Archive for February, 2018

Strategic planning: Evolution of a process

Evolution of strategic planning and management

Planning is an act of formulating a course of action. It is in fact a process!  Strategic planning, it is argued, began with the ancient Greeks who developed a planned approach to warfare, but it was in the 1920’s that the Harvard Business School, developed one of the early strategic planning methodologies for the modern industrial age.

Strategic planning reached its peak in the 1960’s and 70’s as a core management tool characterized as “management by objective”. It was about control and efficiency within an industrial age mind-set, but by the 1980’s and 90’s, a different view was emerging. People tended to think of strategic planning as a product or thing – that the focus was on producing a document called a Plan.

Experience has since told us that with this mindset ‘the Plan’ was destined to gather dust and be ignored. Read More…

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Creating psychological safety in teams

I get to work with teams and groups of all shapes and sizes; from dusty mining crews, to cool urbane executive teams and all in between.  You do not need to be with them long to get a sense of how well the members of the team gel. In other words, the level of trust in the group.

Back in 2013, Steve Zuieback wrote an article, Trust: Cause, Effect or Process, building on the work of Jack Gibb. His Trust Cycle shows 6 steps or actions, that if repeated builds trust in teams. These include,

  • Sharing critical information
  • Experiencing openness
  • Experience more trust
  • Commit to common work
  • Learn as you go
  • Create and document results

In addition to these, my colleague Tim Dalmau often talks about “creating safety” in groups. By this he means psychological safety.

Psychological safety means that there is certainty (in terms of behaviors and decisions by those in power) and people feel safe. Read More…

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Bold Herakles: An heroic organizational archetype

The Greek myths are full of heroes, men and women who lived a long time ago and dealt with the gods directly – often, it appears, on equal terms. The most popular of the hero stories were the stories of Herakles the hero who was not only a man but a god.

There are many tales of Herakles. Picture, if you will, a man of great energy and drive, plenty of good will towards people and a tendency to take the most direct path to any goal. He is good-humoured, generous and courageous. On the other hand, compared to other heroes like Odysseus, Perseus and Jason, he is not very clever, nor particularly charming. His lack of subtlety is symbolised in his choice of the club as his preferred weapon. He has a violent temper and an enormous appetite. He is macho man. Read More…

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Would you like to make better sense of what is happening in these unpredictable times and what is being asked of you?

Sometimes taking time out, having a chat and consequently being able to see things differently can help. 

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