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#StrategyIRL - My Professional Life's Strategy

This week marks the one-year anniversary of launching a new professional strategy for myself – entrepreneurship.  In the 52 weeks since publicly hanging the "NBG Strategy Consulting" shingle, I have worked with clients ranging from startups through global market leaders, in both public and private sectors, and with some of the most supportive collaborators, idea generators, and all-around positive humans I could imagine.  In this same year, I’ve been excited, nervous, boundary-pushing, and stagnant – sometimes even all in a matter of a week!

What I’ve learned should come as no surprise: a growth strategy requires (1) making hard decisions and (2) committing to the highs and lows that come with those decisions.  Perhaps what I have increasingly learned is that strategic growth is a highly personal journey.  Even for a large organization, defining and following a strategy comes at a high personal cost paid for with leaders’ reputations, time, and energy. 

As I continue to work with clients and boards, I have been solidifying the NBG Strategy Consulting methodology for strategic planning with a behavior-specific lens. Each engagement underscores that the emphasis continues to be less on the plan and more on the resulting implementation roadmap, leadership engagement, and ultimately – conviction to make different decisions to achieve different results. 

Clients often, however, give me a smirk when I ask “so what are your goals?” as they reply “to grow” (likely questioning my value if I didn’t already know such a basic point…). While my push back on the “we want to grow” assertion surprises some, their inability to reply to my next question – “and what does growth look like?” – doesn’t surprise me.

“Make more money.” Who doesn’t want that? 

“Double in size.” About what attribute of size are you talking? 

NBG Strategy Consulting helps clients move from assertions to action. Let’s figure out what you’re going to do to earn that money, who is going to pay it, and how you can incentivize people to deliver it and then we’re talking about the benefits of a successful strategy. Once defined, however, the success of the strategy resides in an organization’s leadership capacity to make tradeoffs, display patience for results, and communicate consistently.

Similarly for myself, my strategic plan requires that I think through all of these questions, too. This article is the result of my desire and need to more articulately define why working with NBG Strategy Consulting yields differentiated results. Simply put, an NBG strategy examines an organization’s needs and willingness to growtransforminnovate, and intrinsically lead itself to a future that is different that its past. Strategy to me is therefore not shelf ware, but a journey to a new enterprise destination of success.

Grow, transform, innovate and lead to build a successful strategy.

As I begin year two on my own corporate journey, I look forward to working with more organizations that need a strategy to succeed in clearly defined terms that unleash their leaders’ potential, innovate in their markets, transform themselves and their customers, and grow in differentiated ways.

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