Soderquist Blog

Help! My Strategic Plan Has Fallen And I Can’t Pick It Up

Posted by Soderquist Leadership on Sep 1, 2015 8:30:00 AM

 

All too often when a strategic plan is not working we are quick to blame the leaders, executors, content or authors. Our first reactions are often not the best. We quickly abandon the plan, passively revert to no plan, start again or abandon strategic planning altogether until the wound has healed.

But wait!!! What if the plan actually has good bones and structure; meaning it is based in good insight?  Can it be resurrected? Here are a few questions to ask that might help you breathe life into it: 

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Topics: Practical Tips & Tricks, Innovation & Research

3 Myths Of Creating a Strategic Plan

Posted by Soderquist Leadership on Aug 13, 2015 8:30:00 AM

 

If you do a quick Google search for “strategic plan”, you will see over 78 million page results. Needless to say, there is a lot of information and opinions swirling around about this topic, and perhaps some misinformation.

So, we put together a list of the top 3 strategic planning myths that we consistently hear after 16 years of working with customer groups of all shapes and sizes. If you are thinking about your company’s strategic plan, or are in the process of creating one, hopefully you can avoid falling for these myths.

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Topics: Practical Tips & Tricks, Innovation & Research

The Bottom Line of a Strategic Plan

Posted by Soderquist Leadership on Aug 11, 2015 8:30:00 AM

 

If you’re like me, you know you should eat right, exercise, and get enough sleep, but still may wonder, “Is it making any difference?” The same is true of organizational fundamentals. We all know we should do things like develop strategic plans, but at times it can be hard to point at tangible outputs. So I thought I’d share a few from our experience:

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Topics: Leadership, Innovation & Research

The Truth About Innovation: 3 Lessons in 90 Days

Posted by Soderquist Leadership on Jul 29, 2015 8:30:00 AM

The truth about innovation is it's very difficult. I think breakthrough is a misleading word—that's not what it feels like. There’s nothing snappy about it. In fact, if you're doing it right, those flashes of brilliance are now met with a serious challenge: prove it. And proving it does not happen in a flash.

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Topics: Practical Tips & Tricks, Innovation & Research

Top 5 Innovation Titles

Posted by Soderquist Leadership on Nov 20, 2014 9:00:00 AM

I support The Soderquist Center's strategic innovation efforts. Our small group aims to explore and deliver new revenue streams to the organization.

Perhaps you've been tasked with something similar. Find totally new opportunities. Grow the business. Figure it out.

The first thing I did was start talking to anyone inside two degrees of separation that could help me think through this new challenge. Some of those learnings are captured in a recent blog post called The Truth about Innovation.

Then I started reading. A lot.

Listed below are five titles I recommend and why, written in the order I recommend you read them:

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Topics: Practical Tips & Tricks, Innovation & Research

The Truth About Innovation: 3 Lessons in 90 Days

Posted by Soderquist Leadership on Nov 18, 2014 9:00:00 AM

The truth about innovation is it's very difficult. I think breakthrough is a misleading word—that's not what it feels like. There’s nothing snappy about it. In fact, if you're doing it right, those flashes of brilliance are now met with a serious challenge: prove it. And proving it does not happen in a flash.

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Topics: Practical Tips & Tricks, Innovation & Research

Innovation and Ideas

Posted by Soderquist Leadership on Nov 14, 2014 9:00:00 AM

You can argue that you are creative, or you can argue that you are not creative, but the reality is that we all need new ideas. From simple problems to complex problems, ideas are what come together to advance our work and enable us to create real solutions. Innovation, at its core, is the development of new ideas, methods, or products that solve problems.

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Topics: Practical Tips & Tricks, Innovation & Research

Mavericks or Mayhem: Determining the Innovative Culture in Your Company

Posted by Soderquist Leadership on Nov 13, 2014 9:00:00 AM

Several years ago, I had the opportunity to spend a substantial amount of time in a research/innovation facility for a large consumer products company. I was particularly interested in what was taking place given my background in engineering and product development. Early in my career and through college, I spent a lot of time in research facilities, running pilot equipment and running trials on commercial equipment. This particular facility was the size of a mid-size warehouse and was full of test equipment for the purpose of conducting all sorts of trial experiments. Its organization (or lack thereof) resembled my sons’ Lego table. I concluded rather quickly this sandbox was a researcher’s dream. However, after I spent several days there, I noticed it was about 9:00 or 9:30 before a quorum of people actually arrived to get their days’ started. It began with something like, “So what do you want to do today?” (perhaps an overstatement but not far off). Lunch was a couple of hours long, and they checked it in around 3:30 in the afternoon because “We really don’t have enough time to get another run completed.”   My next question was “How much money is being wasted here?” I’m not sure that was completely fair, but I can say for certain there were no readily apparent expectations, controls, or measures put in place in this workplace. But, hey, they were innovating!

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Topics: Innovation & Research, Creating Culture

Getting Unstuck: How to Avoid Solution Traps & Foster Successful Innovation

Posted by Soderquist Leadership on Nov 6, 2014 9:00:00 AM

I recently read the book All in Startup, by Diana Kander. It’s an entertaining and quick story about a struggling entrepreneur who needs help getting unstuck. Not only is his business failing, but he is struggling in his life and his marriage. The premise of the book is that our tendency (whether natural or developed) to ‘jump to solutions’ (a cousin of ‘jumping to conclusions’) impedes our ability to innovate in important ways. This solution bias prevents real understanding of the problems we face – problems our customers have, problems within our organizations, and even interpersonal problems. As a result, we spend (and waste) a tremendous amount of precious time, energy, and emotion trying to get unstuck. But like a car spinning in the mud, the harder we press on the gas, the deeper we sink into the morass.

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Topics: Practical Tips & Tricks, Innovation & Research

Why the Interrobang Needs a Comeback

Posted by Soderquist Leadership on Feb 20, 2013 9:00:00 AM

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Every year, Soderquist Leadership sponsors a week at John Brown University called “Leadership Week.” The week entails Soderquist leadership bringing in current leaders and world changers in order to engage emerging student leaders. We had the privilege of hosting the author and lawyer, Bob Goff.

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Topics: Powerful Influencers, Deeper Life, Innovation & Research