The Weekly Pulse is my content curation and my highlights from readings, books, podcasts, insights, and everything I discovered during the week.
So, let’s go with some discoveries from the week!
#1 – Transforming Corner-Office Strategy Into Frontline Action
#2 – Parkinson’s Law
#3 – The Project Economy Has Arrived
#4 – Reframing Growth Strategy in a Digital Economy
#5 – Is Execution Where Good Strategies Go to Die
Transforming Corner-Office Strategy Into Frontline Action
Source: Harvard Business Review
Author: Orit Gadiesh and James L. Gilbert
Summary: We all know the benefits of pushing decision-making from the CEO’s office out to the far W reaches of an organization. Fleeting business opportunities can be seized quickly. Products and services better reflect subtle shifts in customers’ preferences. Empowered workers are motivated to innovate and take risks.
“… These companies employ what we call a strategic principle, a memorable and actionable phrase that distills a company’s corporate strategy into its unique essence and communicates it throughout the organization…“
“… Our principle continues to let partners develop new practices, markets, and interests quickly and without splintering the firm. It has given us the capacity to evolve and endure…“
“… The ability of frontline employees to execute a company’s strategy without close central oversight is vital as the pace of technological change accelerates and as companies grow rapidly and become increasingly decentralized…”
Source: The Economist
Author: C. Northcote Parkinson
Summary: The report of the Royal Commission on the Civil Service was published on Thursday afternoon. Time has not permitted any comment in this week’s issue of The Economist on the contents of the Report. But the startling discovery enunciated by a correspondent in the following article is certainly relevant to what should have been in it.
“… The discovery of this formula and of the general principles upon which it is based has, of course, no emotive value…”
“… No attempt has been made to inquire whether departments ought to grow in size. Those who hold that this growth is essential to gain full employment are fully entitled to their opinion…”
“… This fact established, it now becomes possible to state Parkinson’s Law in mathematical form, thus: In any public administrative department not actually at war the staff increase may be expected to follow this formula: x=(2km+P)/n…”
The Project Economy Has Arrived
Source: Harvard Business Review
Author: Antonio Nieto-Rodriguez
Summary: By 2027, some 88 million people around the world are likely to be working in project management, and the value of project-oriented economic activity will have reached $20 trillion. But research shows that only 35% of the projects undertaken worldwide are successful—which means we’re wasting an extravagant amount of time, money, and opportunity.
“… To take advantage of the new project economy, companies need a new approach to project management…”
“… They must adopt a project-driven organizational structure, ensure that executives have the capabilities to effectively sponsor projects, and train managers in modern project management…”
“… Project sponsors and managers today need strong leadership and change management capabilities…”
Reframing Growth Strategy in a Digital Economy
Source: MIT Sloan Management Review
Author: Didier Bonnet and Pete Maulik
Summary: Digital technology is radically changing the behavior of individuals, corporations, and entire societies, and disruption seems to be the new normal. Big corporations need new strategies in a world of digital disruptors. That means setting ambitious visions and coming up with concrete action plans. The new C-suite mantra: “What’s your play?”
“… From Six Sigma to agile development, strategies within today’s modern organizations are devoted to constant process improvement…”
“… And remember, for any growth plan to succeed, you must have a plan to catalyze action across the company. This isn’t plain sailing, so how do you go about it? Give your team a common enemy to rally against…”
“… Big companies don’t lack ambition. More often than not, their primary challenge is getting leadership to put sufficient tension on the company to start the digital transition…”
Is Execution Where Good Strategies Go to Die
Source: Harvard Business Review
Author: Mark Bonchek
Summary: Execution is often the place where good strategies go to die. But it doesn’t have to be. As you’re developing your strategy, take into account the thinking styles and mental models of the people who will be responsible for its execution. Involve them in the process of creating the strategy, to generate a sense of ownership and tap into their collective wisdom. Strategy is inherently about creating something new or getting somewhere new.
“… Execution doesn’t have to be the place good strategies go to die. As you are developing your strategy, take into account the thinking styles and mental models of the people who will be responsible for its execution…”
“… The fourth gap between strategy and execution is in measurement and metrics. This, too, is a reflection of mental models…”
“… Those who create the strategy are often thinking about the destination, particularly the opportunity and intended outcomes. Meanwhile, those responsible for implementation are thinking about the realities of what it will take to get there. When the strategy is presented, they naturally begin to ask questions about risks and roadblocks…”
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