Bringing business strategy to life: dos and don'ts


Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, once said “I’d rather have a first-rate execution and second-rate strategy any time than a brilliant idea and mediocre management.” Business literature is full of the perils of effective execution.

Here are some “Dos and don'ts” derived from an Executive sub-group that spent last year planning then implementing a new corporate strategy. They may resonate for other organisations.

Developing a strategic narrative: 10 tips


A strategic narrative is central to employee engagement according to David MacLeod and Nita Clarke, and the Engage for Success movement they shaped. It provides a clear vision to help create common purpose, and a clear direction aids decision-making and prioritizing. The narrative should also explain why you have your vision – a theme emphasised by Dan Pink, the author of Drive, who highlights the importance of creating a sense of meaning for people.

Finding out why we do what we do


John J. Scherer, talking at the European Organisation Development Network conference in the UK earlier this month offered what I thought was a profound insight.

He said, for those considering their development and future - “You do not need to change yourself, you need to come home to yourself. That changes everything.”

The importance of ground rules - bias and better groups


I’ve always found the discussion about Ground Rules in groups frustrating. I think they are important and/but I’ve shared that sense of “come on let’s get on with the real work” that I have seen in others. But I had a bit of an ah-ha moment today when I was re-reading the Skilled Facilitator by Roger Schwarz and thinking about some of the insights from Daniel Kahneman and Matt Lierberman around bias. I think they are connected. They help explain how important ground rules can be, why we don’t always recognise that, and what we can do about it.

Brain friendly facilitation


I’ve been doing some research* into the practical value of learning about how our brains work for leaders. We’ve involved different levels from Executive Directors of a global engineering business through to senior regional managers in one of the UK’s High Street Banks. One of the consistent themes in the feedback is the value of David Rock’s SCARF model to help managers plan future projects, mergers, processes and other challenges. It can also be a valuable tool for managers or facilitators planning one off sessions or a series of interventions.

Measurable learning from Neuroscience


Hilary Scarlett and Mike Pounsford have provided evidence that learning about Neuroscience can generate change. They spoke this May at the Organisation Development Network conference and Melcrum has just published their work. See the download of their presentation at Roffey Park and the link for the article.

Creating the future


I’m interested in large group meetings that help accelerate change and Future Search is an approach in which people from different organisations and communities come together on a difficult issue, or an area of potential growth and change, and develop a way forward together. Marvin Weisbord developed the approach with Sandra Janoff and it’s been used on issues as diverse as addressing affordable housing shortages in North America to child welfare in war torn Somalia.


Please fill out the form if you would like us to contact you.