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MTBD>MTBS! The Mean Time Between Decisions is greater than the Mean Time Between Surprises. As grand strategies prepared from big data or even more limited insight seem wanting it is perhaps useful to think of the role of the strategic manager and this leading the strategic thinking process.
In William Wallace and Robert Bruce, Scotland has examples of two outstanding leaders who somehow galvanised apparently inferior and inadequate resources to secure famous victories. They and their achievements contributed to the development of a national culture that has spawned many leaders of successful enterprises across succeeding generations of Scots. 15 years after the movie ‘Braveheart’, based (loosely) on the character of Wallace, scooped the major awards at the Oscar ceremony in Hollywood, it is reasonable to reflect his success as a grand strategist, and in particular the achievement of his successor Robert the Bruce, who secured his place in history through the emotional victory over Edward II 700 years ago at Bannockburn on 24 June 1314, on a hot sticky midsummer day.
Faith, Hope and Love remain; but the greatest of these is Love The attached article provides insight into what lay behind the success of Rory McIlroy and Graeme McDowell as well as providing further evidence to prove the theories put forward by Malcolm Gladwell in his book 'Outliers'.
In competition between nations large normally overcomes small, be it in business or sport. The larger nations should succeed every time and in reality they do not. How can that be? A recent discussion on LinkedIn attempted to find the answers. They are summarised in the attached paper.
Almost every forecast this year indicates a long, slow recovery from what has been the worst recession since records began. Over the next quadrennial almost every organisation be they business, sport or not-for-profit will be faced with doing more with less. This means achieving new and higher levels of performance as organisations. Many will have tried proved approaches from the past that have been found wanting this time. The fear is that the current downturn is greater and will last longer than previously, calling for radically different measures for desperate times.
Current responses by organisations when considering develop seem to focus on improved structure, better governance, and addressing ‘body’ related areas including: • Corporate structure • Planning and Systems • Incorporation • Business Risk. They are often found wanting in the increasingly competitive environment that has emerged from the prolonged period of economic and political uncertainty.
Strong listening skills can make a critical difference in the performance of senior executives, but few are able to cultivate them. One of the most motivating positions a boss can take is to actively engage and listen with colleagues. Yet so many do not make enough time or behave in a way that gets the best out of their people. The attached McKinsey article offers a good framework to improve listening as well as identifying bad listening types.
I had the privilege of being the Founding Chairman of the Scottish Institute of Sport from 1998 through 2006. In that time we developed a new high performance system for Scottish sport to the extent that the athletes and coaches enabled the Institute to achieve the 10 year target agreed with sportscotland within 5 years.
The Path to Excellence was a study undertaken by the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) in an attempt to describe and understand the factors that contributed to the development of U.S. Olympians. This study presents a number of practical findings relevant to athlete development and talent identification that are along similar lines to those being investigated in the Pathways to the Podium Research Project.
October 2011. The excitement is building towards the Olympic and Paralympic Games in London (with less than 300 days to go). The city will undoubtedly host a glorious festival of sport. Meanwhile most UK sports are planning nervously (or they should be) for the next quadrennial in an atmosphere of complete uncertainty amid a climate of cut backs in public sector spending and pessimistic early indications of levels of government funding in the future. The key issue post 2012 is the sustainability of sports in a more challenging external environment. The attached article offers hope and a way ahead to achieve 'blue ocean' space from competing organisations.