Article of the Week
A Better Project Model than the “Waterfall” (HBR Blog Network)
Big Idea: The “agile” movement in IT is rapidly replacing the traditional “waterfall” approach to project management. Jeff Gothelf explains the core idea: shift the focus from preconceived requirements and outputs, and instead discover the best solution by focusing on measurable outcomes. Traditional strategy management suffers from the same “waterfall” paradigm. Strategy alignment and execution must adopt the “agile” approach, too.
Editor’s Choice Articles
Open Innovation Past and Present: an Exclusive Interview with Henry Chesbrough (Innovation Management)
Big Idea: Professor Chesborough invented the “open innovation” model and this substantive interview introduces his latest thinking. He defines the distinction between the “outside-in” and “inside-out” approach to open innovation. The first is now a hot topic for driving alignment beyond the walls of the company. The latter is just emerging.
Solve Your Business Problems By Asking Why (Inc.)
Big Idea: Aligning limited resources to strategic priorities is a management challenge faced by most organizations. The leaders of the Avondale consultancy explain the way they use the “5 whys” framework, borrowed from the Toyota lean system, to drive alignment on what opportunities to pursue. Provides a quick introduction to the 5 whys, used in a strategy alignment context rather than lean.
Leaning Into Risk (SFO Blog)
Big Idea: Sandy Richardson articulates the danger for an organization of adopting a “defensive” posture in managing risk – retarding growth and innovation. Instead, she suggests an adaptable approach she calls “leaning into” risk and change. She explains that success will require new management processes, new skills, and a new culture. Her “leaning into” approach is definitely an improvement on the compliance and checklist version of risk management often seen in the scorecard world.
Strategy is the story (London Business School BSR)
Big Idea: Strategy is story telling. Here are some guidelines on how to tell the story in a way that will clarify the strategy. Users of the scorecard methodology will benefit from the reminders of what should go into their strategy map narratives.