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Stephen Wise Blog

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How to be a great leader | Stephen Wise | Integration Professionals

Colin Powell, the retired US Four-Star General says to remain calm and be kind. He also has a rule - to have a demanding vision. Vision, he says, is our destination.

Have a Vision of the future

Vision, what is it? Where do I find it?

Vision is not “Establishing vaccination guidelines and agreements, activating a network of furloughed retail workers, and implementing a military supply-chain technology for transportation and storage.” That is the strategy.

Vision is not “Vaccinating all the citizens against COVID by September 2021”. That is a goal, that will be driven by the Strategy.

Vision is higher than that. Vision is not something that exists today. It is something that is imagined that could be created in the future.

Developing a compelling vision is done by looking into yourself. What are your beliefs? What do you believe is possible? Figuring out who you are, why you are here, and what is most valuable to you.

Cultivating vision is a process. It does not emerge during an off-site, or from reading leadership philosophies, or watching an inspiring movie.

To be visionary you need to set aside significant time to percolate these questions.

Provide Clarity of desired results

Bruce Lee may have said, “The successful warrior is the average person, with laser-like focus.” Results require change. Without change there is no result. Motivating anyone to change is expecting them to work towards the unseen and unknown. At every level of challenge this is a fundamental issue that needs an answer every day.

Giving your team the answer they need is not difficult, your job is to provide clarity.

You need to communicate to your team the information they need to risk working on the unseen and unknown.

Explain to your team what is most important. Work with them so they understand why the choices made are the best choices. When the team is aligned on what is most important they will have clarity on the desired results.

Demonstrate effective Decision making

Nelson Mandela said that “Action without vision is only passing time. Vision without action is merely daydreaming. But vision with action can change the world.” Standing on the shoulders of giants, I say the sum of the actions will not be productive without a robust decision-making process.

The problem with change is that, only after starting, on the way to achieving results, does the solution emerge. The detail is previously unknown on what is required, how it will come together, and what is needed. Leaders who make the mistake of communicating their vision from on high, hiring the best team, and delegating all responsibility for results will be in for a surprise.

Leaders need to reserve time to develop vision and they need to be effective at engaging others to deliver lofty goals. However, do not let go of the steering wheel and don’t look away from the dashboard.

You need to ensure that everyone is aware of and reliant on a process for obtaining your decisions on how the strategy and goals are to being met. You need to ensure that you are aware of and broadly communicating key decisions to all stakeholders. If you miss this – you will more than likely not recognise the final product.

Questions for you to ponder.

  1. What would be an example of a Vision that is supported by the vaccination goal and strategy mentioned above?
  2. How have great leaders from demonstrated these three skills of Vision, Clarity, and Decision-making? (e.g., George Washington, Martin Luther King Jr., Captain Kirk)

STEPHEN D WISE

INTEGRATION PROFESSIONALS

DRAMATICALLY IMPROVE TRACTION

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Delivering Business Transformation Strategy | Stephen Wise | Integration Professionals

Michael Porter’s books on Competitive Strategy and Competitive Advantage led me to embrace Project Management. That is, I have frequently said, a company that invests in Project Management is making an investment in their competitive advantage. Less frustration delivering value, less disruption to teams, improved engagement, etc.

Porter’s Five Forces and the SWOT analysis are now inadequate as concrete underpinnings for strategy design. Strategy is still important, but the amount of change driven by disruption, innovation, and transformation means that the interpretation and implementation of Strategy – which occurs during the delivery – requires a high-touch feedback loop.

An increased importance in the strategy delivery does not mean that strategy design is less important – it means that executives must give equal personal priority and attention to designing the right strategy as to delivering.

Here are three key tips for executives to stay engaged in the delivery phase of business transformation strategy. Governance – Decision Making – Planning & Re-planning.

Governance – Build a governance structure that reinforces the accountability and responsibilities for the vision. Ensure the team is adequality resourced in terms of experience and availability. Review and address risks and interdependencies at the beginning and periodically and through the realization of accumulated benefits. Insist on a complete set of regularly reported metrics and milestones.

Decision Making - Move quickly to re-prioritize and remove roadblocks that are uncovered despite a lack of complete information or analysis. Accept changes to time and budget milestones based on new information from the working team.

Planning & Re-planning – The less time you have available – the more important it is to have a robust plan. Don’t forgo detailed planning, but in today’s business environment planning and re-planning must be rapid and agile. Documenting tasks, task owner, and interdependencies are as important as schedule and budget. Issues impeding success should be discussed regularly and recommendations to tweak the plan fed up to the executive team in order to ensure alignment and ongoing support.

Delivering strategy is like going on an expedition through a deep jungle. Every so often you will get to a hilltop and be able to asses how things went so far and what new landscape is coming in to view. An executive that spends time and money crafting the strategy needs to protect her investment by staying available and engaged for those hilltop moments.

Stephen Wise

Integration Professionals

Dramatically Improve Traction

Re-Frame Project Success for the Strategic Business

Project success is most often measured by answering two questions. (A) Did we meet the schedule goal? And (B) Did we meet the budget goal? A good indicator project success will improve over time is periodic review of the Time and Budget Dashboard by management. This approach is valid but not sufficient for framing project success over

 the long-term. 

Time and Budget Dashboard Integration Professionals Stephen Wise 

Time and Budget Dashboard[/caption] It is very common that once a project is closed, it falls off management reporting dashboards. This is a serious mistake! Strategic success is dependent on the outputs of the project, not the inputs of Time and Budget. The outputs / benefits of the project are measured after project close and take the dimensions of customer satisfaction and business success. It will take several months or quarters after the project is finished until customer satisfaction can be measured. It will take even longer until business success can be measured. By re-framing the measurement time-horizons for projects and their outputs, we can provide more effective visibility and accountability at the management level for the strategic success of projects. The re-frame is to include medium-term and long-term results as part of project tracking and reporting.

Team success

can be measured in the Short-term. That is Time, Budget and other metrics such as scope, quality, stakeholder engagement, and others.

Customer success

can be measured in the Medium-term. Customer success is the metrics that indicate how well the product is meeting actual needs and how well the product is providing customer net benefits.

Business/Strategy success

can be measured in the long-term. Business success is the metrics that indicate how well the overall strategy is benefiting the enterprise, such as market development and risk 

profile. 

Measurement Time Horizons Integration Professionals Stephen Wise 

Measurement Time Horizons[/caption] Organizations have made great strides implementing project methodology and management reporting on time and budget. However a systemic flaw is introduced by reporting only short-term project success measures. There is correlation between success in short-term and success in the long-term but there is more to the picture. We need to re-frame and extend the time horizon for tracking project success to include medium and long-term measures. By linking Customer (medium-term) and Business (long-term) actual measures to project reporting we will gain improved insights on the projects that have either advanced or held-back the realization of strategic objectives.

Stephen Wise 

http://www.IntegrationProfessionals.com/

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