Real challenges: the Messy Middle

Oct 2019 | Leader communication, Strategy implementation

I so appreciate Scott Belsky‘s perspective about implementing strategy, which he outlines in The Messy Middle.  Combining his experience as Chief Product Officer of Adobe, co-founder of Behance and investor, Scott focuses on start-ups and entrepreneurs – which are today’s trend.

Yet his two visual charts here describe nearly every strategy I’ve seen, large company or small, and are well worth a look (and a smile): The Myth and The Reality.

Scott says that we don’t talk about the down curves of implementation enough. The persistence, the stress, the tough surprises, the wondering if it is simply impossible. We could better prepare to have stamina when facing the obstacles as leaders and as teams.

If we communicate nothing else, maybe it should be this – that our strategy will inevitably go differently in implementation than it starts on paper and that we will have to adjust.

While acknowledgement of this reality is not the easiest, shiny, drum-rolling, vision painting way to begin, it might be the most honest and credibilty building when the strategy plan plays out.

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