Tag Archives: leadership

BIV Boardroom Strategy: Candid realities about business’ dirty little secret

In an effort to avoid conflict, leaders and team members often conceal their true feelings, withhold their opinions or outwardly agree and go along with the crowd while inside they are vehemently opposed.

For some, this lack of candour also extends to hoarding information or avoiding communicating with others entirely, in an effort to save face or get and stay ahead of the pack.

Strength of the strategic plan and the ability for executives to collaborate cross-silo with their teams depends considerably on trust and respect within and between teams. The willingness to come forward with authenticity and transparency is key to building up that trust and respect.

In Jack Welch’s book Winning, he describes a lack of candour as businesses’ “dirty little secret.” Continue reading

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BIV Boardroom Strategy: star power: how to tackle first things first on your company’s strategic objectives list

When you start working on the action plans for your strategic objectives for the year, one of the most important steps is to understand the order of priority of your objectives.

You might think you know what needs to happen first, but your team might not agree with you. The key is to spend time together as a team to rank the order of your objectives using a technique called the Hoshin Star (a variation of matched-pair analysis).

Originally developed for total quality management, the Hoshin Star helps leaders understand the cause and effect connection between objectives to determine the underlying order of importance.

Using this tool to prioritize strategic objectives can serve two purposes: Continue reading

Leadership Minute: Healthy Conflict

ViRTUS featured in Business in Vancouver Special Leadership Publication

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Influencing Corporate Culture

I’ve spoken to a number of executives lately who are concerned about their corporate culture and who want to know the key areas for leveraging change. Here are four areas that influence culture directly and are in your control as an executive team:

  1. What behaviours we allow (we teach people what okay and not okay)
  2. What we reward (monetarily or through praise, promotion, and recognition)
  3. Who we hire, what we look for when we hire, and who we help “exit” the business
  4. The visible behaviours of the executive team we demonstrate to the rest of the company

BIV Boardroom Strategy: How to make better decisions faster

[read time: 5 mins]

Very rarely do I hear from CEO’s and executives who are worried they will not be able to plot a strategy that makes sense for their company. More often than not, their greatest challenge lies in execution of the plan. One of the core issues in execution that holds back progress is ineffective decision making systems that result from a limited understanding of how decisions are made, who has the ability and responsibility to make decisions and what criterion is being used to make those decisions.

The ability to make clear, definite decisions in a timely fashion can be the difference between leading and lagging the competition. If key people in your organization are in decision paralysis what effect is that having on overall progress? Can you afford the extra time it’s taking to make decisions in your competitive industry?

So what can you do about it? Take a good look at how your decision-making culture might be slowing down the execution of your strategic plan by starting to understand which of these common blocks may be holding you back from making timely decisions:

Continue reading

BIV Boardroom Strategy: Fix your meetings. Now.

[read time: 4 mins]

Let me paint the scene: you have a group of executives and senior managers, all well-paid, spending most of their weeks in meetings pretending to be paying attention to mind-numbing updates being read from the document they have sitting in front of them while doing the “Blackberry/iPhone Prayer”: holding their smartphone under the table, replying to email, texting, or furiously working to beat their high score on Angry Birds.

One of the most common complaints I hear from CEOs, Executives, and Senior Managers is that they spend most of their time in meetings, unclear what the purpose is other than the fact that the meeting is supposed to happen once a week, leaving them with little one-on-one time with their teams, desperate to clear out an overflowing inbox, and dreaming about having some whitespace in their calendar so they can actually be innovative and think creatively about the strategic direction of the business, organization, or even simply their division or team. Continue reading