Drops from the Fire Hose – September 10, 2012

Today’s first drop is an article that I’ve had bookmarked since I saw the title of it a few weeks ago. For those MBAs who have “Strategy and Organizational Leadership” this Fall, I highly recommend perusing this first article. If you don’t read the whole thing, at least read the “Idea in Brief,” (which is a short-hand version of the article that you can find once you click-through. Note: I’ve also linked to the version of this story that keeps it contained to one webpage, so you don’t have to click “next” a bunch of times to read the whole thing.

Bringing Science to the Art of Strategy — Harvard Business Review

Strategic planners pride themselves on their rigor. Strategies are supposed to be driven by numbers and extensive analysis and uncontaminated by bias, judgment, or opinion. The larger the spreadsheets, the more confident an organization is in its process. All those numbers, all those analyses, feel scientific, and in the modern world, “scientific” equals “good.”

Yet if that’s the case, why do the operations managers in most large and midsize firms dread the annual strategic planning ritual? Why does it consume so much time and have so little impact on company actions? Talk to those managers, and you will most likely uncover a deeper frustration: the sense that strategic planning does not produce novel strategies. Instead, it perpetuates the status quo.

How do you give difficult feedback to a team leader? — 30-Second MBA

Short video clip answering this question on the article’s page.

When to Hire an Extreme Leader — Harvard Business Review

Again, short video clip on the article’s page.

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