day to day action plans –track  progress, rollout, and KPA’s

14. Revise, and repair

15. Develop a medium, long and extra long range consecutive plan

16. Monitor the progress

17. Have strategic reviews at least quarterly

18. Have tactical reviews weekly

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A Few Things about Having (Problems) You Ought to Consider

25 Nov

 

The first thing you will hear is, “We have a problem”…

Whenever we have a problem then we need a fix…fixing problems is what this article is all about.

Therefore, it stands to reason that we look into the pitfalls of addressing problems.  It does shed some light on the road well traveled going there when negotiating problems.

Whenever problems arise, get it down on paper, and then draft a problem statement, define in words what is wrong.

Drafting “Problem Statements” are good precursors to what’s to be expected next VS. where you are now.

It orientates both people and groups.

Problem statements are the pre-cursor to what lies ahead, a list of things describing a problem, and what we can we expect, shortly, if we act versus if we don’t. Especially when looking at ways and means of solving these problems in a business sense. Then having problems on paper is always a good idea…thus the first step in solving problems.

So what is a problem stamen exactly?

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