Working Together: Theory of Practice

Personal understanding + organizational awareness = authentic, effective leadership and sustainable change

My experiences on both sides of the table—as an external adviser and as a CEO—have shaped how I work with clients, and this is reflected in what’s often called a theory of practice.

Whether you’re responding to a major competitive threat, launching a new product, looking to drive change in the organization, or trying to appeal to investors or gain board support, my goal is to create a safe playing field where you can exercise your frustrations, systematically consider your options, and find a way forward. This requires both personal understanding and organizational awareness.

Together, we start with what you personally need to be successful—whether as a new or an established executive—in your current situation. Then we build bridges to those who can help you achieve your goals. Sometimes this requires a hard look at present realities and some soul-searching, with honest and frequent dialogue throughout.

We think holistically, looking at the strategic, organizational, reputational, financial, and political dimensions of your situation through a rapid, customized, and private diagnostic process. This process produces results that you can use to frame what follows.

We consider the optimal actions based on the opportunities and constraints you face today and in the future. We develop hypotheses and scenarios for you and your stakeholders to consider and communicate.

As needed, we focus on building your capabilities to create and sustain value for the organization in whatever ways the situation demands. This often involves:

  • Applying data and analysis to develop awareness, understanding, and agreement and setting target outcomes based on this knowledge
  • Envisioning a shared future that all stakeholders, with their diverse interests, can rally around
  • Understanding the forms of control—both personal and institutional—that will enable progress
  • Shaping your story—priorities, timing, and resources—and sustaining support from key influencers across the organization.
  • Evaluating how best to measure and sustain progress and to maintain organizational understanding and support.