CEO Blog Nation: “Secrets from a Facilitator: Planning an Effective Strategy Process”

CEO Blog Nation: “Secrets from a Facilitator: Planning an Effective Strategy Process”

On CEO Blog Nation, Karla Raines illuminates three tips for leading a successful strategy retreat. These tips involve clear communication and understanding the limitations of your event schedule and facilitator. Read more in “Secrets from a Facilitator: Planning an Effective Strategy Process.”

Excerpt

The first quarter of 2021 is in the rearview mirror, and you can see the year speeding up with each passing week. It’s time to prepare for your 2022 strategy process. The unprecedented nature of last year and the beginning of 2021 remind us that the usual approaches won’t do when complexity and uncertainty continue to shape the future. Who would have envisioned the GameStop mania or the Suez Canal freighter blockage?

I’ve facilitated hundreds of retreats and strategy processes over the years. My advice for 2021?

  1. Clarify expectations.
  2. Understand retreat limitations.
  3. Consider your facilitator.

This piece has been published in full on CEO Blog Nation. Read it here.

Young Upstarts – “Purposeful Strategy: Four Insights To Drive Your Company’s Future”

Young Upstarts – “Purposeful Strategy: Four Insights To Drive Your Company’s Future”

On Young Upstarts, Karla Raines provides four insights into how organizations achieve strategic success. Between new customer zeitgeists and the ripple effects of COVID-19, purpose-driven leaders have their hands full stepping boldly into the Next Normal™. Read more in “Purposeful Strategy: Four Insights to Drive Your Company’s Future.”

Excerpt

I spend my days tracking trends with the power to shape or drive a company’s future. Purpose-driven companies looking to stand out in the marketplace are navigating several notable shifts, courtesy of the customer zeitgeist and COVID-19.

Here are four field-tested insights to achieve strategic success.

Insight 1 – Purpose unites with strategy.

We see so many examples of customers flocking to purpose-driven organizations and turning away from those that do not authentically demonstrate their commitment in thought, word, and deed. Numerous reports by international consultancies note the driving force of Millennial and Gen Z consumers, and that trend is transcending generational cohorts. Your customer can spot inauthenticity in a nanosecond today.

This piece was published in full on Youngupstarts.com. To read the full article now, click here.

Recruiting Daily: Delivering a Differentiated Advantage

Recruiting Daily: Delivering a Differentiated Advantage

On RecruitingDaily.com, Karla Raines describes three steps to differentiation success. Read more in “Pushing Past the Strategic Sweet Spot”

Excerpt

Without a compelling uniqueness, your company risks being essentially equivalent, or worse, misunderstood, by savvy customers. Confused or disinterested customers will pursue other options.

It’s easier than ever to lose a customer to an unknown competitor that is a scroll, click, or keyword search away, thanks to the power of smartphones.  

I leave you with these suggestions to accelerate strategic success.

  • Build quality into strategy design through an iterative, human-centered process. That approach allows you to test and retest assumptions as you gauge interest in the big ideas.
  • Elevate the voice of your customer when setting strategy. Embrace a customer mindset to reveal what matters most, and use those crucial insights to connect value proposition to differentiation advantage.
  • Creativity, passion, and energy during strategy setting will carry you through to execution. The more you can rally your team around customer mindset and the opportunities for differentiation, the better. After all, your team wants to engage with exciting and unique work, a sense of purpose their goal.

This piece is being published in full on Differentiationzone.com. To read the full article now, head to RecruitingDaily.com using the button below. Otherwise, head to our Discoveries page.

Quality Digest: “Pushing Past the Strategic Sweet Spot: Incorporating Your Customer’s Perspective”

Quality Digest: “Pushing Past the Strategic Sweet Spot: Incorporating Your Customer’s Perspective”

On Qualitydigest.com, Karla Raines describes her journey from the world of industrial engineering to the world of strategy consulting. Over an impressive career, she’s realized that without a compelling uniqueness, your company risks being essentially equivalent, or worse, misunderstood, by savvy customers. Confused or disinterested customers will pursue other options. It’s easier than ever to lose a customer to an unknown competitor that is a scroll, click, or keyword search away, thanks to the power of smartphones.

Read more in Pushing Past the Strategic Sweet Spot: Incorporating Your Customer’s Perspective.”

Excerpt

Total quality management (TQM) was in vogue during my undergraduate years and early career in industrial engineering. The United States was catching up to the Japanese in manufacturing production as their Toyota vehicles outperformed our Fords. A company couldn’t deliver a competitive product without an optimized manufacturing process. Strategy followed suit as companies invested in new capabilities. The race to data-driven everything was on.

My career began at Raytheon’s Waltham plant, where I supported manufacturing lines for U.S. Navy radar and communications systems. Remember the aircraft carrier in the original production of Top Gun? Can you see the radars moving to track the action? My production line manufactured the wiring harnesses to power those systems. After Raytheon, I supported F-16 fighter aircraft production. That mile-long factory was a sight to behold.

This piece has been published in full on Qualitydigest.com. Click here to read the full article.

Authority Magazine – “Favorite ‘Five Things Videos’ About Agile Businesses; How Businesses Pivot and Stay Relevant In The Face of Disruptive Technologies”

Authority Magazine – “Favorite ‘Five Things Videos’ About Agile Businesses; How Businesses Pivot and Stay Relevant In The Face of Disruptive Technologies”

Authority Magazine recently ran a series called “How Agile Businesses Pivot In The Face of Disruptive Technologies”.

The editors interviewed CEOs and business leaders from an industry that is being impacted by a disruptive technology and heard their strategies about how to pivot and stay relevant.

Some of the leaders, including Karla Raines, put together some fantastic videos sharing their five tips.

Watch here: “Authority Magazine’s Favorite ‘Five Things Videos’ About Agile Businesses; How Businesses Pivot and Stay Relevant In The Face of Disruptive Technologies”

Excerpt

Karla Raines is an accomplished strategist serving purpose-driven organizations in dynamically competitive industries. Her commitment to mastering the art of strategy led her to a career-defining eureka moment in 2018. Her book Differentiated shares the story of her inventive strategy process, Differentiation Zone®, through real-life vignettes and powerful lessons pulled from over two decades of consulting experience. Karla recognizes that creativity and imagination are crucial to the strategy process and would not have discovered Differentiation Zone without both. Her “aha” moment in 2018 occurred when she saw something she had never seen before. The experience crystallized her intuitive process and inspired her to reverse engineer what she had taught herself to do over years of hands-on practice.

With a unique ability to see beyond what is, Karla leads her clients to discover authentic differentiation and craft plans to realize their competitive advantage. Abstract painting propels Karla’s professional creativity and risk-taking as it fuels her soul. Artists look at the world differently, and creativity opens a new portal. Years of painting have taught Karla to get out of her way, not to tell herself no, and be open to the power of flow. She wouldn’t have discovered Differentiation Zone without it.

Watch the video on Authority Magazine.

Differentiation Zone Video Thumbnail
Babyboomers.com – “Take that Career Risk at 60. If not Now, When?”

Babyboomers.com – “Take that Career Risk at 60. If not Now, When?”

On Babyboomers.com, Karla Raines invites retired or soon-to-be-retired professionals to make that career change. For an inspirational story of career risk and success, read “Take that Career Risk at 60. If Not Now, When? 

Excerpt

At the age of fifty-eight, I experienced the most breathtaking event of my career. Quite unexpectedly, I had a visceral experience whose memory lives on in my body and soul. After decades of mastering the art and craft of strategy, I discovered something I’d never seen before. Hours of experience with a specific framework yielded a eureka that captured my attention. Throughout 2018, the discovery kept nagging at me. “Karla, you may be on to something,” the refrain in my head. It wouldn’t let go of me.

Click here for the full article.