C-Suite Strategy

How much time are you investing in your personal executive development? Enterprise leaders know things look different at the top. Unlike supporting roles, top-level positions offer unique challenges that may be difficult for others to understand or help resolve. You are not alone.
*C-Suite Strategy Conversations* are interactive briefings targeting top executives and senior functional leaders. These executive-level services focus on issues impacting those with accountability for enterprise performance. Each briefing can be delivered at your organization or off-site, leaving the leadership team with one to three ideas for immediate application within their organization. Topics provide new ways of looking at enterprise challenges, problem solving and opportunities.
Briefing topics can include:
* Transitional Leadership
* Are We Aligned?
* Changing What Works
* Simply Strategy
* Innovating
* Manage for Results
* Landscape: Opportunity & Risk
* Critical Thinking
* Creating Value & Avoiding Strategic Waste

    Additional Information

  • Service Options
    Are parts of your business in transition? Are there parts that should be in transition, but are not? What roles do executives play in leading their organization through transition?
    Transitional leadership is behavior exhibited from the time a change begins, until normal operations are resumed. In transition, leaders may not be able to rely on past experience, organizational know-how or established processes, systems and procedures. No one ever has all the information they would like, but in transition, the level of certainty drops even further. In this briefing, we will use issues raised by senior leaders to provide an outline of principles for executive transitional leadership. Participants can expect to leave with principles they can apply to lead transition in their organization.
    ***ARE WE ALIGNED?***
    Are all on board? Are we all on the same page? Are we all aligned?
    How many times do the above questions precede the conclusion of a decision-making process? How often do you find in execution that the alignment did not result in a shared understanding? Did paths diverge, expense increase and delay result?
    Alignment is the process of insuring a shared understanding of both outcomes and resources. The outcome of successful alignment is accountability. A lack of alignment at an executive level can have significant downside potential for an organization. In this briefing, we will use issues identified by senior leaders to define and provide a framework for obtaining and maintaining alignment.
    How do executives rally an organization to change when times are good? How is complacency avoided when targets are being met and rewards distributed? What risk is acceptable when playing it safe is paying off?
    Many executives believe that there is more their organizations could be accomplishing. They see a history of success as a prelude to greater success. Success can be a platform for further change or it can slow change down as leaders swing from seizing opportunities to protecting gains. Other leaders who see their role as protecting current success can dampen even a compelling call for change.
    *Changing What Works* provides leaders with insight into how they can lead change. In this briefing we will use the issues raised by senior leaders to provide a framework for managing change and transition into the post-change operation.
    How do you answer the question, 'What's the Strategy?' Do your strategic planning efforts result in the outcomes you are looking for? Is strategy part of your daily operations or is it something you do once a year during an off-site meeting?
    Strategy can seem like chess: easy to learn but hard to master. So what makes a winning strategy and how do we go about getting one? Strategy is simply how you get from where you are to where you want to be. It is easy to see strategy as something that we work on when we have time. Sometimes 'objective setting' gets confused with strategy. Just setting a goal does not help the organization make the changes needed to succeed.
    In *Simply Strategy* we will look at the three elements making up a viable strategy. We will review a framework that assists leaders in determining when something is strategic and when it is not. Senior leaders will learn how to integrate strategy into day-to-day activities where progress can be tracked and adjustments made. *Simply Strategy* will provide you with ideas you can apply immediately to improve strategic performance.
    Are you coming up with the new and different ideas that keep you ahead of competition? Have you had great ideas that aren't getting implemented? When faced with many good new ideas, how do you pick the ones to work on and make them succeed?
    Innovation is a necessary component of any organizations capabilities. Changing markets, competitive presence, technology advances and rising customer expectations, create an environment in which executives need to find new solutions. The challenge is, in such a competitive and fast-paced environment how can you know whether time and capital investments will pay off.
    In the briefing, executives will get introduced to an innovation model that provides a decision-making framework.
    Everyone talks about accountability, but what is it really? How do executives create a culture of accountability that drives high performance? What happens when accountability breaks down and how is it restored?
    Senior executives, who lack a culture of accountability, can find themselves drawn into firefighting problems that distract them from keeping the business on track. In this briefing we will look at accountability and its place in the decision making process. Senior leaders will understand the difference between accountability, authority and responsibility. You will be provided frameworks and approaches to ensure accountability is clearly, unambiguously established and understood.
    Have you participated in a SWOT exercise only to struggle understanding how the information will be used? Has your SWOT effort yielded a limited view that, on examination, missed major elements? How is a good SWOT conducted and how do we make it useful?
    SWOT is a tool used to capture elements of an organizations landscape. How well the landscape assessment is conducted, determines the value of the SWOT. In addition, the landscape analysis must be incorporated into a planning process to convert SWOT into action.
    In the briefing, *Landscape: Opportunity and Risk* executives will be provide a process for conducting and maintaining a landscape assessment. Leaders will also be provided a framework for incorporating SWOT into a broader planning and risk management process.
    Does your leadership team know how to fight fair? When there is conflict, do your executives work through issues or work around people? How does your team apply critical thinking to resolve business issues?
    Conflict is part of any interaction between people. Conflict is where there is more than one interpretation of a single set of circumstances. The different perspectives arise from biases introduced by the different experiences, backgrounds, upbringings and capabilities of individuals. We all view things from a unique perspective. The role of critical thinking in business is to reduce bias and make better business decisions.
    Senior leaders learn the ground rules for managing conflict and conduct a critical discussion of business issues. We will go through how executives can have difficult conversations using a critical approach that honors the individuals without discounting the issues.
    Everyone talks about value, but how do you measure it? When you get down to it, isn't the primary role of the executive to provide value? How do executives create a higher value organization?
    Senior executives lead value creation in organizations. Their decisions have the most impact on high-level outcomes, but with anything that has an upside, there is a downside. Leaders who do not understand the value equation can make decisions that appear successful, in execution, only to fail to produce value. These endeavors create strategic waste and flawless execution of the wrong things.
    In the briefing, *Creating Value & Avoiding Strategic Waste*, executives will be provided some simple models for evaluating the value of their efforts. Using challenges and opportunities, provided by senior leaders, we will provide each participant with one to three things they can apply in their organization to drive value creation.
  • Instructor & Presenter Bios
    Joe Thompson brings over 35 years experience in guiding companies ranging in size from Fortune 100 companies to small businesses. Before founding Differentiating Strategies, Joe worked in a number of functional areas including business development, research, strategic planning, operations and research. Over time Joe developed expertise working with executives to improve enterprise value. Joe's knowledge covers a diverse range of industries and everything from manufacturing, fabrication, banking, professional football, retail, education and food.
    A sixth generation native of Wisconsin, Joe is a graduate of the University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. He holds seven United States patents. Joe has facilitated operating efficiency gains of over $20,000,000 and enabled new product sales of over $100,000,000.
    Outside of work, Joe's passions center on Cindy, his wife of thirty-three years and their adult children. He enjoys spending time pursuing photography and reading widely. He is actively involved in his church and in his community as an advocate for persons with disabilities.
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