Leading to Outcomes

Leading to Outcomes

One of the more successful strategies I have seen managers take in their organizations has been shifting their focus from managing the process to leading to outcomes. In the age of employee empowerment, one of the best ways to allow your team to feel like they have a say in the work is to allow them some flexibility in the process and approach. As long as they deliver the desired outcome, they should be able to define the path. The best executive is the one who has sense enough to pick good men to do what he wants done, and self-restraint to keep from meddling with them while they do it. Theodore Roosevelt I would suggest that the act of simply managing for outcomes isn't enough in the current corporate environment. Setting goals and offering flexibility in the approach by Leading to Outcomes is a far more effective approach. If you retain the concept of managing in the approach, you won't achieve the full...
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Build a Strong Foundation for Innovation

Build a Strong Foundation for Innovation

Those of you who know me won't be shocked by the fact that I have a serious passion for innovation. I believe you always need to be constantly pushing your organization (and your life) forward. You need to focus on reinventing what you do and how you do it as often as possible to drive new value for your customers and your organization. To succeed, you need to build a strong foundation for innovation.Companies like GE or IBM who have consistently changed their business sold off core components, reinvented their primary revenue base, and evolved how they execute based on the demands of an evolving market. These are great examples of companies that innovate very well.But their innovative success isn't based solely on a mindset, fancy frameworks, or crazy wild innovators (although that helps). To earn the right to be innovative they first had to be exceptional companies. (more…)...
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Connecting Strategy and Execution

Connecting Strategy and Execution

I will be speaking next week at the Bank-IT Conference on the topic of "Building a Full Stack Strategy: Integrating Strategy from Business Vision to Tech Execution" so I felt that I would share some of my thinking more broadly here. While my discussion next week is focused on the Technology area, connecting strategy to execution is critical across the organization. Integrated strategy drives execution excellence.Too many organizations build their strategy in a silo. The strategy is separate from the business lines and supporting organizations required to execute. In many organizations, you'll find "Strategic Management" offices or "CEO Strategy Board" functions. These teams operate at the highest level of the organization and focus on the macro issue and strategy. They then pass their plans and white papers off to the supporting teams on the assumption that will result in the execution of those plans.(more…)...
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What Are You Managing?

What Are You Managing?

As a business owner you know that you are often called upon to wear many hats, working long hours to ensure the job gets done, your customer is satisfied, your staff are paid, next week's marketing is complete, and your taxes and government remittances are taken care of.  After all it's been said many times that being an Entrepreneur is one of the most rewarding career options out there - provided you're willing to work 100 hour weeks.But why don't executives and Senior Managers in big business have to work those types of hours? After all their troubles and commitments are many multiples the size of your own.  How do they manage to better balance their work and non-work lives?The primary difference is that in a traditional "job" career you are given a narrow scope of work that is generally focused on the area of the business you know best and can bring the most focused value to.  In a...
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Appropriate Management Controls for Small Business

Appropriate Management Controls for Small Business

For those that read this blog regularly or who have spoken with me at one of the various networking events that I regularly participate in you know that my passion is in creating growth through value innovation, but I have had a couple of conversations in the past week with colleagues in other businesses about management controls so I thought I'd share my thoughts on specifically management controls and small business.One of my pet peeves (and one of the main reasons I haven't spent a lot of time in larger more bureaucratic organizations) is process for the sake of process, and I truly believe that management controls used poorly constitute exactly this problem.  One of the most innovation stifling innovations is the standard operating procedure, specifically if it implemented before there is a specific need for control or before an organization has grown to a size that would justify requiring that level of control.When speaking with one colleague he demonstrated for...
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