Strategic thinking for leaders
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Strategic Thinking for Leaders. NTEN Online Technology Conference September 16, 2009 Edward Granger-Happ CIO, Save the Children US & UK Chairman, NetHope. Four Take-aways.

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Strategic thinking for leaders

Strategic Thinking for Leaders

NTEN Online Technology Conference

September 16, 2009

Edward Granger-Happ

CIO, Save the Children US & UK

Chairman, NetHope


Four take aways

Four Take-aways

  • IT Strategy at an NGO is about capacity building and moving the agenda up the strategy pyramid to mission-moving applications

  • NGOs cannot follow in the footsteps of corporations; we need to stand on their shoulders

  • Look to the future in the Field and the schools

  • Ask good questions


Cracking the walnut

Cracking the Walnut

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ZPhRA2qywgU


What jumps out about strategy in this story

What jumps out about strategy in this story?

  • Start with a vision and a need

    • they need to dialog

  • Look outside for more ideas

    • nothing happened in the ant farm

  • Have a specific destination

    • out of town, where the real obstacles are

  • Vary like mad to get the one that works

    • if times are bad, vary more, not less

  • Don't get surprised by surprises

    • find another nut


Strategic thinking for leaders

What’s the single most important strategic question?


Strategic thinking for leaders

What’s my destination?


A word about destinations

A Word about Destinations

"Would you mind telling me, please which way I ought to go from here?""That depends a good deal on where you want to get to," said the Cat.

"I don't much care where--" said Alice."Then it doesn't matter which way you go," said the Cat." --so long as I get somewhere," Alice added as an explanation."Oh, you're sure to do that," said the Cat, "if you only walk long enough."--Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland


Strategic thinking for leaders

Save the Children

IT Vision and Strategy


My vision is simple and ambitious

My Vision is Simple and Ambitious

Making us all part of one virtual village.

  • Why? We can imagine a village, a village is connected, needs are personally known & met

  • Strategy is about setting a destination & having a clear vision about what that destination looks like

  • A story about Fraser…


Strategic thinking for leaders

Double the number of children we reach with quality programs.

Increase Alliance collaboration to build our global movement for children


Technology is a key to building capacity

Technology is a Key to Building Capacity

More Effective Impact

At Greater Scale

Effective, Efficient, Scalable Programs

Hiring

Training

Partnering

Processes

Standards

Advocacy

Tools

Systems Impact

Funding Support


Stc it strategy moving the agenda up the pyramid

STC IT Strategy – Moving the Agenda Up the Pyramid

Competitive or Leading

CHILD

“Differentiating”

Child & Field Facing

PROGRAM

“Improving Program Delivery”

Increasing Impact to Children

OPERATIONAL

“Helping the Organization Run”

Efficient

Donor & HQ

Facing

FOUNDATIONAL

“Keeping the Lights On”


The strategy changes at each level

The Strategy Changes at Each Level

Pilot & Build

Competitive or Leading

CHILD

“Differentiating”

Connect & Deliver

PROGRAM

“Improving Program Delivery”

Increasing Impact to Children

OPERATIONAL

“Helping the Organization Run”

Buy, Co-op & COTS

Efficient

Drive out costs,

In-source,

Shared Services

FOUNDATIONAL

“Keeping the Lights On”


And the good enough boundary is high

And the Good Enough Boundary is High

Pilot & Build

Competitive or Leading

CHILD

“Differentiating”

Innovative,

value-added

Technology

Connect & Deliver

PROGRAM

“Improving Program Delivery”

Increasing Impact to Children

“Good Enough”

Commodity

Technology

OPERATIONAL

“Helping the Organization Run”

Buy, Co-op & COTS

Drive out costs,

In-source,

Shared Services

FOUNDATIONAL

“Keeping the Lights On”


Strategic thinking for leaders

Where do we look for ideas, trends?


Where to look for innovation and ideas

Where to look for innovation and ideas?

Children, Students

Field Workers, Partners

Increasing Distance from HQ

Corporations

HQ

Inverting the pyramid


Who is your leading indicator

Who is Your Leading Indicator?


Current university students

Current University Students

  • I asked Dartmouth Graduate students:

    • So what do you use to communicate more, IM or Texting?

  • Answer: Neither

  • Neither?

  • We do everything in Facebook


Strategic thinking for leaders

Who are you spending time with?

“If you’re a CIO, you need to spend a lot of time out on the fringes of the Web because that’s where the innovation’s taking place. You need to spend a lot of time with people under 25 years old.” –Gary Hamel


Nonprofits get by with a fifth or less of corp it costs

Nonprofits get by with a fifth (or less) of corp. IT costs

5x

18x

4x

20

20


Non profit it departments can t play the odds

IF

57% of ERP projects don't realize their ROI (Nucleus Research)

66% IT projects fail (Standish Chaos DB)

NGOs spend a 20th what corporations do (Tuck survey)

And we are spending donors’ dollars

THEN

We must find a better way...

Non Profit IT Departments Can’t Play the Odds

21


Strategic thinking for leaders

We need to collaborate or perish

“Who has expertise I can trust?

Shared

Specialization

Joint Projects

“What can we build together?”

Increasing Levels of Trust

Partnering

“How can we work with corporations?”

Basic Info Sharing

“What are my peers doing?”


For the rest of the world this is the internet

For the rest of the world, this is the Internet


Strategic thinking for leaders

Learn to love the questions


Strategic questions

Strategic Questions

  • What’s your destination?

  • What’s not your destination?

  • What are your bets?

  • What have you learned from history?

  • What are the options?

  • Where do you look?

  • What if you’re wrong?


A strategic plan needs to address

A Strategic Plan Needs to Address…

  • The Goal: what does success look like?

  • The Why: what’s the key driver?

  • The Urgency: what’s the burning platform?

  • The Benefits: what’s in it for the stakeholders?

  • The Obstacles: what’s standing in our way?

  • Support: what do we need to make it happen?


Some poke in the eye questions

Some Poke-in-the-Eye Questions

  • Why are we still running our own email? – Ron Markezich forecast

  • Why are we running our own help desks?

  • Why do we need a server, period? –Chris Thomas

  • Why haven't we changed our program delivery significantly in past 30 years?

  • Why do Imagine Cup students develop more field-based IT innovation in 9 months than nonprofits in 5 years?

  • Why is Cisco able to cut travel 50% and increase customer contacts 20-30% and we can't approach that with our Field?


Four take aways1

Four Take-aways

  • IT Strategy at an NGO is about capacity building and moving the agenda up the strategy pyramid to mission-moving applications

  • NGOs cannot follow in the footsteps of corporations; we need to stand on their shoulders

  • Look to the future in the Field and the schools

  • Ask good questions


What if we re wrong

What if we’re wrong?

Strategy is about making bets!


A final piece of advice 1 user revolutions

A final piece of advice #1 (User Revolutions)

  • Users of technology find ways to get what they need

    • Case of the Wall Street analysts and the Apple II

  • Centralized and controlling technology policies usually invite revolt among the users.

    • Seeing this again with influx of consumer applications like SKYPE, Blogger and Facebook in the workplace.

  • IT managers would do well to heed Lyndon Johnson’s advice:

    • “better to have them inside the tent pissing out than outside pissing in.”


A final piece of advice 2

Before you make your bets:

when there is rapid change and uncertainty, smart organizations vary like mad.

Run pilots, experiments and test ideas. Throw away what doesn’t work. Take to scale that which succeeds.

A final piece of advice #2

31


Further reading

Further Reading

  • Blogs:

    http://eghapp.blogspot.com/

    http://granger-happ.blogspot.com/(Dartmouth Fellowship)

  • Web site: http://www.fairfieldreview.org/hpmd/EGHprofile.nsf

  • Email: [email protected]

  • Twitter: @ehapp

  • And of course:

    Managing Technology to Meet Your Mission, chap. 11.


Questions

Questions?


Appendix

Appendix

  • Additional detail slides


An introduction

An introduction

  • I’m Ed Granger-Happ

    [email protected]

  • Some things on my resume:

    • I spent 13 years on Wall Street & 10 running my own management consulting business --both in IT

    • I’ve been at Save the Children 9 years

    • Save the Children is my third career

  • Some things not on my resume:

    • I was born on Mother’s Day

    • I have two step-sons, David (18) and Scott (15)

    • I like to exercise my right brain with creative writing (see www.fairfieldreview.org)


What s going on in this story

What’s going on in this story?

  • The obvious: You gotta have goals and opportunity

  • All the process, planning and measurements don't get you to your results; playing the game does

  • First tries usually don't work; but there are opportunities for adjustment (The value of pilots, and ant-like industriousness)

  • The try-try-again team approach produces learning; it may also produce results. (Don't forget one for the other.)

  • Setting your sights higher sometimes produces something closer to the outcome intended

  • Even in success, there are usually unintended consequences; life, like worms, is what happens when you're making other plans.


In the beginning there was the vision

In the beginning, there was the vision

Imagine this:

Google's mission is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful.

Bumper sticker version:

All the information for all the people, now


Six strategic questions ed ceos should ask

Six strategic questions ED/CEOs should ask

  • How can we ensure Convergence rather than Divergence?

  • How do we balance innovation and foundation building? process and work-flow applications, and reserve some

  • What’s the technology future and what’s the past?

  • How do we meet near-term business needs while building for the long term?

  • How do we invest enough and not too much?

  • From where will disruptive innovations come for nonprofits come?


Six questions for nonprofit cios

Six questions for Nonprofit CIOs

  • What new programs (that directly serve beneficiaries) have you helped engender that would not have been possible without the new use of technology?

  • What have you done to help close the "productivity gap" in the way your nonprofit delivers programs and operates as an organization?

  • How have you helped bridge the divide that will be caused by disruptive innovations in the nonprofit space?

  • For relief organizations: How have you helped disaster response be 50% faster with 50% greater impact?

  • How have you helped your organization attract and retain knowledge workers (and IT professionals) in the face of crisis of the baby boom generation retirement wave?

  • What are you doing to move commodity functions out of your organization and contribute time, dollars and support to the truly value-added functions of your agency?


Who are our customers

Who Are Our Customers?

HQ Depts

Organization

Donors,

Grantors

Program

Designer

Field

Worker

Corporations

Field

Child

IT Dept.


Fy09 objectives support the strategy

FY09 Objectives Support the Strategy

Beneficiary Pilots

Imagine Cup

ICT4D

NetHope

Competitive or Leading

CHILD

“Differentiating”

Finance

Mgmt (FMS)

PROGRAM

“Improving Program Delivery”

Increasing Impact to Children

Overseas WAN

“FO Wiring”

Video Conferencing

“VOX”

OPERATIONAL

“Helping the Organization Run”

Efficient

Unified

US-UK IT

FOUNDATIONAL

“Keeping the Lights On”


What does success look like

What does success look like?

In five years, I envision SC using technology in the following ways:

  • Greater use of technology to directly impact the lives of children. New programs in health, education, & protection delivered & monitored via technology.

  • All SC offices seamlessly connected. Stakeholders can readily find each other based on expertise & interests, move easily from one office to next & feel part of one organization. Solutions for low bandwidth locations identified & delivered.

  • Critical management information (financials, program status, key metrics like children reached) is available for all countries on a near-real time basis.

  • SC is leveraging technology to be the first & most responsive organization in emergencies (e.g., RFID-based solutions, real-time information & tracking.)

  • Greater connectedness between donors & SC, sponsors & children using web 2.0 technology (e.g. social networking) to strengthen & increase relationships.

  • A low cost technology infrastructure that is shared & scales across the Alliance for large & small members, complex & basic field offices.

  • A greater use of consumer applications (e.g. SKYPE, Flickr, LinkedIn, Google calendar, etc.) by our employees for conducting their daily work.

  • Greater collaboration with INGOs & other partners sharing basic commodity IT services like help desk & procurement.


What are top tech questions to ask

What are Top Tech Questions to Ask?

How will global broadband impact how we do business?

What will the unbundling of the application value chain mean?

How will consumer applications and cell phones change the tool set?

What will the immediacy & democratization of information mean?

From where will disruptive innovations come for nonprofits?

What if we’re wrong?

45


Some poke in the eye questions1

Some Poke-in-the-Eye Questions

  • Why are we still running our own email? – Ron Markezich forecast

  • Why are we running our own help desks?

  • Why are we running commodity IT instead of mission-moving IT?

  • Why are we following in steps of corporations instead of leap-frogging them?

  • “Shadow IT” should be encouraged, supported, recognized –Chris Thomas

  • Why do we need a server, period? –Chris Thomas

  • Why haven't we changed our program delivery significantly in past 30 years?

  • Why do Imagine Cup students develop more field-based IT innovation in 9 months than nonprofits in 5 years?

  • Why is Cisco able to cut travel 50% and increase customer contacts 20-30% and we can't approach that with our Field?

  • Why is it that “every day, somewhere in the world, something is being reinvented in our organization poorly”?


Advice from a hockey legend

Advice from a Hockey Legend

“I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.”

--Wayne Gretzky


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