Strategy Meeting Blue Chairs

What is the Problem?

Daniel Montgomery Reality

LAUREN THARP COO Leadership Reality You’re sitting in a 3 p.m. meeting with a few other colleagues in the boardroom with your afternoon coffee. The team is doing a post-mortem on a recent strategic initiative, with one colleague providing their analysis and solutions, another on theirs, and the cycle goes on. Some of the back-and-forth banter almost feels like people are speaking different languages, not even addressing the same issues. As you sit there, you have this continued sense that the team is throwing dart after dart, completely missing the dartboard. At this point, you have two options. You could continue to hear the reports, make a conclusion and move on. Or you could listen to the uneasiness in your gut that’s telling you to keep pressing on. What is the problem? Defining Things Clearly One of my favorite leadership movies is Moneyball. Billy Bean, played by Brad Pitt, is …

black binoculars on ledge

Focus on Your “One Thing”

Daniel Montgomery Reality

JASON MYHRE Director of Marketing & Managing Partner for Eventide Asset Management “Take one day at a time Everything else you can leave behind Only one thing at a time Anything more really hurts your mind” Panda Bear (aka, Noah Lennox) in the song “Take Pills” Panda Bear’s album Person Pitch is in my pantheon of albums, and the lyrics above are from that album. The lyrics are straightforward: focus on one thing at a time. When it comes to business leadership, this sentiment can seem cute. “One thing at a time?! There are a million things on my plate!” a business leader might say. But this is no idealistic musing; it’s the key to both sanity and success. That’s the contention of the book The ONE Thing: The Surprisingly Simple Truth Behind Extraordinary Results, the NYTimes best seller by Gary Keller, cofounder of the real estate empire Keller Williams …

Why You Need to Put Culture Before Strategy

Daniel Montgomery Culture

DANIEL MONTGOMERY Founder & CEO Leadership Reality “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” This quote has been floating around the business world for a while. It’s often credited to Peter Drucker, but the jury’s still out on who really said it first.  Mark Fields—former president and CEO of Ford—summed it up nicely: “You can have the best plan in the world, and if the culture isn’t going to let it happen, it’s going to die on the vine.”  What Drucker/Fields/Whoever is saying is spot-on. You can go ahead and pay a consultant big money to draft the most incredible strategic plan anyone has ever seen. But, if you don’t have the culture to support it, that plan will be dead on arrival. Have We Heard Something Like That Before? To my ears, this sounds like a slight variation on a theme we find in Jesus’ ministry. Once, Jesus ripped into a …