Thought Patrol Podcast
Simplify: Test

Simplify: Test

August 30, 2021

We're talking here about what it takes to equip your company for growth. Specifically, in this session, how to simplify. Today we're talking about the first factor in simplification; the importance of testing, test, test, test.

 

F. Scott Fitzgerald has an example of a test. He said, “The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in mind at the same time and still retain the ability to function.”  Personally, I think paradox and being comfortable with it, is ‘part and parcel’ of being a good leader. But it is a good example of a test. Test and see as they say. 

 

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Support: Allocation

Support: Allocation

August 23, 2021

When we are endeavouring to support growth, one of our significant challenges is the allocation of resources. I mean this in its broadest context, that is not only financial but also people, time, and focus.

 

“Never underrate the importance of asset allocation.” Wise words from John C. Bogle; it’s very important. The frustration here can be the want to grow, and even the ability to do so, yet being constrained through a lack of resource, be it people, tech, systems, capabilities, or finance.

 

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Support: Responsibility

Support: Responsibility

August 16, 2021

Today, we're talking about responsibility. It's almost becoming an unfashionable word; especially when you add the word ‘personal’. However, today we're talking about responsibility in the context of supporting growth.

 

Mitt Romney, like him or not, said something that I think holds true, “Leadership is about taking responsibility, not making excuses.” Again, not necessarily a popular or even contemporary topic. I'm a big believer in personal responsibility and I ask for it in the people that I've led over the years, and now with the leaders I mentor.

 

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Support: Pressure

Support: Pressure

August 9, 2021

When we're looking to equip for growth, we're trying to reduce constraints and resource for effective execution. Specifically, here we're talking about how to support these initiatives by ensuring pressure is in the right places. 

 

Ernest Hemingway said, “Courage is grace under pressure”. I think that is a great combination, because it does take courage to apply pressure in the right areas, yet there is a measure of grace required to activate this in the right way. 

 

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Scrutinise: Virtues

Scrutinise: Virtues

August 2, 2021

“Virtue is a moral excellence. A virtue is a trait or quality that is deemed to be morally good and thus is valued as a foundation of principle and good moral being. In other words, it is a behaviour that shows high moral standards: doing what is right and avoiding what is wrong.” At least that is according to that font of eternal knowledge; Wikipedia. The key for me here is the word behaviour. Often when we talk values, they are abstract; whereas virtues are translated into behaviours which is absolutely key if you want to grow your business successfully. 

 

We’re talking here about growth and in particular, where to scrutinise for growth. I've put a section here on virtues because I think it's important to view them as a part of an organisational structure. Yes, we do cover this in other areas that are more aligned to people, but I think it's worth a mention here from an organisational perspective around what to scrutinise for growth.

 

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Scrutinise: Constraints

Scrutinise: Constraints

July 26, 2021

Every business has certain things in the organisation that constrain growth. They may even be processes, systems or people, who have served you well up to this point. In order to grow and equip your business for scalability, you will need to scrutinise constraints. 

 

Jeff Bezos, you could argue knows a thing or two about growth. He said this, “I think frugality drives innovation, just like other constraints do. One of the only ways to get out of a tight box is to invent your way out.” So, there are positive constraints, and in fact they can promote innovation. However, the constraints I’m talking about are those limiting factors that constrain growth and limit full expression of potential.

 

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Scrutinise: Drivers

Scrutinise: Drivers

July 19, 2021

If you want to equip your business for success and to grow strongly, you need to look at certain areas of the business itself. You will need to scrutinise your business, and in particular, scrutinise drivers. This is all about knowing what to focus on and drilling down with ruthless efficiency to the absolutely critical drivers of success. 

 

“Starting a business from scratch and having little money in the bank focuses your mind in a way that running a multibillion-dollar business never does. It brings the key drivers of performance into sharp relief. I promise.” According to Sallie Krawcheck.

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Activate Strategy: Review

Activate Strategy: Review

July 12, 2021

We live in an imperfect world, as you may have observed. Whilst we think we can fully control our environment; control is ultimately an illusion. Things change, so we must adapt and be agile, and not lock ourselves into strategies without considering their progress. 

 

All strategic milestones need to be reviewed on a regular basis. In our Stragile Method the 12 month milestones are reviewed every 90 days. I like 90 days. It's long enough to get something done and short enough to create a sense of urgency.


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Activate Strategy: Ownership

Activate Strategy: Ownership

July 5, 2021

Let's take a moment to talk about ownership not ownership of a company but
ownership of milestones. You’ve begun to activate your strategic map. You've
identified the actions you need to take for future success. You’ve clearly articulated
those with simple, measurable, demonstrable milestones. Nice work!

 

Your next step is to ensure that total responsibility for the delivery of a milestone lies with a single individual. One person. Your role as a leader of the team is to ensure that the capabilities of the milestone owner, mirror the needs in the milestone. For example, a people related milestone should obviously sit with
someone in Human Resources.

 

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Activate Strategy: Milestones

Activate Strategy: Milestones

June 28, 2021

There are three phases to Strategic Mapping, Appraise, Align and Activate. Let’s talk about activate. This is where the rubber hits the road, by taking action. The talking’s over it’s time to do something. Unfortunately, I’ve seen so many well-meaning strategy sessions deteriorate into ineffective talkfests. Ultimately it is only action that will move you forward. 

 

The other constraint I’ve observed is a desire to have the perfect way forward before action is taken. In a fast-moving environment you will never have a perfect solution, because you have imperfect clarity.  

 

The answer is to create momentum and have a process and culture that allows for review and response. At the core of that is clear and simple milestones. Mike Huckabee said, “It's when ordinary people rise above the expectations and seize the opportunity that milestones truly are reached.”

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