About Me

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Throughout my 20+ year career as leader in the enterprise software business, I have always had a unique style and approach. Over the years, I have accumulated a number of "Slickisms" (after my last name "Sliwkowski) which are a set of one-liners, stories, and ways of thinking that can help people improve their leadership, decision making, and ultimately keeping everyone's egos in check. I am also an avid fisherman so fishing stories and photos will incorporated into the blog.

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

“Duh, Huh, and Uh” of a Strategy

Ever sit in a meeting where an executive is establishing the new corporate, product, or marketing strategy and you are trying to figure out whether it is an effective strategy. An approach to use is what I call the “Duh, Huh, and Uh” evaluation method.

If you and other people in the briefing have the reaction on what you are hearing of “well duh” then it is high probability that it is an effective strategy. At that point, the company needs to stop talking about strategy and focus on execution. If you have the reaction of “uh”, commonly known referred to as “You got to be f*in kidding me, that is our strategy”. A “uh” reaction is usually accompanied with some type of “eye roll” and/or head roll, then you probably have a flawed strategy.

If you have the reaction of “huh”, (a.k.a. “ I don’t understand what he is saying) then you either have a poorly explained “duh” or pending “uh”. When you have a “huh” explanation of strategy, I usually allow the presenter to have two more tries before I qualify as a “duh” or “uh”, which entails reducing complexity, acronym overloaded, and simplifying the message.

One of the most interesting situations is when the dynamics of an organization is such that they start over engineering, over thinking a strategy such that they turn a perfectly articulated “duh” strategy into a “huh”.

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