Focused Momentum

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!


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.

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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.

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.

Mixpanel's Guide to Product Metrics

Whether you build or market products, tracking the right metrics is crucial to innovation. Use this guide to help you decide what metrics are most important for your product and business.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

Business Agile: A Roadmap for Transforming Your Management & Adapting to the VUCA Environment

Speaker: Peter Taylor, Speaker/Author, The Lazy Project Manager

Businesses everywhere are trying to “get business agile”—but it’s not easy to adapt to becoming this adaptive. How can conventional organizations succeed in this transformation? In this webinar, Peter Taylor will walk through the change process step by step, and look at a tried and tested transformation roadmap: benefits are outlined, solutions to common challenges offered, and tried and tested methods and tools provided. It will be a guide towards a decentralized and management style that offers more successful decision making through collaboration.

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.

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.

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

Is Your Strategy Being Hijacked?

Focused Momentum

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.

Game-Changers 911™: How to Change the Game in 2020

Speaker: John Storm, President, BrainStorm Network

Join John Storm, President of the BrainStorm Network, to learn how to identify game-changing opportunities within your company and industry, and then brainstorm ways to capitalize on these ideas. Get ready to change your game in 2020!

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.

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.

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.

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

Innovate Faster with Metrics that Matter

Tracking the right metrics is crucial to innovating your products and growing your business. Written by Mixpanel’s Director of Analytics Strategy, Fatih Koca, get the tools, insights, and framework top companies use to define their product metrics.

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.

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

Three Steps to Discover Emerging Strategic Issues

Focused Momentum

In the last two posts, I discussed the need for renewing strategic thinking months before budgeting as another discipline of strategic management.

Slow down and move ahead - sounds like summer to me.

Focused Momentum

A slower pace, time to reconnect with friends and family, spending more time out of doors, or finally setting off on a trip months in the planning; these are all hallmarks of the summer months. Summer is also a time to start planning for next year. A bummer? Maybe. Too nerdy? Absolutely.

Navigating the VUCA World With Innovation Coaching

Speaker: Janet Sernack, Founder and CEO of ImagineNation

Join the founder and CEO of ImagineNationTM, Janet Sernack, to understand how developing an innovation coaching skill set can help lead the way in supporting people through the exponential change and disruption in our VUCA world.

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

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Three Steps to Evaluate Emerging Strategic Issues (without disrupting your plan)

Focused Momentum

"Ideas are like rabbits. You get a couple and pretty soon you have a dozen." -- John Steinbeck. I like rabbits and I love ideas, but too many of either and you have a problem. Managers consistently struggle with how to encourage innovation.

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).

Do you need Role Clarity?

Focused Momentum

Role clarity is one of the most productive management exercises a team can engage in, so why it is so rarely used? I believe that one reason is that teams don’t have a tool to guide role clarity, so they don’t know how to engage in this type of exercise, and second, they don’t know when to it.

The Science of High-Impact Experimentation

Speaker: Holly Hester-Reilly, Founder and Product Management Coach, H2R Product Science

Too many product teams don't know what to test, which leads to poorly designed experiments and unclear results. How can a product manager be certain they’re making effective decisions when it comes to experimentation? Join Holly Hester-Reilly, Founder and Product Management Coach at H2R Product Science, as she walks us through the entire experimentation process, from deciding what to test to sharing the results with stakeholders, to illustrate what strong testing practices look like and how they can be implemented in every organization.

Don't be Afraid to Make Radical Changes

Focused Momentum

I have a small painted dish that sits on my desk that says, “Put on Your Big Girl Underpants and MOVE ON.” It was a thoughtful gift from a client.

Build New Capacity Thru New Leadership Capabilities

Focused Momentum

Implementation of a new strategic direction typically starts strong when the energy unleashed from the fun of strategic thinking is fresh.

Are You Going to Meet Expectations?

Focused Momentum

“Gain a fresh perspective.”. Strategic Planning

How a Lesson for My Teen is Also a Lesson in Strategic Leadership.

Focused Momentum

At times, we all must make tough choices in the present to prepare for long-term success. All too often we delay acting to change the status quo possibly hoping the issue it will resolve itself.

Design and Run Experiments That Actually Progress Your Business

Speaker: Nick Noreña, Innovation Coach and Advisor, Kromatic

Experimenting as a way to explore new products, services, and business models can help eliminate the guesswork involved in building something your customers actually value. That said, it's often quite tricky to take your vision and figure out the first experiment to run. How do you get started? How can you ensure your experiments are well-designed? Join Nick Noreña, educator, entrepreneur, and currently an Innovation Coach at Kromatic, as he walks us through how we can figure out the right experiments to run for any product or service, and in organizations of all sizes.

Connect the Dots (or Don't Lose Track of Key Strategic Assumptions)

Focused Momentum

In the last blog post , I discussed how necessary it is to set strategic context repeatedly during the early stages of implementing a new strategic direction.

Context, Context, Context

Focused Momentum

Strategic planning efforts can produce high levels of anxiety in organizations. Worry is caused when new thinking changes the status quo leaving large numbers of folks concerned about the value of what they contribute in the new set of priorities.

Which comes first strategic positioning or strategy? Neither.

Focused Momentum

The relationship between strategy and positioning are both the result of strategic planning in which you first set the context within which you operate, and then define the ultimate position you want to achieve within this context.

Begin with the Change You Want to Create.

Focused Momentum

Strategic planning efforts ideally create a long-term “road map” leading to future success. However, maintaining momentum while moving down that road can be a challenge. This blog series offers five tweaks to how you lead through strategy implementation to strengthen strategic results.

How to Design Strong Experiments

Speaker: Franziska Beeler, Head of Cloud Academy, and Tendayi Viki, Associate Partner, Strategyzer

When testing new business and product ideas, choosing the right experiment is just the beginning. After we have chosen our experiment, it’s important that we spend some time designing it well. Join Tendayi Viki, corporate innovation expert and associate partner at Strategyzer, and Franziska Beeler, Head of Cloud Academy at Strategyzer, as they walk us through the three key elements that help you design stronger experiments and come away with the evidence you need to advance your idea.