September 2020

Strategy Talk

Whichever hemisphere you live in chances are you are in that “I’m back” state of mind. I know I am, after taking off August (mostly) for the first time in my professional life. This is a good moment for leaders to talk about the big picture and how their organization’s purpose (the ‘why’), vision (the ‘what’) and mission (the ‘how/strategy’) applies. Consider designating one week for conversations about how each and everyone’s daily work matters in this framework—and ideas for removing hurdles to implementing the strategy. Who facilitates these conversations will depend on your organization’s structure and culture, for example informal team leads or formal managers. Don’t forget the role employee resource groups, labor unions and staff associations can have in this process. The goal? Strategy is everyone’s business. Build clarity about goals, priorities, trade-offs and opportunities.


Learning from the future. J. Peter Scoblic has a timely essay on strategic forecasting (Harvard Business Review). “At the very moment when the present least resembles the past, it makes little sense to look back in time for clues about the future. In times of uncertainty, we run up against the limits of experience, so we must look elsewhere for judgment.” To imagine multiple futures (scenario planning that is built into an organization’s regular planning cycle) equips teams to “sense, shape and adapt” in the years to come.

How to bounce back after losing a job. Gwen Moran has a quick take on resilience (Fast Company). Focus on what you can control such as updating your budget, eating well and exercising. Take time to think through what’s just happened to you, try not to rush into decisions. Identify your “recovery team” (friends, colleagues and family). Remind yourself of your skills, talents and accomplishments—you are you, not your job. Help others, it gets us out of our heads and builds a sense of gratitude.


#BeThe1To is the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline’s message for National Suicide Prevention Month in the U.S. Research suggests people who are thinking about suicide feel relief when someone asks how they are doing in a caring way. The NSPL has lots of resources for talking about suicide. #BeThe1To … Ask.


“Courage starts with showing up and letting ourselves be seen,” Brené Brown, Research professor

Connect with Us

Our newsletter is about leadership, careers, and some of what inspires us. Let’s stay connected.