Thank you for your contribution to, and/or interest in this survey. It has turned out to be more insightful than expected, with some of the brightest and most successful people I know having contributed.Tom Pickering

Background: what was it all about?

 People are a remarkable and unique business asset.

Regardless of the strategic intent of a business, if people are correctly engaged during the journey, they are able to transform that business’s capability.

People, who are working in the right culture, with the right resources, targets, and support often over deliver and even define what’s next,.

So it is not just about simply reaching the goal, capability building is determined by how you get there or the nature of the journey.

I wanted to test our findings with a wider audience / specifically:

Is excellent strategy deployment in itself an effective means to transform business capability?

Common views:

 Success is determined by line management capability, and far less dependent upon central project management.

  • Emotional intelligence, the right people, organisation and structure are the main enablers.
  • The right management skills to execute strategy are recognised, (but the links to the enabling attributes are not).
  • Maintaining margin, revenue and customer service are burning issues (all related and motivation-driven).
  • Organisations have the right people in place (but only half of employees put their business’s interests first), or do they?
  • A thinking workforce is a highly desired outcome.
  • The ability to improve business as usual alongside strategy deployment is critical.

 But the data also indicates:

  • A significant proportion doesn’t see the importance of an executive’s key role as a behavioural role model.
  • The lack of awareness of the enabling attributes and inaction – suggest there are blind spots.
  • In some, the blind spots are almost total; or the enabling attributes have never been considered
  • The results only make sense when considered at an individual level. If this was machine capability data, one would conclude the process is out of control!
  • There is not a significant pattern between responses to highlight “an emerging best practice“.
  • Strategy deployment seems to be underestimated in its complexity; (lack of self awareness and knowledge seem to be mitigated by tenacity and generalisations!).


 I think the inconsistency in awareness makes it difficult for organisations to humbly identify and act on the gaps to transform business capability.   In fairness a lot of the underlying enabling capabilities are counterintuitive and not evident during the normal course of business.

This leaves blind spots.

So some organisations are unlikely to break this cycle and develop in these areas.   More broadly, there seems to be less value in long term strategy and more value in agility; the Chinese plan for the “fog of the future”.

Icebreaker case studies show that change opportunities, managed correctly, do provide significant learning opportunities which if handled correctly transform business capability, create a thinking workforce and enduring legacy.   My proudest case study has now been usurped – my daughter, who has just been appointed head girl at her school.null

Can people develop their emotional intelligence to transform a business?

Yes, I have lots of case studies written by executives and owners that also show the significant financial return achieved when you get close to getting this right.

If you would like to discuss this applied research, feel free to get in contact with me.