Filling the gap between strategy and execution

Organizations invest tremendous amounts of time and resources in their strategic planning processes, yet many struggle when it comes to the actual implementation. According to recent research by Kotter International, 70% of new, large-scale strategic initiatives fail. These echo the findings in the report just released by The Economist Intelligence Unit.

Think about how to connect your strategy design with your ability to deliver — or pay the price

It’s that shadow that fascinates me. Throughout my career, I have seen how even the most brilliant strategies can come to nothing because the connection between the definition and the delivery of strategy is incomplete and ineffectual. Markets are in constant flux, digital technology is accelerating the pace of, well, everything, consumer behavior is morphing before our eyes, and political and economic conditions can and do change overnight. In this environment of rapid change and uncertainty, organizations can survive only by continuously updating and refining their strategies — and then translating them into results.

Ricardo Vargas interview for Mundo PM magazine

Ricardo Vargas, from Macrosolutions, talks about his peculiar trajectory in the project management consulting area. With his “one-man” company, he serves giant corporations, travels almost every week abroad, and conducts world-class workshops. In an exclusive interview, the expert discusses the changes in the current work patterns and their applications in an information society already controlled by social networks. It also talks about the importance of planning and risk management in the business environment and how it has become a global reference in the area.

How to identify leaders

There is no science in the world that will identify leaders in your team. There is, however, a pattern of behaviour you can recognize that will increase your chances of finding a person who can motivate, inspire and lead. I do not believe one size fits all, but the following three general pillars help me identify leadership: commitment, personal drive and trust.

How are refugee "cities" born around the world

At a time when the humanitarian drama of desperate people moves the world and imposes a dilemma on Europe, there are refugee camps already reaching 150,000 inhabitants. They are something like cities that have commerce, hospitals, schools and even streets with their own denomination. Everything is transitory, but it is consolidating permanently, in a paradox whose greatest symbol is that children born and raised in places like this.

Leading (and learning) in the field

Every day at the United Nations Office for Project Services (UNOPS), I need to get things done while working with diverse partners, suppliers, governmental agencies, local communities and NGOs. In this environment, a project manager has to be politically savvy and able to influence and negotiate with all stakeholders. All this requires leadership skills. Some say leadership is an innate characteristic while others argue it’s an acquirable skill. Wherever you stand on that point, it’s inarguable that leadership skills can be improved. But how can project managers do this?

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