Strategy and Big Picture Thinking

Every leader knows that they shouldn't micromanage though many of us still do. But while we understand the downsides of micromanaging and taken action to avoid it, we still haven't sufficiently embraced the upsides of not micromanaging.

The main upside is that leaders have more time to spend on what we call macro management. Although there are different definitions of this term floating around, it essentially means managing the big issues rather than the small ones. Time and effort spent on macro management enables leaders to be as clear, decisive, and disciplined at the macro level - on the big strategic questions the organization is facing - and their managers are at the micro level, i.e., about how these decisions might be implemented.

So, what are these big strategic questions that leaders aren't spending enough time on or aren't answering in a sufficiently clear or disciplined way? They are questions about :

  • why the organization exists and what its purpose is
  • what it offers (and does not offer) its customers, and how and why this offer delivers value to these customers
  • what this produces for the business and for shareholders - the critical outcome metrics by which the organization will be judged
  • how the people within the organization will behave - toward customers, other stakeholders, and each other

There probably aren't many leaders who would say they don't think these questions are important. But there are lots of leaders who don't spend enough time answering them, and many more who don't answer them with sufficient clarity so their people can then get on with delivering the answers.

Gamechangers is an award-winning leadership simulation about strategy execution in large organisations. The game focuses on how to engage stakeholders in carrying out a strategic initiative throughout the organisation.


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