Newsletter – June, 2018

On My Mind
Five months of the calendar year have passed and many Leadership Teams are starting to prepare for their mid-year strategic planning review. Here is one important question that is typically on the review agenda: “Are we making adequate progress in accomplishing our strategic objectives?” Leadership Teams who are on track will probably celebrate. Leadership Teams who missed their milestone targets will most likely scramble to learn “What went wrong?” and “What can we do to salvage the situation?” In either case, the senior executives who are involved in the review should strive to learn as much as they can and reach consensus on a positive way forward. The review—if done well—will provide a great opportunity for leaders to understand organizational performance and make the necessary course corrections.

Interesting Stories
Mark Zuckerberg, the CEO of Facebook, has had an interesting two months. He abandoned his hoodie and donned a suit and tie for his appearances in front of the United States Congress and European Union lawmakers to provide testimony and answer questions. Zuckerberg and his “Team” face a number of strategic issues related to their business model, data privacy, data protection, the European Union’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), and potential changes to U.S. data-related regulations. He mentioned “AI” numerous times during his appearances which seemed strange because Facebook is hiring thousands of content reviewers (humans) to judge user (“customer“) content for appropriateness. The lesson is that AI is not yet perfect and there are still some tasks that must be performed by humans even in the leading technology companies.

Company News
I’ll be presenting on Big Data Strategy on June 5 at the Big Data Tech 2018 Conference conducted by MinneAnalytics to be held at the Normandale Partnership Center. The schedule for the next public Strategic Improvement Systems, LLC events has been set: Customer Experience Deep Dive Workshop – June 12, 2018; Leading Strategic Improvement Course – June 20, 2018; Introduction to Analytics & Big Data Course – July 11-12, 2018; Strategic Improvement Green Belt Course – Starts August 15, 2018; Strategic Improvement Black Belt Course – Starts August 21, 2018; Strategic Improvement Master Black Belt Course – Starts August 27, 2018. The brochures are available on this website. Also, the 10th Annual Advanced Strategic Improvement Practices Conference will be held October 2, 2018 at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum. The brochure will be available on this website on June 15, 2018.

Intriguing Reads
John Doerr, Chairman of Kleiner Perkins, details some of the strategic planning practices of Intel (formerly led by Andy Grove) and Google (founded by Larry Page and Sergey Brin) in his new book titled, Measure What Matters: How Google, Bono, and the Gates Foundation Rock the World with OKRs. “OKR” is a simple framework composed of an “Objective” and the corresponding “Key Results.” The book is filled with numerous real examples and practical suggestions. While the OKR approach is very basic and not as advanced as Hoshin Kanri, it does provide senior executives with a simple framework for determining what should be accomplished in the form of objectives and what is necessary to accomplish those objectives (key results).