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Current State Assessment (#80)

The Confident Leader

In a recent strategic planning session, which included a conversation about talent, the top leader astutely asked the team, “what’s our current state – our open positions, recent attrition, DEI statistics and employee engagement results?” Defining the right strategies to fulfill the vision requires a detailed understanding of the current state.

Objects in motion tend to stay in motion.
— Sir Isaac Newton (English mathematician and physicist)

This Week’s Edition

What is your current state? Do you have a grasp on what is going well and what is not going well? 

Clarify Your Thinking

“Robin, my business is going well, but I know we can do better.” Jeff offered.

“Okay, tell me about your current strategies,” I asked.

“They’re essential for our growth,” Jeff paused then offered, “but they’ve been a little less than productive of late.”

“Based on the vision we just crafted, how do your current strategies help you realize that future state?”

“I’m not sure,” he said.

“You and your team are primed for a current state assessment – evaluating each strategy from a new perspective,” I suggested.

“But what happens if we discover that some of our current strategies aren’t working?” Jeff asked.

“Well, you should retire them,” I offered.

“I’m not sure we can do that. I inherited some sacred cows and some of our ailing strategies are still decent.”

“Sacred cows? Decent? Is that how you would describe what you need in order to be competitive in the marketplace and realize your future vision?” I asked with a little kick.

“When you put it that way…” he pondered, “we’ve got to do this, evaluate the strategies, but I think it’s going to be a challenge. We are generally resistant to change.”

New Thinking: To realize our vision, we must evaluate our current strategies. Kill what’s not working. Do more of what is working and come up with new ideas too.

Thoughts Lead to Actions

As leaders, habit and routine often keep legacy strategies alive. This makes it hard to stop those things already in motion that are no longer effective. 

If leaders are struggling to find bandwidth, an easy first place to look is at their current strategies. Perhaps some need to be retired thus freeing up valuable time and resources. 

Step 1: Make a list of all the strategies you are currently deploying:

  • Revenue strategy

  • Delivery strategy

  • Client service strategy

  • Employee engagement strategy

  • Etc…

Step 2: Evaluate each strategic initiative (under each strategy) to determine its effectiveness relative to the element(s) of your future vision it may help realize. 

Step 3: For those strategic initiatives that are not effective determine if you can rehabilitate it to make it more effective. If not, retire it due to its lack of utility for the future. Throw a party celebrating its retirement and historical contribution to the organization.


Boost Your Performance

Objects in motion tend to stay in motion. Legacy strategies are no different. It’s hard to decommission an old strategy. If you have defined your vision and are committed to realizing it, killing an old strategy is much easier. Find out how a leader proactively cannibalized a perfectly good revenue strategy to enhance his overall portfolio in this week’s video.

What’s Your Opinion?

What is a strategy you need to retire? Share it with me at :

Don’t let doubt count you out. Have a confident week!

Robin Pou, Chief Advisor and Strategist

If this was helpful, feel free to share it with another leader who needs to defeat doubt and complete their confidence.

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What is “The Confident Leader”?

During the Covid-19 Pandemic, I began a video series called “Panic or Plan?” It was designed to equip leaders to navigate the doubt they experienced and to rise in the confidence they needed to lead during turbulent times. It took off. I then started this newsletter to equip leaders in the same fashion each week for the doubt that crashes across the bow of their leaderSHIP.

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