Change Whisperer – Gail Severini, Symphini Change Management Inc.


What is the Board’s Role in Strategy and Strategy Execution? Post 2 of 3

Institute of Corporate DirectorsThis post is a continuation of notes from a fantastic panel discussion, “Growth Strategy—the Board’s Role,” run by the Institute of Corporate Directors.

On stage, board members represented major public- and private-sector organizations such as BCE, Bell Canada, Scotiabank, Loblaw, Shoppers Drug Mart, St. Michael’s Hospital, Sun Life Financial, Canadian Pacific Railway, Princess Margaret Cancer Foundation, and Imperial Oil. Bios are provided in Post 1. My own comments are indicated in italics. continue reading here



About this blog

This is a blog about Strategy Execution and all of the disciplines that comprise it. It is about Leadership, Planning, Organizational Development,  Change Management and Project Management.  It is about mindsets, methodologies and capabilities.

It is about implementing change and driving ROI to the bottom line.

It is intended for:

  • Boards of Directors and Leaders who wonder “what on earth happens to the great strategy that we pipe into the top of the organization?”
  • Program, Project and Change Management practitioners trying to manage the weather systems of change raining inside the organization

Every professional who has undertaken a daunting strategy recognizes the high organizational, and personal, risk.  A recent study, “Why Good Strategies Fail: Lessons for the C-Suite“, from The Economist Intelligence Unit pegs the failure rate at 44%.   Yet success is entirely feasible for those who prepare, deliver and follow through with discipline.

And, more good news, there are innovations in execution that many organizations have only just begun to tap into.

continue reading here



“You’re a little loopy when you’re hungry.” Working at the limits of change capacity

You're a little loopy when you're hungry graphicI always laugh when I see the new Snickers commercials—I admit it, I sometimes even rewind them.

They remind me that “You’re not yourself when you’re under the stress of change.”

Have you seen Robin Williams on your projects lately? This is the “Fourth and loopy” commercial where the usually very intense and focused coach is momentarily an incarnation of Robin Williams.

Very funny…because we can relate. continue reading here



Leading strategy? Vicarious rejuvenation. Post 3 of 3

 “The whales sing, not because they have an answer. They sing because they have a song.” —Andrew Stevenson

Endurance cropped with nameThere is no substitute for getting away from it all.

Displacement is a powerful rejuvenation technique.

For six hours on March 14th we forgot everything. We focused only on finding whales. I hope this story will “take you away” for a few minutes. continue reading here



Leading strategy? The three key ingredients for rejuvenation. Post 2 of 3

You can go to heaven if you want. I’d rather stay in Bermuda.” —Mark Twain

Castle IslandThere are, of course, many compelling reasons to take a vacation, but here is one that reconciles with your business objectives.

Go slow to go fast.

To bring our best selves forward to complex and high-pressure strategy, we need clear minds and fulsome spirits.
continue reading here



Leading strategy? The business case for rejuvenation. Post 1 of 3

“Going faster and faster leads either to immediate lift off or eventually to a grinding halt. Slow down to go faster.”—Gail Severini

whale fluke March 14 with citationExecuting strategy is exhausting―both physically and emotionally.

It requires double-timing at very stressful and often long-term initiatives.

Everyone needs to find ways to re-charge, re-fresh, re-juvenate.

continue reading here



Breakthrough innovation is uncomfortable―get through it. Post 2

“Be careful what you ask for cause you just might get it.” Refrain from “When I Grow Up” by The Pussycat Dolls

peppersMany organizations are chasing the “innovation” strategy.

We want all of the benefits, don’t we?

We want the shiny design, the “loyalty” of our clients, the envy of our competitors, and the bountiful revenue.

This is “hot” change. Maybe uncomfortably hot.

What price is the organization willing to pay?

What price are you, the leader, willing to pay? How about you, the employee? continue reading here