I am really pleased with how smooth flowing the guiding principles are for bridging the gap between strategy design and delivery. The principles are are straight forward and are not new when you look at them in isolation. However, the way they are presented is what makes them valuable.

Brightline Initiative with Project Management Institute launched 10 guiding principles for executives. I have written about 6 principles already and in this post I will explore the 7th principle. So far we covered awareness, people, resources, insights, simplicity and engagement. They all play a role in ensuring strategic design actually translates to strategic delivery. Once the execution play is on, someone needs to think quick, think on their feet, and make sure they can navigate with little information available. This is the essence of principle 7.

Principle 7 – Demonstrate Bias Towards Decision Making and Own Decisions You Make

This principle highlights the importance of decision making. Decision making is an art in itself. Leaders need to understand and accept that they will be put in situations when they do not have all the information they need to make rapid decisions. So how do they proceed? They surround themselves with people they trust. People they know can bring a more in-depth insight or facts that are not readily available, and ensure they can assist in the decision making steps. For the art of decision making to continue to be successful and sound, leaders must follow their decisions and own them. They must not get lost in details. They need to consider and address risks from all angles upfront. This is how they will be able to build accountability and encourage a lean approach to their strategy delivery.

This module brings examples from Emirates Airlines and Spotify. Spotify have SQUADS as part of their business model. It is like smaller startups within the business. They way they empower decision making is really great.

Spotify have SQUADS part of their business model to encourage ownership all the way from design to product release.

Brightline Initiative Principle 7 Module

In each module, Brightline brings a group of leaders to comment or add insights to the principles in discussion. In this module, I really enjoyed the interview they had with Martin Reeves from the BCG Henderson Institute. Martin explains that leaders must have a strategy for their strategy. Sounds ridiculous? It would if you stop here. BUT, what he really means is that each goal needs to be approached differently. Leaders must understand the Strategy Palette so they can deploy a different strategy style for the different strategic initiative. He talks about 5 distinctive strategies:

  • Classical
  • Adaptive
  • Visionary
  • Shaping
  • Renewal

This is really a great principle to understand. I personally have been put in many situations in the past when a group of people join a meeting to discuss a strategic initiative, or a problem that requires addressing, and the entire group would end up being passively engaged. You would sense the gap in the room and think: why is not this person stepping up to make a decision when the problem is within their remit, or why is that person quiet when they had instigated the issue in the first place. This principle explores the right to make decisions. And for that right to be practiced effectively, it must be accompanied by principle 6 and the psychological safety I wrote about.

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