“The needs of the many outweigh...

business-goal-planning How are your recent leadership decisions impacting your business tensions?
...the needs of the few...or the one.”Over the last few months, this dialog between First Officer Spock and Captain Kirk in the 1982 movie, Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan, keeps popping up based on many of our coaching conversations thus far this year. If you are a fan of the genre, then you know the circumstances behind the brief dialog between these two characters. The reason it keeps coming up is it highlights one of the key challenges all leaders face in a VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) business environment. The challenge of leading through competing performance tensions in the business!While the quote speaks to competing tensions between the many versus the few or the one, the idea of competing performance tensions is not new. What is new is the context in which these tensions reveal themselves as leaders navigate the new reality of today’s business environment. The three...
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“...Inspire through values...

values21 How is your culture aligned to your organizational values?
 ...and motivation takes care of itself."One of the most visible effects the current VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) business environment has been the impact on organizational culture. We define organizational culture in our leadership and business coaching practice as the shared set of Values, Beliefs, Norms and Attitudes within an organization that guide the Behavior of its members. At the foundation of this definition are the core values of the organization that become the guiding principles of its leaders as they model the desired culture.What we’ve observed over the last four years is less about the values themselves and more about the struggle leaders face in aligning their core values to the desired culture. The title quote from Tony Hsieh, the late founder of Zappos, highlights the point. When we look at the relationship between values and culture, we can state it in simple terms as Values + Alignment = Culture....
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“Are you a GPS...

business-direction-compass How are you fully leveraging your operational leaders?
...or a Compass?”One of the common topics that routinely comes up in our executive coaching discussions with senior leaders, is understanding the distinction between strategic leadership and operational leadership. It is an important distinction that we’ve outlined in all our “Missing Piece” books. Recently, I watched an interview with Ken Frazier, former CEO of Merck & Co. who touched on this topic. During the interview he used the title phrase as his way of making the distinction, especially for leaders in the C-Suite.We define strategic leadership as the level of leadership that sets the direction for the organization. This includes creating and socializing the vision, mission and values of the organization. It also includes creating and executing the strategy for the business and how the business competes in its markets and industries. It is typically the realm of the leaders at the top of the organization. The CEO, Executive Director, Business...
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Optics...

Measurable-Impact How are your business outcomes creating impact?
 ...or OutcomesSeveral months ago, I was having a coaching conversation with a client where the conversation went down a path of how a situation looked versus how it was in reality. In that moment, it occurred to me how impactful that concept was to leaders of any organization! To be able to separate perception of how a situation or issue looks or feels from the factual truth about a situation or issue is the level of critical thinking crucial to effective leadership.As we put these words to paper, most leaders are winding down the current business year and putting the final touches on their plans for the next business year. If they are like our clients, they’ve documented the strategies, operation and tactical successes for the past year. In addition to the summary of success, we press further to have leaders document what they base their successes on. This prevents a...
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We are all Products...

core-competencies How is your business capacity and capability supporting your strategy and how do you know?
...of Our Capability.A frequent topic of discussion in our leadership coaching practice in the last several months is how to manage burnout. When we explore the topic more closely, a common theme arises to the surface. It seems despite the many issues of the time (great resignation, post-pandemic uncertainty, global supply chain, etc.), leaders are still trying to achieve their original goals as if these issues simply didn’t exist.In truth, every business, for-profit or non-profit, public or private, large or small, operates on two related and interdependent variables: Capacity and Capability. Capacity consists of the assets and inputs, both tangible and intangible, the organization has on hand or can be readily acquired. Capability consists of the collective skills, knowledge and attitudes the organization leverages to conduct their business strategy and effectively compete in their markets. All businesses must assess their competitive strategy through the lens of their executable capacity and their...
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“That was Then...

Past-Present How will your business cycle end, starting now?
...This is Now!”As we continue to work with organizational leaders in both for-profit and non-profit businesses, a common theme has emerged that resonates across them all. This current business cycle is a recalibration to the new reality (not new normal) of the current VUCA (Volatile, Uncertain, Complex, Ambiguous) business environment. The inspiration for the title for this month’s discussion comes from an S.E. Hinton book by the same title published in the early 1970’s. It’s also been a movie (1985) and a song (1986) by The Monkees music group. However, we are using it to drive home a crucial reminder to today’s 21st Century Leaders as they adapt to the current VUCA Business environment.Specifically, the focus is on the Operational Support Elements that bridge the gap between the Strategic Thinking process that informs organizational direction and the Tactical Execution that produces the desired results for sustainable success. In our “Missing Piece”...
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Leadership is responsible for 94% of quality problems...

business-quality-control How are you gaining 94% improvement in your organization?
...so it is leadership's responsibility to help people work smarter, not harder.These words by W. Edwards Deming are a call to action for today’s leaders to help them focus on the right business goals to execute their business strategies. You may recall Deming as the statistician who made popular the Plan-Do-Check-Act Cycle and considered the father of modern quality control. It is also relevant we consider his thoughts as today’s leaders address the challenges of achieving their business strategies in an unstable economy, an uncertain regulatory environment and untapped globalization.Against this backdrop are elements of the alignment process that fall between Strategy and Goals in the Business Alignment Maturity Model. These layers often go unnoticed and unattended by leaders until it is far too late. The focus here is the Structure layer of the Business Alignment Maturity Model. The Structure layer prompts leaders to look at their People, Processes and Technology...
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