Strategy articulation and leadership team cohesion: the executive secret to portfolio agility

Success requires extreme alignment and cohesion, and intense clarity of the intent and reasoning behind what truly matters for the organization, shared by everybody with a part to play in that success.
Failure to achieve this alignment exists in every organization we’ve encountered. The cost of poor alignment is staggering, leading to wasted efforts and duplicated work on a huge scale. The cost of forcing alignment through top-down techniques is equally wasteful, denying human potential, disempowering your workforce, and adding friction to every action performed in the enterprise. The strategies required to excel require bringing together many disparate perspectives drawn from your many functional silos and organizations, followed by well-aligned activity by hundreds or thousands of practitioners in every part of your company.

This talk addresses the core challenge head on: Senior leadership lacks the tools and approaches to effectively articulate the strategies they conceive, frequently failing to achieve clarity within their own leadership team, much less across their entire organization. We help senior leaders and their teams and influencers explore the common symptoms resulting from poor articulation, discuss the application of one OKR-based approach to creating effective strategic clarity across many silos, and explore how the resulting strategies are then deployed with alignment into typical agile implementations using the Scaled Agile Framework as an example. Groups applying these techniques have seen an immediate increase in the ability to coordinate across functions, as well as dramatically improved energy focused on the key tactics to advance the core company strategies.

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Outline/Structure of the Talk

As we’ve worked with leadership teams to articulate and deploy strategy in agile ways, we’ve seen a common set of anti-patterns and associated positive behaviors for behaving as effective leadership teams in the large enterprise. In many cases, addressing those needs have become a significant part of our role, and we realized the community would value deeply from the learning we’ve captured.

This talk is a basic lecture format with a few built-in reflection points to help people connect with the various points. The core structure is to introduce the problem, and solution framing, and then discuss each of the four values we’ve extracted along with a set of explicit behaviors and practices that can support each one.

Learning Outcome

- identify anti-patterns and (related) positive behaviors for behaving as effective leadership teams

- understand explicit behaviors and practices that can support each of the four core values

- leverage tools and approaches to effectively articulate organizational strategies

Target Audience

Executives and senior leadership, as well as coaches for the same

Prerequisites for Attendees

Participants should have a basic understanding of lean/agile concepts.

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