In the latest HCI Webinar, Dr. Jonathan H. Westover talks with Alex Brueckmann about his book, The Strategy Legacy: How to Future-Proof a Business and Leave Your Mark. Below is a summary of the main points from their conversation! Check out the full episode and let us know what you think!
Watch the episode here:
The conversation between Alex and Jonathan revolved around Alex's new book "The Strategy Legacy," which focuses on the importance of strategic thinking and acting in business. They discussed the idea of writing a book on becoming a strategic leader and future-proofing a business, emphasizing that strategy is not exclusive to boardrooms but can be understood and utilized by everyone. They also touched upon the challenges that fast-growing businesses face, the importance of focusing on a few key priorities, and the transition from subject matter expertise to strategic thinking. The discussion also highlighted the importance of intentionality, selflessness, and effective communication in leadership, as well as the significance of respecting others' time.
Strategy Legacy Book Discussion
Alex and Jonathan engaged in a conversation about Alex's new book, "The Strategy Legacy," which has been successful. Jonathan welcomed Alex and briefly introduced him, mentioning his background, education, and clients. They were about to delve into the key points of the book and discuss Alex's perspective on strategy and legacy in business.
From Guilt to Inspiration: Alex's Book Journey
Alex shared the inspiration behind his upcoming book. He revealed that he and his wife had moved from Germany to Canada during the Covid-19 pandemic, which led him to feel guilty about leaving his European clients behind. This led to the initial idea of creating a manual for his clients to replicate his work without his presence. However, the idea evolved into a book as it grew thicker and thicker. Alex sought advice from the publishing industry and received positive feedback, leading to the development of the book.
Strategic Leadership and Future-Proofing Business
Alex proposed the idea of writing a book on becoming a strategic leader and future-proofing a business, emphasizing that strategy is not exclusive to boardrooms but can be understood and utilized by everyone. Jonathan agreed, highlighting the need for forward-thinking and sustainable strategies in response to the rapidly changing business landscape. They also discussed how individuals already engage in strategy in their daily lives, such as planning for their family's needs, and proposed applying these strategic skills in their professional lives.
Strategic Thinking for Business Relevance
Jonathan and Alex discussed the importance of strategic thinking for all levels of a business. Jonathan emphasized that pushing strategy down and involving everyone in a daily strategic mindset is critical for a business to remain relevant in the future. Alex further clarified that strategy is about making choices that help win in a chosen marketplace. They agreed that strategy is not rocket science and can be implemented with basic principles consistently over time. The conversation ended with Alex explaining that the biggest challenge for fast-growing businesses is often the inability to focus on one idea due to many great ideas.
Strategic Thinking in Organizations
Alex and Jonathan discussed the importance of strategic thinking and acting in an organizational context. Alex emphasized the need for organizations to focus on a few key priorities to ensure success, and highlighted the challenge of implementing this strategy across a large organization. Jonathan agreed, noting the common struggle executives face in transitioning from subject matter expertise to strategic thinking. They agreed on the need for coaching and mentoring for executives to develop this mindset, particularly those in their first executive position.
Transitioning CFO's Past Successes Challenge
Alex and Jonathan discussed the challenges a first-time executive, the CFO, is facing in transitioning from her past successes. Alex pointed out that the CFO is struggling to let go of her past responsibilities, finding enjoyment in them, and fearing that her new role might not provide the same level of satisfaction. Jonathan and Alex agreed that holding onto past successes can hinder further growth and development, and can also negatively impact leadership. They emphasized the need for the CFO to reassess her new role, refocus her time and effort, and support her team's development in a way that suits their individual roles.
Intentional Leadership and Selflessness
Jonathan and Alex had a discussion on the importance of intentionality and selflessness in coaching and mentoring. They underscored the need for leaders to avoid creating "mini-me's" and instead focus on leading with intention. They also highlighted the significance of respecting time and being clear about what one can do. Alex shared an example of an organization experiencing overload due to a lack of respect for time, stressing the importance of influencing others positively. They also touched on the concept of selflessness, with Alex suggesting it's a skill that can be practiced. They emphasized the importance of self-awareness, selflessness, and effective communication in leadership. They stressed the need to respect others' time, be strategic, and avoid scheduling meetings without clear purpose or agenda. They also highlighted the significance of aligning actions with words, as leading by example is crucial for promoting a desired culture and strategy. They agreed that instilling this level of self-awareness in the next generation of leaders could lead to a powerful shift in an organization's culture and strategy implementation.
Listen to the webinar here: