Confessions of a Chief Strategy Officer

Confessions of a Chief Strategy Officer

Confessions of a Chief Strategy Officer

“What will make this time different?”

Answering this question requires you and your team to understand what came before. What stopped your prior strategies from being truly successful or what conditions and people are different today? For me, it was trying to do too much and not effectively aligning our people’s skills to the right projects.

So, each time we look at our own strategy – both the content and the execution plan – we challenge each other to find the flaw, the barrier, and design ways around it so that each time is better than the last, and the company and our people continue to grow.

If the team you have engaged to help you doesn’t first try to understand where and how it broke down, and simply comes in with the approach that has “worked for all these other clients”, then you risk falling into the same traps. Be self-aware, step back and check your progress, hold yourself and your team accountable, and don’t be afraid to try something new. Make this time different.

About Arc Aspicio
Arc Aspicio is a management, strategy, and technology consulting firm that takes a mission-oriented approach to complex client challenges. Focused on innovation, Arc Aspicio provides services in strategy, design, human capital, operations, analytics and visualization, technology, and information sharing. The company is known for a strong, collaborative culture that values gratitude, provides leadership opportunities, and explores the future. Our teams use a human-centered approach to working with clients and are flexible and responsive within dynamic Government client environments that often have new priorities and evolving missions. We thrive on these situations and promote continuous improvement and new ideas. And, #welovedogs! Follow us on Twitter @arcaspicio or learn more at www.arcaspicio.com.

I’ll admit it, I was a little smug. After more than 20 years in the consulting business helping clients develop, implement, and integrate their strategies, I thought… “how hard could it be to do the same things for my own company – a company of consultants?” I had the commitment of my leadership, a group of talented people, and a plan and resources to grow the company. We had energy and we had a great process and tools to successful. What could go wrong?

As strategy consultants, we help clients solve their most persistent challenges. The resulting root causes and associated solutions and plans are often like ones the client (even if the client is your own organization) has tried before. And then the hard work of following through on the powerful ideas begins….and begins to fall apart. The sticky point of any strategy was also a sticky point for us – focusing our leadership team on the strategic investments in a sustained way so that we can fully integrate the changes into our operations.

I won’t go into all the best practices and things that you should do to make your strategy successful. There are hundreds of books and articles that already lay out all the steps and behaviors. What I will do is arm you with the one question I learned to ask, and you should ask your team, your consultants, or yourself (as leaders) before you embark on this strategy or change journey.

Blog Strategy Consulting

Contributors

Barbara White |

Barb works at Arc Aspicio as the Chief Strategy Officer and has proven strength in planning and managing business and technology solutions for the government. She blends innovative strategic thinking and tactical implementation with an emphasis on transformation, information sharing, immigration and transportation security.

LeadersNest Names Lynn Ann Casey a FedFem Award Honoree

LeadersNest Names Lynn Ann Casey a FedFem Award Honoree

Washington, DC, October 19, 2018 — LeadersNest named Arc Aspicio CEO Lynn Ann Casey a FedFem Award Honoree. The FedFem awards salute high-impact women executives and leaders of the government contracting community. FedFem Award Honorees blend their entrepreneurial courage and Federal government support that effectively impacts the industry, national economy, and the local marketplace. 

Boosting the Mission: Developing Acquisition Requirements Guidance

Boosting the Mission: Developing Acquisition Requirements Guidance

To keep up with the fast pace of change in the field of Government acquisitions, Department of Homeland Security (DHS) components are developing their own acquisition requirements (AR) policies. However, without specific timeframes to finalize these policies, DHS agencies often lack guidance on how to develop ARs. Among DHS agencies, the U.S. Coast Guard is leading the way with their own formal policy to describe this process. To compliment the U.S. Coast Guard’s policy, DHS created the Joint Requirements Integration and Management System (JRIMS) to offer direction for agencies—to review, validate, and suggest solutions for capability gaps and requirements.

Top Qualities of Design Thinking Leaders

Top Qualities of Design Thinking Leaders

Design Thinking is on the rise in the business world. Design Thinking leaders focus on creating the best product for their clients and working with the experiences and insight of fellow coworkers. Some of the key characteristics of Design Thinking leaders present themselves in individuals who are open and subject themselves to vulnerability with clients and coworkers. These qualities help leaders to connect and build relationships with others. They also create an open flow of communication that allows for others to better share their knowledge to align with and understand the company's mission.

Think, Key, Speak: Purposeful Communications

Think, Key, Speak: Purposeful Communications

I spent the early years of my career in the United States Navy as a Naval Flight Officer on the E-2C Hawkeye, the Navy’s aircraft carrier-based Airborne Early Warning and Command and Control platform. The various missions of the aircraft demand that aircrew monitor up to ten radio frequencies, and actively speak on three or four of those, at any given moment in flight.

How Can Communities Ready Themselves for a Major Power Grid Event?

How Can Communities Ready Themselves for a Major Power Grid Event?

Communities are often the foundation for an expedited recovery following major events. But how can communities strengthen their response to, for example, a major cyber-attack or natural event, such as an Electronic Magnetic Pulse solar flare? A United States electrical grid failure could destroy a number of the nation’s high voltage transformers causing widespread outages for several weeks, even months. A public health emergency could quickly ensue particularly among the vulnerable as the ripple effects cause significant societal disruption. The Federal Emergency Management Agency’s (FEMA) strategic plan encourages and empowers communities to prepare for the inevitable impacts of future disasters. How can communities prime for major events?

Confessions of a Chief Strategy Officer

Confessions of a Chief Strategy Officer

I’ll admit it, I was a little smug. After more than 20 years in the consulting business helping clients develop, implement, and integrate their strategies, I thought… “how hard could it be to do the same things for my own company – a company of consultants?” I had the commitment of my leadership, a group of talented people, and a plan and resources to grow the company. We had energy and we had a great process and tools to successful. What could go wrong?