The Strategic Management Process

Cascade Strategy

Strategic management refers to how organizations define the business outcomes that they want to achieve, and then how they will utilize their resources to achieve those outcomes. Strategic management covers strategic planning , implementation and strategy iteration. Strategy Execution

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. Strategic ManagementIs 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.

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Integrating corporate sustainability in strategic management

Norbert Bol

Based on a literature review of 114 peer-reviewed scientific journal articles it shows that sustainability is an important topic for managers but they just rarely consider it in strategic management. Many companies therefore still lack a strategic approach to integrating corporate sustainability into strategy. In my opinion the starting point in the integration of corporate sustainability in strategic management is manager attitude and behaviour.

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. Strategic Focus Strategic ManagementMore than ever before, the speed of decision-making is as important as the decision itself.

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. Strategic Management

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

Five Leadership tips to Strengthen Strategic Results

Focused Momentum

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

Does a strategic plan limit you?

Focused Momentum

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

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

Focused Momentum

But do budget constraints mean a team’s plan doomed, or do they need to sharpen your strategic thinking? Strategic ManagementAs the fiscal year ends, the planning teams wrap up the annual planning and distribute next year’s budgets.

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.

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. Strategic ManagementThat is the job of leadership.

Are Your Key Performance Indicators (KPI) Strategic?

Focused Momentum

How does a management team ensure that their folks focus on making progress on the longer-term objectives while they manage ongoing operations? Strategic ManagementPlans 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?

The new roaring 20’s

Norbert Bol

Strategic Management Creativity Innovation Learning Strategy Sustainability TechnologyHappy New Year to everyone and welcome in the new roaring ’20s. In the coming decade, we shall experience how Artificial Intelligence (AI) is going to be more important in our everyday lives.

Five strategic Leadership tips to Strengthen Results

Focused Momentum

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

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. Slipping back into the “comfort zone is sometimes fostered by leaders stepping back during the implementation of a new strategic direction. Strategic Management

Are you missing the Forest for the Trees?

Focused Momentum

Data is front and center in today’s management team meetings. With so much focus on managing performance, are teams at risk of missing important success indicators missing from their data? Strategic ManagementExecutives report spending more and more time pouring over their dashboards and analyzing variances from performance targets.

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.” Strategic Management

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

Focused Momentum

Strategic ManagementIf 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.

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

Focused Momentum

The late winter and early spring is the time when we wrap up the strategic planning engagements launched in the prior year, and I concentrate on creating the content that we will build programs around for the next 12 - 18 months. Then in May and June, our phone starts to ring with calls to discuss strategic planning for the fall. By July, my schedule is jam-packed with Strategic Assessment Interviews. Strategic Management

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

Focused Momentum

Strategic ManagementA 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. However, also super smart.

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. 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. Strategic Management

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

Focused Momentum

Managers consistently struggle with how to encourage innovation. In the last two posts, I discussed renewing strategic thinking months before budgeting as another discipline of strategic management. In this post, I dig deeper into how to find important strategic insights or emerging issues that could be missing from your strategic plan and prepare to update goals for the coming year. Strategic Management"Ideas are like rabbits.

Connect Progress with the Plan at Mid-Year.

Focused Momentum

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. Strategic ManagementLeading a project, team, or company can feel all-consuming.

Dealing with the Coronavirus Disruption

Focused Momentum

Strategic ManagementI 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.

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

Focused Momentum

Strategic ManagementAt 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. When we take this “let’s just wait and see” course, we don’t protect anything, and we can put something very valuable at risk.

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? Strategic ManagementI 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. This post will address both the how and when; first the when.

Don't be Afraid to Make Radical Changes

Focused Momentum

Strategic ManagementI 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. In a strategy session, when the group comes right up to a big possibly radical decision and stops, I am known to say, “Come on, we all put our big girl and big boy pants on today.” Then I facilitate them facing the hard choices.

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. Later, once the transactional aspect of operations takes over everyone’s mindshare, it is harder to keep this energy alive, and thus the momentum on strategic goals can wane. One factor in lagging strategic focus is that leaders slide back to their comfort zone forgetting that they too must evolve. Strategic Management

Arti?cial Intelligence to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals

Norbert Bol

Artificial intelligence and sustainable development The International Journal of Management Education , 145 , 75-89. Strategic Management AI Collaboration Innovation SDG Sustainability Technology

Begin with the Change You Want to Create.

Focused Momentum

Strategic planning efforts ideally create a long-term “road map” leading to future success. This blog series offers five tweaks to how you lead through strategy implementation to strengthen strategic results. In this post, I share with you how you can begin limited implementation immediately and unleash new momentum needed to push hard on the more complex strategic goals. Strategic Management

Sharing is caring?

Norbert Bol

Strategic Management Business Innovation Social Media Sustainability SustainnovateDo companies in the sharing economy care more about sustainability than companies in the traditional economy?

Green finance through shared savings

Norbert Bol

Strategic Management Collaboration Finance Green Investment Real Estate SharedSavings Strategy Sustainability TechnologyLast week I wrote about the “ green finance gap “, where investments in green technology suffer from a lack of financial resources and less attractive risk-return expectations compared to other investments.

Sustainable consumption to be happy and healthy?

Norbert Bol

Strategic Management Economy Happiness Innovation SustainabilityGrowing consumption does not increase happiness or health! In industrialized countries there is no increase in happiness or health when consumption grows (Fanning et al., 2019). From a sustainability perspective this can be an important finding as global human consumption today is already outstripping what the planet can reproduce.

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. Reviewing the core concepts of strategic thinking and digging deep into long-range goals at the start of detailed planning, at decision-making milestones, and when results are visible is vital to ensuring a new strategic direction is well understood and embraced. Strategic Management

Context, Context, Context

Focused Momentum

Strategic planning efforts can produce high levels of anxiety in organizations. Since usually a smaller number of folks have been part of crafting the new strategic direction, the majority lack a deep understanding of the need to embrace a new direction. Strategic ManagementWorry 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.

Technology and sustainability optimism

Norbert Bol

Strategic Management Strategy Sustainability Innovation Learning Technology NarrativeInnovative sustainable technology is considered to be positively contributing to sustainability. For example where new technologies are able to solve climate change problems providing clean energy solutions. Gonella et al. 2019) show in their article that we often have a too optimistic view on technology and sustainability.

At what speed do we close the green finance gap?

Norbert Bol

For example banks have strengthened their regulation, supervision and risk management under Basel III (an internationally agreed set of measures developed by the Basel Committee on Banking Supervision) with more emphasis on liquidity. Strategic Management Finance Innovation Investment Strategy Sustainability

Sustainable futures based on Shakespeare

Norbert Bol

Last week I wrote about the use of narratives in strategic foresight using the speeches of Steve Jobs as examples (see last week’s blog ). Van Cattenburg & Duijn (2019) present in their new article in Futures, how the allegorical narratives of William Shakespeare (1564-1616) can be used in strategic foresight and complex issues such as sustainability. Strategic Management Innovation Learning Narrative Strategic Foresight Strategy Sustainability

Is finance too low-tech to support sustainability innovations?

Norbert Bol

Strategic Management Collaboration Finance SustainabilityIn the october edition of Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, Christensen et al. 2018) conclude that they were surprised about the low-tech financial decision rules that are being applied to green office investments.

A happy and healthy 2019! Making sustainable choices

Norbert Bol

Strategic Management Innovation Strategy Sustainability SustainnovateAt the start of 2019 I wish everyone a happy and healthy 2019! Whatever in life we are planning to do to be happy and healthy, we have different options to choose when we are buying a product or a service. Do we always choose the most sustainable option? The short answer is no. Shim et al.

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Individual compentences for sustainable entrepreneurship and innovation

Norbert Bol

Six sustainability competences can be identified: Strategic management competence and action competence : the ability to collectively design projects, implement interventions, transitions, and strategies for sustainable development practices and the ability to actively involve oneself in responsible actions for the improvement of the sustainability of social ecological systems. They seem to integrate normative dimensions into other strategic, action and foresighted competences.

Strategic foresight: learning from Steve Jobs

Norbert Bol

The combination of vision and taking appropriate actions made him a great example of a discipline which is called strategic foresight. The best way to make sense of strategic foresight is by looking at the narratives that are being used (Sarpong et al., After a short theoretical introduction some examples are given Steve Jobs used narratives in relation to strategic foresight in of his speeches. Strategic foresight and the theory of narrative and time.

Beating the Odds - Lessons from 20 Years of Entrepreneurship

Focused Momentum

Strategic Management66% of small businesses never make it to year 10; yet we were just starting to expand when we hit that milestone. Now, in 2019, I feel like I beat the odds again. This year Focused Momentum® turns 20! The significance of 2019 almost slipped past me. We were so busy in the second part of 2018 that I was 100% focused on my next deliverable.