Focused Momentum

How to Discern Operational Targets from Strategic Objectives.

Focused Momentum

If it is the start of a new year, it is goal setting time. If you are like most, you reviewed how well you performed against last year’s goals and then updated this year’s objectives with incremental adjustments and made a renewed commitment to keep them top of mind throughout the year.

Break the Cycle of Setting and Forgetting this year's strategic goals

Focused Momentum

The start of a year provides an ideal opportunity to define new goals and set a new course for the coming year, and no year has been more anticipated than the start of 2021.


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Mergers and consolidations: concepts to embrace NOW

Focused Momentum

This article is part of our Strategic Thinking During a Pandemic series. Last week I was invited to participate in a panel on how to support the nonprofit sector through the pandemic.

Our new normal: how we have responded to these strange times.

Focused Momentum

Welcome to our new conference room, playground, living room, gym, and oh yeah, COVID-veggie-garden. Like many of you, we have been struggling to figure out how to prevail during these stranger-than-strange times. Normally our business cycle has a consistent seasonality.

The Best Sales Forecasting Models for Weathering Your Goals

Every sales forecasting model has a different strength and predictability method. It’s recommended to test out which one is best for your team. This way, you’ll be able to further enhance – and optimize – your newly-developed pipeline. Your future sales forecast? Sunny skies (and success) are just ahead!

Why is Strategic Thinking Important - now more than ever

Focused Momentum

For years “strategic thinking” has been reserved for executive team meetings or board rooms as part of a firm’s strategic planning process. However, the highly dynamic environments we operate in today means that the assumptions and agreements that form the basis of strategic plans can shift dramatically between these highly structured planning process. Strategic Thinking

How to look for strategic business partners?

Focused Momentum

Partnering has become a favored strategy to achieve growth goals. Favored because it is often faster to partner than to take the time to build what someone else has established and in today’s world speed to implement can be the difference between success and failure. However, not every possible partner is the right strategic partner for your future success and partnering without thinking about it deeply can be catastrophic. Strategic Thinking

New Remote Working Standards for Planning

Focused Momentum

Large group strategic planning meetings are typically conducted away from the office to foster an environment where folks engage with each other differently. Today, most of us are working remotely, and meetings are indeed "off-site" yet provide none of the benefits of the traditional off-site meeting. Strategic Planning

4 Disciplines Essential to Strategy Implementation

Focused Momentum

With a strategic plan complete, the leadership challenge switches from strategic thinking to strategic management. Fundamental to the successful management of a new strategic direction is an organization's ability to guide strategy implementation while managing the current plans and commitments. In this series, I will take you through four steps to guide any organization through the first critical months of strategy implementation. Strategic Management

How to hire your next strategic planning consultant?

Focused Momentum

Bringing an outside expert in to assist a strategic planning effort is typically a significant consulting investment for an organization. Looking at multiple candidates, checking references and conducting a panel style interview are all key tactics to use to select the best fit for your organization, but there are specific things to look for when seeking help developing strategy

Learn why the pandemic should not disrupt your strategic management.

Focused Momentum

Mid-year usually is the time to review progress against goals, and update your strategic thinking, given new changes to your plan assumptions. Is a mid-year check-in against plans relevant given the sweeping changes we are experiencing with this global pandemic? Yes, but we suggest a few changes to how you conduct a mid-year planning discussion to make it more relevant for these extraordinary times.

11 Ways to Make a Short Remote Design Thinking Project a Success

You can achieve a huge amount in a short period with a virtual design thinking project. While some teams want to come together for several weeks or months to tackle a challenge, others want to run short, sharp projects to find a quick solution. And with the right preparation, attitude, and structure in place, that's totally possible.To help make sure your short innovation projects are a success, download this free guide from the team at Sprintbase, a virtual design thinking platform, to learn their top tips.

3 Questions That May Reveal Your Hidden Strategist

Focused Momentum

This week, I was a guest on Dov Baron ’s Leadership and Loyalty podcast. This was truly an honor because Dov’s podcast has been ranked as the #1 top podcast on leadership by Inc Magazine. It was also a delight because Dov has a unique and genuine voice in the leadership development field. He explores the questions under the challenges all leaders face in striving to become a great leader. If Dov is new to you, check out Dov’s The Leadership and Loyalty Podcast. Strategic Thinking

Sustain Strategic Focus: Align with External Cycles

Focused Momentum

Gaining a different perspective and discovering new influences on success are ideal outcomes of a robust strategic planning process. However, they don’t have to be packed away as you document your plan and move into implementation. The teams that immediately work to change their operational planning to include newly discovered external influences are better able to sustain strategic focus and accelerate performance against strategic goals.

An Obstacle to Resolve or a Bona Fide Emerging Issue?

Focused Momentum

A measure of strategic management capabilities is how well a leadership team can balance responding to market conditions and staying focused on achieving objectives set out in a long-range strategic plan. Testing of this balancing act starts in the early months of implementing a new strategic direction as operational teams start digging into new objectives. Strategic Management

Commitment to Success; Make Tough Decisions Early

Focused Momentum

While it is true that one of the benefits of investing the time to define a clear strategic direction is that it helps in decision-making, it is also true that it does not make decisions. That is the job of leadership. Strategic Management

Target personal strategic performance

Focused Momentum

The optimism of a new year can quickly vanish when teams turn from planning to managing. The demands of managing transactions and interactions take over focus and attention to longer-term, more strategic goals wanes. When the organizational goals are set, inertia puts pressure to shift back to the status quo. Slipping back into the “comfort zone is sometimes fostered by leaders stepping back during the implementation of a new strategic direction. Strategic Management

The D&I Garden: Seeds of Innovation that Grow into Creative Breakthroughs

Speaker: Donald Fan, Senior Director of the Global Office of Culture, Diversity & Inclusion at Walmart Inc.

In the digital era, rife with uncertainty and ambiguity, innovation plays an essential role in sustaining organic growth and outperforming the global competition. Research proves time and again, there exists a robust bond between innovation and diversity & inclusion (D&I); our challenge is to help our leaders understand how to plant the seeds of innovation in the fertile D&I garden in order to drive a strategic and competitive advantage from the office and in the digital landscape.

Design Thinking, Systems Thinking, Strategic Thinking: All the same?

Focused Momentum

Thinking is very trendy these days. There are multiple articles promoting design thinking, the value of systems thinking and the need for greater strategic thinking skills, but are these all the same thing? No, not really. Strategic Thinking

We are Crushing the Curve, Now What?

Focused Momentum

My grandparents had twelve children. Like many of their friends and family members, they married and started their family in the early days of the Great Depression. They had a farm so they could feed their ever-growing brood. They struggled, but so did everyone else. They worked hard and eventually thrived. Later they watched uncles, brothers, and cousins leave their Pennsylvania farmland to travel across the globe as part of the US deployment in WWII.

Connect Progress with the Plan at Mid-Year.

Focused Momentum

Leading a project, team, or company can feel all-consuming. There is so much time and attention taken by planning and managing that the equally important role of communicating is given short shrift. The pressure on time and attention is unusually high during the first phase of the strategy implementation when demand increases to manage the existing business while completing detailed planning to achieve future goals.

Why do so many executives hate annual planning?

Focused Momentum

“ It just sucks. Every year we try to make improvements, and it gets better, but it still sucks.”. A sentiment expressed by the CEO of a successful and fast-growth technology company on a conference panel last month. The other panelist, also CEOs and senior executives of growing companies, nodded agreement. What was the focus of their shared disdain? Their firm’s annual planning process. But why ? Strategic Planning

B2B Pocket Playbook: End-to-End Guide to Sales Enablement

Sales enablement is the strategic process of providing sales teams with the content, guidance, and mentorship needed to engage targeted buyers. It’s all about equipping sales professionals with the tools they need to put their best-selling foot forward. And if sales teams want to continuously sell better -- and faster -- their sales enablement process must have a game-winning strategy. It's time for you to start selling smarter - and hitting your sales number - with the best B2B database in the market. Get started today.

3 ways to put your mission statement to work

Focused Momentum

A mission statement can inspire and fulfill a unique role in your strategic management toolkit , but they often play a boring role in the organizations that have them. I confess, I too tend to overlook the mission statement when developing strategy with leadership teams, but it is NOT because I don't understand their strategic importance. It is because when given the chance, groups tend to want to spend our precious strategic thinking time wordsmithing.

Are you missing the Forest for the Trees?

Focused Momentum

Data is front and center in today’s management team meetings. Executives report spending more and more time pouring over their dashboards and analyzing variances from performance targets. They now have unbelievable performance transparency filling a vast array of reporting and real-time portals from every function, activity, and transaction. With so much focus on managing performance, are teams at risk of missing important success indicators missing from their data? Strategic Management

Don’t Bite! Your mantra to successfully lead strategy implementation.

Focused Momentum

If you are like most of us, building something you're proud of makes you excited to share it. But in strategy development, the enthusiasm of working hard to create brilliant new thinking can quickly fade when you get to the implementation phase. The initial optimism can turn to frustration and despair if you let it get picked apart in service to protecting the status quo. But this does not have to happen, simply don't bite. Strategic Management

Renew Strategic Thinking without Rewriting your Strategic Plan

Focused Momentum

Strategic thinking requires a shift in mindset from the problem-solving, now-oriented practice relied upon to manage transactions to a less linear, more chaotic future-oriented process in which problem-solving structures reaches their limits. Because making this mental and process shift is difficult when managing operations, time to take on more complex planning discussions is frequently labeled “strategic planning.”

Pressure Points: How to Ensure Your B2B Pipeline Passes Inspection

This eBook highlights best practices for developing a pipeline management process that helps sales leaders and their team C.L.O.S.E (you’ll see what we mean in this eBook) more revenue through data-driven prospecting, stage analysis, and subsequent sales enablement.

Is your glass half empty or half full?

Focused Momentum

This last year was an ambitious year for Focused Momentum ®. We celebrated our 20th year in business. We expanded our content and programs and also worked with a bunch of new folks on their strategic plans. Yet, as the year drew to a close, I felt defeated. I wanted to do so much more! I scheduled a call with one of my most trusted advisers to talk about how the year went and what I was going to do differently in 2020.


Want to engage future leaders? take a seat.

Focused Momentum

Raise your hand if you were alive on November 22, 1963. I recently posed this question to a conference room of 30 senior executives and board members. We were in the opening section of a jam-packed strategic planning session, and this organization had a challenge faced by many today: How to engage more diversity in their thinking. This was not a new challenge for this organization. They had worked at it. The room had a mix of genders, ages, races, and backgrounds recruited in recent years.

Does a strategic plan limit you?

Focused Momentum

The short answer? Is that a bad thing? Limitations can be a good thing. They can provide a healthy structure that improves responsiveness to change. Strategic Management

How to turn a budget cut into a strategic thinking opportunity.

Focused Momentum

As the fiscal year ends, the planning teams wrap up the annual planning and distribute next year’s budgets. Ideally, this would be a time of excitement as each new year brings new challenges and new opportunities. Unfortunately, more times than not, new budgets are met with disappointment rather than excitement. Disappointment because rarely do teams get all of the resources they requested, and reviewing the new budget dampens the excited to launch into a new year.

Marketing-Led Post-COVID-19 Growth Strategies

Businesses are laying off workers, shutting their doors (some permanently), and struggling to react to the radical destruction that coronavirus (COVID-19) is doing to our society and communities. Most have already sustained massive damage, and we still have yet to see the scope of impact of the global pandemic that has upended the globe. Any return to normalcy may seem far-off, but sales and marketing are on the front lines of restarting the economy. When the dust settles, we have a responsibility to turn our shock and grief into fierce determination, and lead the charge of responsible, strategic, sustainable future growth. However, there’s no team better suited to lead that charge than the marketing department. Marketers are uniquely positioned to provide creative solutions to aid their organization in times of change and chart a course for navigating success.

Dealing with the Coronavirus Disruption

Focused Momentum

I have a good friend just about to retire. In a text exchange over the last week, I inquired " Still set for the move? " His response. " Yes, the movers are scheduled, and I plan to give notice at the end of this month, only I look at my investment portfolio daily. Maybe I should wait.". For sure, now is a hard time to make a significant change like the one my friend is making, but should he reverse course and delay his retirement? No way.

Are Your Key Performance Indicators (KPI) Strategic?

Focused Momentum

Plans are set, goals are defined, budgets are negotiated, and a new year begins. Teams review their goals, their budget, and go right back to focusing on what their priorities were last year. Sound familiar? How does a management team ensure that their folks focus on making progress on the longer-term objectives while they manage ongoing operations? Strategic Management

Why do so many executives hate budgeting?

Focused Momentum

“ It just sucks. Every year we try to make improvements, and it gets better, but it still sucks.”. This is a sentiment expressed by the CEO of a successful and fast-growth technology company on a conference panel last month. The other panelists, also CEOs and senior executives of growing companies, nodded agreement. What was the focus of their shared disdain? Their firm’s annual planning process. But why ? Strategic Planning

Five Leadership tips to Strengthen Strategic Results

Focused Momentum

Creating a winning strategic plan is awesome. You feel great, your team is motivated, and you see renewed passion and commitment to shared success. Strategic Management

How ZoomInfo Helps Overcome the Top Pain Points of Inside Sales

Recent digital transformation has shifted the B2B landscape by ushering in the era of buyer empowerment. With more access to user reviews, analyst opinion, and industry research, decision-makers are more informed than ever while navigating what is now known as the “buyer’s journey.”

Is Your Strategy Being Hijacked?

Focused Momentum

In the recent Harvard Business Review article, Don’t Let Metrics Undermine Your Business , authors Michael Harris and Bill Tayler explore this question by taking a close look at how Wells Fargo’s strategy development and plan execution may have been a factor in enabling the horrible sales practices that cost it billions and possibly permanently tarnished its brand.

Too Many Goals! Apply strategic thinking to motivate not overwhelm.

Focused Momentum

“What are the greatest challenges you face?”. This was the question I posed to stimulate a brainstorming exercise during a recent Strategic Thinking Workshop. Too many goals. We have too many goals put upon us.” Said one soft-spoken participant. Heads of the other participants nodded in agreement. And it is assumed we can deal with it.” Said another woman around the table. “I I do what I can, but I can’t take all of them seriously.”. Yikes!

Three Symptoms You may Lack Strategic Focus (and what to do about it!)

Focused Momentum

A constant in strategic management is the need to respond quickly to perceived threats or potential opportunities. More than ever before, the speed of decision-making is as important as the decision itself. Strategic Focus Strategic Management

Does your strategic planning have a missing piece?

Focused Momentum

Shel Silverstein’s book, The Missing Piece has been a favorite of mine since I was a little girl. I still have a copy and love sharing it with anyone that notices it on my bookshelf. The story is about a circle seeking to find its missing a piece (the inspiration for PacMan I am sure). Because the circle is missing a piece it moves slowly (think Roll, Stop, Roll, Stop).

Reader Survey 2021 Business Innovation Brief

Can you believe we are in 2021? 2020 was a challenging year for innovation and strategy professionals. Here at Business Innovation Brief, we have worked tirelessly to provide guidance and a sense of community for our viewers. Business Innovation Brief’s many thought-leaders eased the physical distance between us by sharing their wisdom and empathy. Our goal is that through our site, we helped make 2020 as rewarding as it was challenging. We would love for you to share your experience about how the site has affected your learning, and also your thoughts on how to make it better. The total time to complete the survey is 3-5 minutes To view the survey, click the “View Now” button below: