Balancing Short-Term Tactics and Long-Term Strategy

How do you make sure today's actions are supporting the long-term goals? … [Read more...]

Embracing Cross-Functionality in the Organization

Enjoy this week's podcast---Embracing Cross-Functionality in the Organization … [Read more...]

Getting Started: Translating Ideas Into Action

Getting Started: Translating Ideas Into Action by Laura Stack #productivity

"Human beings must have action; and they will make it if they cannot find it." -- Albert Einstein, German/American physicist. "Ideas are a commodity. Execution of them is not." Michael Dell, founder of Dell Computers. When it comes to productivity and success, execution trumps all. No matter how well you've designed your mission/vision statement or planned out your strategy, nothing happens if you don't get it done. Ultimately, I think mystery writer Agatha Christie said it best: "The secret of getting ahead is getting started." Christie took her own advice to heart, writing 72 books, 15 short story collections, and a long-running play, The Mousetrap. She's still the best-selling novelist of all time, four decades after her death. And she accomplished all this while indulging her … [Read more...]

The Positive Negative: When “Don’t” is the Right Strategic Choice

The Positive Negative: When "Don't" is the Right Strategic Choice by Laura Stack #productivity

"Never interrupt your enemy when he is making a mistake." — Napoleon Bonaparte, legendary French general and emperor. "You’ve got to think about big things while you’re doing small things, so that all the small things go in the right direction." -- Alvin Toffler, American writer and futurist. The thesis of my upcoming book, Execution IS the Strategy (Berrett-Koehler Publishers, March 2014), is simple: business moves so fast today that you must empower front-line workers to take strategy into their own hands, moving ahead with what works and executing in the moment to maximize organizational success. We can no longer leave strategy to executive teams that plan 3-5 years ahead, because multiyear plans go stale before the toner dries on the printouts. Think about it: Do you remember what … [Read more...]

Making Time for Strategy and Tactics

"All men can see these tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved." -- Sun-Tzu, Chinese strategist. "Take time to deliberate, but when the time for action comes, stop thinking and go in." -- Napoleon Bonaparte, French general and (later) Emperor Which function should demand the lion's share of a leader’s time: short-term tactics, or long-term strategy? The short answer, as is often the case, is “it depends.” Good leadership requires a continual balancing act. On the one hand, you've got to keep the team fueled up and running smoothly on a day-to-day basis; on the other, you have to set strategic priorities and plan for the future. For those at the executive leadership level, the stakes become especially high. Let's look at a few points … [Read more...]