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Archive for December, 2011|Monthly archive page

Nano Tools for Leaders XVII

In Leadership, Nano Tools, Wharton on December 27, 2011 at 10:07 pm

Strategy Accelerators: Practices that Work

Nano Tools for Leaders® are fast, effective leadership tools that you can learn and start using in less than 15 minutes — with the potential to significantly impact your success as a leader and the engagement and productivity of the people you lead.

Contributor: Joseph Ryan, Senior Fellow, Wharton Executive Education; Founder and President of True North Advisory Group.


The Goal:

Drive sustainable and repeatable success in managing strategic initiatives. Identify capability gaps that need to be addressed and accelerators that you can leverage for better results.

Nano Tool:

Strategy execution at all levels — corporate, business unit, key initiatives — requires clarity, discipline, honesty, and agility. While balanced scorecards are useful for providing discipline and clarity, they’re not sufficient because execution rarely goes exactly as planned. Leaders need real-time diagnostics (as opposed to slow and costly studies) to honestly assess what’s working and what’s not. Next, they need to identify solution levers, what we call accelerators, that let them manage the execution process more explicitly.

The Accelerator Checklist includes six success factors for effective strategy execution, translated into 12 straightforward diagnostic statements. Red flags in any of these areas can and ultimately will derail a strategy.

You can use this tool alone or in your strategy team to reveal the implementation gaps that need to be addressed, and the strengths that can act as accelerators, driving successful execution. In other words, by using the checklist you can learn where execution is stuck and identify the solutions to get unstuck — in real time.
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Nano Tools for Leaders XVI

In Leadership, Nano Tools, Wharton on December 27, 2011 at 9:49 pm

Breakthrough Innovations Through Brilliant Mistakes

Nano Tools for Leaders® are fast, effective leadership tools that you can learn and start using in less than 15 minutes — with the potential to significantly impact your success as a leader and the engagement and productivity of the people you lead.

Contributor: Paul Schoemaker, author of Brilliant Mistakes (Wharton Digital Press, 2011); Marketing Professor and Research Director of the Mack Center for Technological Innovation at the Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania; Founder and Chairman of Decision Strategies International.


The Goal:

Discover breakthrough innovation, and accelerate organizational learning, by adopting a mindset and a process for deliberate mistake-making.

Nano Tool:

What if some of your most tried-and-true assumptions about the way you do business were wrong? What if, in fact, they were costing you market share, or preventing you from taking advantage of a new opportunity that could significantly increase your bottom line? Assumptions can be wrong for numerous reasons, ranging from changes in the world in which the assumptions were formed to lack of humility among those at the top. Testing assumptions — in effect, making deliberate mistakes — offers the possibility of more effective business practices, groundbreaking innovation, and even greater profits.

Brilliant mistakes have two prime ingredients. First, they require a significant challenge to the status quo. Second, that challenge allows for deep new insights to emerge whose benefits far exceed the cost of the original mistake. These deep insights, or accelerated learning, can be as important as the discovery of a breakthrough innovation.They can be “portals of discovery” that lead to even greater improvements in your future prospects. By purposefully making and learning from mistakes, you can realize significant benefits.
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Nano Tools for Leaders XV

In Leadership, Nano Tools, Wharton on December 27, 2011 at 3:51 pm

Leading “As One”: From Individual Action to Collective Power

Nano Tools for Leaders® are fast, effective leadership tools that you can learn and start using in less than 15 minutes — with the potential to significantly impact your success as a leader and the engagement and productivity of the people you lead.

Contributor: James Quigley, Senior Partner, Deloitte U.S.; former CEO of Deloitte Touche Tohmatsu Limited;  co-author of As One: Individual Action, Collective Power (Portfolio / Penguin, 2011).


The Goal:

Build collective behavior to execute your company’s strategic priorities using a practical, data-driven approach.

Nano Tool:

Imagine if everyone in your organization, team, or division was focused on collaboratively achieving strategic goals. Imagine the innovation, the productivity, and the competitive advantages that would result. Getting people to work together effectively “As One” isn’t simple. In fact, it is a universal leadership challenge. But new work at Deloitte’s Center for Strategic Leadership reveals that generating As One behavior is within every organization’s reach.

The traditional model for motivating people to be “team players” — command and control — has been declared outdated and ineffective. But is a new, loosely defined “agile and adaptive” model the answer? As One reveals that collective leadership isn’t either/or. In fact, Deloitte’s research has identified at least eight distinct models, or “As One Archetypes,” that provide the template, the language, and the common understanding that can be used to turn individual action into collective power. You can assess whether your organization’s default archetype is best suited to achieve collective behavior, or whether a new archetype might be a better fit.

Knowing and understanding your current collective leadership archetype is important for two reasons. First, if the archetype is a good fit, it can be strengthened. Second, if it is not working well, another archetype should be considered.
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