Strategic Planning – More Rite than Right-On?

Mark, the CEO, proudly announced that the company had just completed its first strategic planning process.  “It was comprehensive,” he said. “We did it all over several months.  I feel like we’re really well-equipped now to move forward.”

“And what were the greatest insights you gained?” I asked. Continue reading

Selecting the Best Approach to Strategic Planning

“We need to develop a strategic plan,” said the CEO of a mid-sized company that had grown rapidly since its start-up five years earlier.  “Can you help?”

“What do you see as the focus of your planning agenda?” I asked.

“Everything,” he replied. Continue reading

Idealism – A Negative Word in Your Organization?

Thirty-year-old Beth was vehemently frustrated.  “I can’t open a conversation about any ideas in my company without them getting shot down without even being explored.  And the hand grenade the management lobs is always the same – my ideas are too idealistic.  They say they want more realistic ideas.  What they really mean is that they have a mold, and my ideas don’t fit that mold.  If we continue operating on their idea of reality, this company won’t survive.” Continue reading

The Generation Gap – Don’t Just Bridge It; Fill It In

Several weeks ago, I was asked to be a panelist at a discussion on generational differences among leaders/emerging leaders.  The topic was a lively one.  The themes had changed surprisingly little since I sat on the other side of the generation gap more than thirty years ago.  The Baby Boomers were seen by the Millenials to be mired in outdated ideas, and unable or unwilling to see and respond to a different kind of future demanded by a rapidly changing world.  The younger generations criticized the Baby Boomers as tired and cynical, devoid of idealism.  The Boomers, for their part, wondered aloud about the ‘I’ rather than ‘we’ orientation they perceive from Millenials, questioning how that would serve the organizations in which they worked.  They accused Millenials of not understanding the importance of loyalty.  At the panel discussion, those stereotypes and others were blown away in positive, candid conversations that organizations would be well-served to replicate. Continue reading