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Capability Development

What You Need to Know About Business Models

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Everyone wants a new one; Few are successful “In a recent McKinsey poll, 84 percent of global executives acknowledged that innovation is extremely important to their growth strategies, yet a staggering 94 percent were unsatisfied with their own innovation performance.”  From Competing Against Luck How do you best support innovation and change?  What interdependencies within [...]


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Elements of Continuous Improvement

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Excellent firms don’t believe in excellence- only in constant improvement and constant change. Tom Peters How do you think about improvement in and around your company? There are countless choices for thinking about continuous improvement, from Deming’s quality movement to Hammer’s process reengineering to Toyota’s TPS.  More recently, “lean” has entered the lexicon and combined [...]


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Safe Execution: Business-IT risk discussion

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If you are anything like me, historically your initial discussions with IT drifts toward their requirements and policies- some version of a C-I-”No”.  This is usually followed by some type of business-sponsor intervention allowing us to technologically enable our business outcome, with at least a little lingering animosity.  During a recent webinar1, Professor George Westerman [...]


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Change Leadership- Traversing the emotional cycles of change

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I have a client who is an avid outdoorsman. He often waxes poetically about his kayaking in the Rocky Mountain streams near his cabin- “as long as the water isn’t too high”- and mountain climbing in west Texas. Occasionally, he leaves right after work to get a jump on yet another weekend climbing adventure. His [...]


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The Calculus of Capabilities- An integrated maturity model

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  For years executives (and more than a few consultants) have applied judgment in assessing a business’s capability readiness based at least in part on one-on-one interviews.  However, the need for a holistic understanding of core competences has been out of academia and in the real world for nearly 20 years.  To what effect?  Are [...]


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The Calculus of Capabilities

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How are we doing? We typically focus on business performance – results delivered – when answering this question.  For example, what was last month’s top-line revenue, or what is our gross margin for the quarter? However, if we were to swing the spotlight to focus that question on our capabilities- our ability to deliver- you [...]


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Improved Vetting: Social-Business-Inside-The-Enterprise Case Study

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“Companies are beginning to find that social technologies have enormous potential to raise the productivity of knowledge workers.” McKinsey Global Institute* The concept of vetting an idea has universal application in ideas large and small.  The following case study is based on an executive’s need to move quickly to create and embed an operational strategy [...]


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What to do with the strategy-pak: A starter list

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Like most tools, our strategy-paksm framework has little value unless you put it to use.  As we briefly explored in our Communicate Strategy for Effect post, we believe in building from the basics.  So, here are a few traditional, time-proven ways we have used the framework to improve our clients’ businesses… the basics. Best practice [...]


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Enterprise Analysis Framework- Planning for outcomes

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“Plans are worthless, but planning is everything” Dwight D. Eisenhower1 As we work through strategy, there is a natural cascade, or progression, from “why” to “what” to “how”.  We need to drive the directional thinking (“why” and “what”) down into execution (“how”) because, and we should keep reminding ourselves of this, at the end of [...]


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Social Business- Don’t start in the tool shed

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“…the most important question for any organization is this: are we changing as fast as the world around us? “     Gary Hamel, “What is adaptability?“,  Management Innovation eXchange blog, 11.8.2012 Why Social Business? There are at least two solid reasons to be interested in social business, just based on part of Professor Hamel’s blog excerpt [...]


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