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Strategic Intent May 29, 2006

Posted by humairah in Definitions & References, Management, You.
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Gary Hamel and C K Prahalad have written a book, Competing for the future, where they define, 'Strategic Intent'. This was first introduced in 1989, in the Harvard Business Review.

It's an interesting concept in management, and I think it's important because of the importance of having the right intentions in Islam. The Prophet Muhammad (pbuh) said, 'Innamal 'amaalu bin niyyaat'- Actions are indeed by intentions.

So, extending this concept (and it's a huge extension!) to the company level,  strategic intent is:

"an ambitious and compelling … dream that energizes … that provides the emotional and intellectual energy for the journey … to the future."

If strategic architecture (a high-level blueprint for the deployment of new functionalities, the acquisition of new competencies or the migration of existing competencies, and the reconfiguring of the interface with customers) is the brain, strategic intent is the heart.

What a company has currently- resources, labour, capability, are not enough. Strategic intent should give a sense of stretch, and this sense of stretch has 3 attributes:

  1. Direction: You have a particular point of view about the competitiveness of your firm. This foresightedness should convey a clear direction in the future.
  2. Discovery: Encourage employees to open up new venues, exploration, ideas, creativity, new territories that are unique.
  3. Destiny: Beginning with the end in mind. Where are you going? What's in your hands? What can you change? What are your takes? How do you feel? (more…)
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Leadership- The critical difference May 28, 2006

Posted by humairah in Learning from personalities.
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By Brian Tracey

Staying in the zone
Remember, in order to become a leader, you start with an 'A'. Now all you have to do, is keep it. If you've been eating a lot of junk (out of the zone), you're just one step away from the right zone- Eat a healthy meal. Similarly, in order to become a leader, all you have to do is work hard to keep your 'A'- You already have it.

The qualities of leadership

Clarity of vision
Leaders have vision. They can see the future, and they have a long-time perspective. They have the ability to visualise an ideal future. Everyone close their eyes, imagine this room goes into a time warp. 5 years later, you open your eyes. Something wonderful has happened- Your whole life has been perfected. All your dreams have been fulfilled, and all your goals have been achieved- What would it look like? Where would you be? Who would you be with? How well would you be doing? How much would you be earning? How fit would you be? What would your children be like?
This a critical question to answer, because:
1. 5 years have passed, and this is what you'd be.
2. If you're absolutely clear on what you want, you'd be exponentially closer to your goals 5 years from now in reality.

Strategic intent: Where would you want to be in 5-10 years. What kind of a person would like to be?
If you can define that today, you develop long term perspective.

Clarity is very important. Unlike Columbus- when he reached America, he didn't know where he was. When he got back, he didn't know where he went. And this is how most people are when they goto work. A successful person is like an arrow. He knows where he's heading. He can see the direction.

Think about the future
Leaders think about the future. This is one of the characteristics of superior people. Average people think about reading the paper, watching TV, and so on.

Emerson said you can tell how big you are by the type of things that irritate you- such as, the candy on your pillow, or the government corruption. What pre-occupies you?What are your values? What do you stand for? What do you believe in?
Recent studies show they know who they are. You don't need to tell them. Non-leaders are a little bit to the left, or to the right.
Leaders have a mission- It's the galvanising force in your life. A mission is your ideal future condition. You are the president for your own company, and you need a mission for your own life.
'I am an outstanding professional in my field. I'm the best amongst my team. I am intensely service oriented. I'm liked and looked up by all those around me.' Keep comparing yourself to your mission. Leaders set very high standards for themselves. Am I living upto the best that is in me? Your mission is to do something best with your life. You can hold up your mission and keep comparing yourself to it. You just need to use a fraction of all the potential that God has given us to make a difference around us.

(more…)

Introduction May 27, 2006

Posted by humairah in General.
3 comments

As salamu alaikum

I've been thinking about this blog for a very long time. Yet it's almost funny that I would write articles on leadership, when I do not compare an inch amongst the many leaders in our community.

Alhamdulillahi rabbil 'Alameen- Allah subhana wa ta'ala has facilitated my initiative at the right time, and I'm quite overwhelmed to be able to start this!

 The first few articles are going to be quite random, until I think I've learnt enough to give this blog some structure. Please drop your comments, feedback and whatever you may please. I'm the one who has the most to learn, and any help in that regard is only appreciated!

salamu alaikum wa rahmatullah

-Humairah Irfan