Halftime and Strategic Change

It’s amazing how halftime can completely change a game.  How many times have we seen Bill Belichik’s team, after a mediocre first half, come out with a different game plan and dominate in the second half?  In the Big East Tournament recently, Syracuse held a double-digit lead over Louisville at the half, but Louisville came out and excelled in the second half to win. 


Good coaches, generals, and leaders create tactically-proficient organizations, but are vulnerable to strategic shifts.  They respond to such changes by doubling-down on tactics—“work harder!”  But great leaders do something different—they go in with their best tactics, but make strategic adjustments depending on the conditions they face.  Operational excellence is very important, but strategic agility wins games.

© Bob Legge 2013  All rights reserved

A Day in the Life

In Philadelphia over the weekend I saw a Beatles tribute band backed up by the Philadelphia Pops.  The concert was great, but what really struck me was the impact of emotion and touching ‘responsive chords’ in people.  People in their 60s and 70s were on their feet dancing.  Organizations miss a lot when they don’t tap into the human need for affiliation and purpose and instead rely solely on intellectual business appeals to motivate people.  It’s not manipulation if it’s genuine, and if it’s not genuine it will surely backfire. All my best clients have found ways to tap this mother lode of motivation. 

© Bob Legge 2013  All rights reserved

Repetitive People Problems

It doesn’t matter if you’re in a small firm or large company, you cannot tolerate repetitive mistakes or having to regularly redo a subordinate’s work.  Making mistakes and experiencing failure are all part of pushing oneself and innovating – if you’re not failing you’re not trying.  But concomitant with that is the need to learn from mistakes and not repeat them.  If you’re spending more than 10% of your time having to address repetitive problems, that’s way too much.  You need to do your work, not others’.  Find really good people, turn them loose, and pay them for results.

© Bob Legge 2013  All rights reserved

About Those PowerPoint Slides

We all spend far too much time in presentations that are unfocused and too heavy in detail.  Implement these principles for presentations in your organization to make them more effective.

  1. Identify your overall message and primary points and then create the slides to support your key points.  Don’t just put a jillion data points on 72 slides. 
  2. At the top of every slide have a sentence that captures the point of the slide.  Don’t make your audience guess the points you are trying to make. 
  3. Never, ever put sentences and paragraphs on a slide, then stand there and read them aloud.  You know why.
  4. A simple slide is way more effective than complex one.  A few years ago, I was part special group working in conjunction with the Balanced Scorecard Collaborative on an office of strategic planning concept.  One of the two notable and brilliant Harvard business professors made a special presentation for us.  He came to a slide that was outrageously complex with boxes, lines, and arrows all over the place.  Looking at the slide,  he paused, took a step or two back, sighed, and said…”Isn’t it beautiful?”  I’m not making this up.