Strategy on the Agenda

Exploding the ‘that’s the way the cookie crumbles’ myth

It’s a finding that is sure to have the tobacco tycoons coughing and spluttering into their ashtrays, the gambling gang seriously contemplating cashing in their chips and the munitions mob wondering where the target has gone and where next to take aim.

There are a good few others, to boot, the fossil fuel fraternity one that immediately comes to mind…

The finding I’m referring to is that of Responsible Investment Association Australia who, in its 2017 Responsible Investment Benchmark Report released in late July 2017, finally and irrevocably explodes the lingering myth that, when investing, you simply can’t have your cake and eat it.
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Time to take a giant leap on the strategy front

Picking up on where we left off last time, may I start by saying that when we talk strategy these days, there’s a desperate need for us to take a giant leap.

Gone are the days of incremental change…the world changes rapidly and we must change with it.

A risk averse and compliant board tends to pull away from a risk-taking mindset.

And while strategy doesn’t always work out, boards need to have the integrity to invest in this.
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Finbar raises the bar on risk and innovation

A recent blog, entitled ‘Success Comes from Seeing Ourselves as Others See Us’ and delving into board self-assessment certainly resonated with one of our readers.

So much so that he took time out to respond, initially with a short, sharp and succinct “nice article” and subsequently with some pertinent thoughts I think are well worth sharing.

You’ll recall the original blog argued the importance of self-assessment while warning against undertaking this exercise simply because it has become rather de rigueur to do so.
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Sense and sensibility of strategy sessions

Our experience, through board evaluations we conduct, repeatedly tells us that more than 80 per cent of directors feel they don’t spend enough time on strategy or are as effective as they should be when it comes to setting strategic direction.

That’s a startling – and scary – finding, especially as strategy and strategic direction is one of the primary functions of a board.

What’s perhaps even more startling and scary is that boards, generally speaking, tend to continue to walk down the same ‘strategy path’ even when history tells them it’s not the cure-all, the magic bullet it’s made out to be.
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Find time for strategy – or face a ticking time-bomb!

It sometimes takes a change of environment to remind us that we don’t hold the mortgage on many of the prickly challenges we face in our board rooms, that they’re actually perennials, pretty much prevalent across the globe.

It’s also a refreshing moment when it occurs – and I was fortunate enough to again experience it just a few weeks back while visiting Thailand to host a number of in-house sessions with boards of some of the country’s largest and most respected companies.
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