Sunday, 30 October 2011


In my experience there is a danger in expending vast amounts of effort in designing your Strategy and Goals. Often this type of work is comfortable and unthreatening. We don't have to face the real world yet, as we are still "Strategising"

Now don't misunderstand me, I'm not saying don't think things through, challenge your goals, or develop plans; but consider the following:

• The old adage about the survival of the plan when it meets the enemy
• The importance of speed in today's world. Speed to market, speed to communicate etc
• The energy needed to construct the plan and the danger of "relaxing" into implementation.
• You can learn very fast about the strengths and weaknesses in your plan, or thinking, by testing it out, adapting and moving forward

So what should you do? Well good leaders everywhere recognise the need to bias towards action. They ask when things will start happening, changing, because while it doesn't guarantee completion it's a good indicator!

Saturday, 22 October 2011

Visual Management

Managing the invisible is a real challenge. Talk to the bankers and regulators in the invisible world of Off-Balance Sheet instruments!

Of course there are different and less controversial ways of making things invisible. Consider the humble laptop. How many spreadsheets have you seen crushed into a tiny Laptop screen or projected in hope onto a wobbly screen? The beauty of computers is the amount of data that can be collected, analysed and manipulated. I wouldn't be without mine either, but the trouble starts when you have to manage with the data and even more when you have to work with a team of people using that information.

The solution? Go big, go visual, and put the picture on the wall. Print out that spreadsheet out on a big bit of paper, or use a big whiteboard. Easy to read as a team, easy to modify together, easy to see gaps, problems or patterns. As a team. When all, or nearly all can see it the job if solving the problem, getting buy-in, and deciding what to do becomes much simpler.

Give it a try, think visual and think big in more ways than one. It's also harder to ignore a problem writ so large, more power to your elbow and harder for your boss to brush away too when you have an idea.