In today’s constantly shifting business landscape, the thriving organisations will be those that are nimble enough to adapt at the pace of change. To create this fast-paced adaptability, business leaders need to establish and maintain a meaningful connection with their people. The most powerful way to create that connection is by engaging them in the business’s strategic journey.

Projects – the right kind of projects – are the best vehicle for undertaking this journey. They allow you to be intentional about engaging your people in shaping the business and the workplace for the future that it aspires to. By using a project mindset to adapt and evolve the business, you create a bridge that connects the business to your people…in a way that generates opportunities for both.

Read more

To thrive – or perhaps even survive – in today’s highly dynamic environment, requires future-focused thinking that’s fluid. It requires anticipatory activity that will allow you to adapt to conditions and events as they unfold. It requires that you and your people devote deep thought to what might lie ahead in an effort to prepare for that future.

Yet, the ‘business of busyness’ – our obsession with being constantly productive and maximising efficiency – is a major obstacle in getting this future-focused work done. Because, all things being equal, future-focused work will always lose out to the immediate and urgent unless that work is set apart through distinction. And to distinguish strategic activity from other operational expectations it needs to have importance and priority – people need to see that it’s valued by their leaders.

Read more

The belief that a business is ‘either growing or dying’[1] has been entrenched in our strategic mindset since the mid-twentieth century. However, in today’s ever-more-dynamic business environment, organisations that are focused on adapting to change are the ones that thrive. These businesses believe that you’re ‘either evolving or risking extinction’.

 

Read more

I had the pleasure of spending Friday at my colleague Mykel Dixon’s Business Romantic 2017 event in Melbourne. This event was conceived as a contrast to the archetypical business conference with its jam-packed agenda of speakers, carefully curated to serve a central theme. The event title was drawn from the work of its featured speaker, Tim Leberecht. Its design was far from the careful curation of a singular message. The other facilitators (a better term than speaker in this context) were as diverse in message, style and delivery as they could possibility be – from poet to performance artist to entrepreneur. The progression of the day was more an exploration than an agenda. However, the shared purpose of the event was clear – the radical humanisation of the workplace. Read more

I believe that exceptional business performance – be it customer service, product development or growth and profitability – comes from operational excellence. It comes from a team that is constantly striving to be great at the job of delivering value to your customers. It comes from not accepting ‘good enough’ but from constantly searching for ‘better’ – constantly searching for greatness. Looking to create a culture of operational excellence is that search for greatness. Read more

Make your past a bridge to your future

Most people base their view of what’s possible in the future on what has happened previously – their history, including all things leading up to the moment they contemplate beyond ‘now’.

While it’s normal to base our worldview on past experiences – and this is as true for individuals as it is for organisations – this belief that history pre-determines our future can create a chasm between current reality and new possibility. Read more

Strategic plan v reality

Devising a strategy is an organisational journey. Like all journeys, it needs a destination. It requires that you set a course – or at least a direction – to take you toward that destination. To make the journey, you need to choose an appropriate vehicle – one that is suited to the terrain. Finally, for it to be an organisational journey, you need to mobilise your people to head off in search of that destination – and one of the most effective ways of doing this is through project prioritisation.  Read more

productivity is not performance

I have a love-hate relationship with ‘Productivity’. On the one hand, productivity, in the right circumstances, is an essential part of being an efficient business and delivering value to your customers. Its measurement is also invaluable in assessing the effectiveness of your efforts to improve. However, far too many businesses believe that they can increase productivity simply by focusing on productivity – manipulating the inputs and outputs of the productivity metric. Read more

Engage autopilot

We’ve all heard the expression that a team or an individual was “operating on autopilot”. Usually this means operating in an automatic, unthinking manner – it’s a bad thing. However, I believe that creating and engaging an autopilot for your business is a good thing. It ensures that the business stays on course no matter what the external influences are. It also gives the business’s leadership – its pilot, if you will – the time and attention necessary to take a longer term view and plot the optimum course for the business. Read more

shifts in thinking for 2017

As the year starts to wind down, I like to immerse myself in the thinking that I believe should shape the coming year. My take on #BigIdea2017 is that more organisations will look to actively make their people the engine that drives not only the operational elements of the business, but also its growth, development and adaptation. In 2017, I believe we will see a fundamental move away from getting our people to engage in what the business values to valuing what our people have to offer the business. Read more