Peter Robertson is the founder of Human Insight, designer of the ACT and AEM Cube and author of 'Always Change a Winning Team'. His work is said to be the new MBTI of leadership and strategic success. It is used by Phillips to evaluate its innovation teams. Peter and I caught up in Singapore over noodles.
"Successful strategies are like a bouquet", begins Peter. "A successful strategy has a particular mix - like a good bouquet has more than one type of flower."
"Depending on what a strategy is aiming to do for a business, one bouquet or team mix will be more successful than others," explains Peter. "A team that is great at one type of strategy will not be great at another. The leadership team needs to change. Balance is not stasis, it is the constant adjustment to what is and will be."
Think of it like seasons. Spring leads to summer leads to autumn then to winter. Many companies think they can focus only on the summer of growth and the harvest of autumn. They can't. Winter and spring are necessary for new cycles or businesses. Winter is the letting go and completion, while spring is the beginning of the next.
These seasons influence the mix of leaders that best serve your strategy and leadership team.
Peter's key points on balance, teams and strategy:
- Everything goes through cycles of creation, development, growth, maturity/harvest and end.
- Successful teams have specific profiles based on the part of the cycle they address.
- A strategic weak point arises when same team is kept on - success at the last part of the cycle is no guarantee of success in the new.
In short, if you want successful strategies then do what Peter's book says: Always change a winning team.
Based on Insights for Success 2012: Projects, Programs and Portfolios. Joanne Flinn is the author of 'The Success Healthcheck for IT Projects' (Wiley 2010).
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