‘Bright shining objects are distractions; they belong in the pages of fables not in the halls of management.’ Pretty strong statement, huh?
If you are on an executive team or responsible for sales or business development, how would you take in this statement? Would you stop voicing new ideas generated by a recent market trip? Would you assume that it would be distracting to forward an article on a competitive strategy that you had not yet heard discussed internally? Would you print out this statement and put it on your wall so that everyone knew that you were going to be a deaf ear for their ideas?
I have worked in many organizations where constant ideation is identified as a competitive weakness – one even calls them “squirrels” and jokingly depicts themselves constantly chasing them. If you have watched the Disney movie “Up” you have the image.
However, it is not the identification or discussion of new ideas or “shiny objects” that is distracting. It is the lack of a management practice to effectively cull, explore, debate and if appropriate integrate these ideas into your planning that is the shortcoming of management. We call these Emerging Strategies. The role of your planning and management processes should be to regularly (with greater frequency these days) seek out ideas and insights for exploration and then carefully debate the strategic value in modifying your Deliberate Strategies (those that are born from your Strategic or Annual Planning processes) with these Emerging Strategies.
Look for an upcoming post on how to integrate Emerging Strategies with your Deliberate Strategies.