ISSUE 7 – APRIL 2017 Roger Maitland & Brett Anderson-Terry As a seasoned marketing executive, Zara had designed and implemented successful marketing initiatives that had become best practice across the multinational corporation. Despite her finely honed technical and leadership skills, she found herself struggling to keep her head above water with the chronic uncertainty that […]
ISSUE 6 – JUNE 2015 Roger Maitland & Brett Anderson-Terry It is often said that time is your scarest resource as a leader. The confounding reality for many leaders is that the barrage of information in fast paced digitally networked environment has had a detrimental effect on the average attention span of a leader. One […]
ISSUE 5 – FEBRUARY 2015 Roger Maitland & Brett Anderson-Terry For over three decades there has been a recognition that we are increasingly operating in a VUCA world. Coined by the U.S. military, VUCA signifies a world characterised by Volitility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity (Johansen, 2007.) This is a world where life happens despite our […]
An executive commented recently to me ‘people who work too hard don’t make money.’ At first glance this seemed similar to the ‘work smart, not hard’ adage; deeper reflection revealed something even more important. If we are brutally honest, how much of what we do is really important? McKeown (2014) argues that most of the time we are caught up in the non-essential, living under the illusion that these tasks are essential.
A glance at the origin of the word management, to ‘control a horse,’ is a reminder of the traditional command-and-control legacy of management. The Great Recession has reshaped the business landscape and resulted in a more closely integrated global economy, where knowledge has become the source of competitive advantage (Birkinshaw, 2012.) In an economy where knowledge has replaced capital as the scarce resource, businesses require managers to prioritise the development of talent and knowledge.
They used to say knowledge is power. The tremendous accessibility of information through the internet should be increasing the quality of a leader’s thinking and decision making, but the wealth of information at our fingertips, warns Carr (2010), seems however to be making us into shallow thinkers, and changing the structure of our brains.
Is strategic planning keeping up with the complexity and pace of business? The average business makes a mere 4.1 important strategic decisions per year, that is, decisions that had at least a 10% impact on profits. What is interesting is that important decisions seem to happen, for many businesses, outside of formal strategic planning processes (Mankins & Steele, 2005.)
In an increasingly uncertain and complex business environment, is our approach to decision making keeping abreast the ambiguous terrain that business leaders continuously grapple with? Are 4.1 important strategic decisions per year enough to keep ahead of the pack?