15 September 2009 • 7:00 am

Good Morning. Do You Know What Your Workforce Will Do Today?

An important element of the strategic planning process is the management of the organization’s projects and initiatives in the context of strategic and operational objectives. Collectively, these discretionary activities account for only a small portion of labor expended in the organization, compared with that expended in the execution of normal business processes. But the discretionary allocation of labor and time is the necessary domain of management, yet management all too often doesn’t know what the workforce is actually doing.

A crucial step in driving alignment with strategy after the strategy itself has been established is to capture the activities (projects, initiatives, call them what you will) that are already underway. A matrix of the strategic initiatives against the strategic objectives almost always reveals opportunities to improve alignment; initiatives that don’t map well to objectives, objectives with no initiatives, and in some cases, objectives with too many initiatives.


8 July 2009 • 7:00 am

Taking the Initiative on Initiatives

Expert facilitators of strategy and change programs understand that an important result of the process of strategic management is the concept of the initiative. We use the word initiative perhaps a bit too casually, for the concept of the initiative is the essential ingredient for accomplishing change. But, like many of the terms we use, the definition of an initiative is not self-evident, and means different things to different people.