The customer at the window, the wolf at the door

I recently kicked off a series of posts on insulation that’s meant to talk about the critical ways leaders can become disconnected—and hopefully provide some ideas on how they can fight against it.

I listed four kinds of insulation in the introductory post:

  • From the larger organizational context
  • From the work being done on the ground
  • From wider communities of practice
  • From the marketplace

In this post I want to dig into the last one, insulation from the marketplace.

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Heads down

I recently kicked off a series of posts on insulation that’s meant to talk about the critical ways leaders can become disconnected—and hopefully provide some ideas on how they can fight against it.

I listed four kinds of insulation in the introductory post:

  • From the larger organizational context
  • From the work being done on the ground
  • From wider communities of practice
  • From the marketplace

In this post I want to dig into the third, insulation from wider communities of practice.

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Haven’t we got people for that?

I recently kicked off a series of posts on insulation that’s meant to talk about the critical ways leaders can become disconnected—and hopefully provide some ideas on how they can fight against it.

I listed four kinds of insulation in the introductory post:

  • From the larger organizational context
  • From the work being done on the ground
  • From wider communities of practice
  • From the marketplace

In this post I want to dig into the second, insulation from the work being done on the ground.

Continue reading

Rebel without a cause

I recently kicked off a series of posts on insulation that’s meant to talk about the critical ways leaders can become disconnected—and hopefully provide some ideas on how they can fight against it.

I listed four kinds of insulation in the introductory post:

  • From the larger organizational context
  • From the work being done on the ground
  • From wider communities of practice
  • From the marketplace

In this post I want to dig into the first, insulation from the larger organizational context.

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Insulation

I get to meet a lot of leaders in my day-to-day work, from C-level executives to line-level managers and everything in between. And I get to see them at their best–fresh off the victory of getting X million dollars for establishing an enterprise content management (ECM) program–and their worst–in the middle of a mess they can’t fix, with their jobs (or maybe even their careers) on the line.

There are lots of interesting things to note about leaders in both of these positions, but the one that’s been on my mind lately is the importance of struggling against insulation:

  • From the larger organizational context
  • From the work being done on the ground
  • From the wider community of practice for a domain of expertise
  • From the wider marketplace

I want to kick off a series of posts over the next few weeks that look at this problem and how leaders at all levels can overcome it. As I let the ideas percolate, I’d love to hear from folks out there who’ve faced this issue themselves, or worked with a leader who did–what are your thoughts and experiences out there? Jump in, and let’s get the conversation started!

Do we really need a Chief Strategy Officer?

After taking a break last post to review Open Leadership, by Charlene Li, I want to return to corporate strategy.

For those of you keeping score, I spent a few posts walking through a hands-on approach to building out strategy that I’ve used successfully at many clients.

Today, however, I want to step back a bit and get a little philosophical by considering whether strategy is something organizations should address through a dedicated department that rolls up to a Chief Strategy Officer.

Spoiler alert: I don’t have a definitive answer. So if you’re looking for one, you need to go somewhere else. But I have some thoughts on the matter that I want to explore a bit here.

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Alignment (part three)

I’m in the middle of a series of posts focused on corporate strategy that are going to be part theory and part practice, a way to mine the work I’ve been doing over the last couple of years for insights. Hopefully folks out there will find them not only valuable, but good conversation starters for sharing their own thoughts and experiences.

In the last post, I began demonstrating an exercise that can help turn a laundry list of aspirations into a prioritized (and actionable) set of goals. We got as far as determining the Top Two goals that the strategy would support and then using the remaining items on the laundry list to formulate guiding principles.

In this post, I want to take the exercise further to show how to connect your guiding principles to the capabilities and projects needed to deliver them.

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