Next Tuesday offers our yearly opportunity for a collective fresh start. A new beginning. A clean slate. I trust you may have a few resolutions already in mind. But even if you know where you want to go, getting starting can be hard. Which is why we recommend a very simple first step: just start. But where to from there?
Last September’s Harvard Business Review offers clear-headed, straightforward advice. The issue was organized around the concept of “The (Surprisingly) Simple Rules Of Strategy.” Two different articles shared an important theme. Here are excerpts from the executive summaries of each:
Bringing Science To The Art of Strategy
…The authors outline a strategy-making process that combines rigor and creativity. A team begins by formulating options, or possibilities, and asks what must be true for each to succeed. Once it has listed all the conditions, it assesses their likelihood and thereby identifies the barriers to each choice. The team then tests the key barrier conditions to see which hold true. From here, choosing a strategy is simple: The group need only review the test results and choose the possibility with the fewest serious barriers…
Simple Rules For A Complex World
…This article describes the authors’ subsequent research into why simple rules work and how firms develop them. Typically, after setting its priorities, a company will identify a bottleneck preventing it from making progress toward them and then create rules for managing that bottleneck…
If you want to reach your goal, identify the issues that may keep you from success. Then manage against them. New year? Clear paths. It’s a (surprisingly) simple – and often overlooked – approach that can greatly improve your chances of turning your resolutions into your case studies.
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