Helen Chambers consulting

A Strategic Future

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If you are too busy to take timeout, thEn that is when you really need to…

2 minute read

After my first year of consultancy, I’ve taken some time to reflect on what really matters when delivering successfully. Here are the top three things that I think are critical to keeping sane these days and to deliver strategic plans well. 

We all ‘know this’ but in a world that moves faster and faster, and presenting harder and harder challenges, I think it worth taking a moment to step back and reset ourselves a bit.

Take time to think.

In an extrovert world driven by underlying pressures to be obviously busy, stillness currently has little currency. This is dangerous. When things are so volatile, we need to take time to connect back to our purpose, mission and vision and check to see if we are still on track or have been blown off course. It seems hard to carve out this time, but a few minutes each day, and each week, to do a top level check-in has great value and can be created if we step away from seeking our next dopamine hit. Cal Newport writes interestingly on this in Deep Work, and if podcasts are your thing, talks about it too, here.

Take time to talk.

About the right things. The every day operational conversations will happen with your colleagues, but often we don’t make time to talk about the big stuff. It gets crowded out by the imperative and urgency of the day-to-day. This matters. Often a push back of ‘we’ll pick this up next week’ can end up as months of delay. 

Take time to check-in.

Plans can very quickly drift. After the initial excitement of a new strategy it is very easy to settle back into being driven by operational issues. This isn’t you deciding your future, it’s usually being reactive to what the world is throwing at you. Plan time in to review your strategic delivery. And then actually do it. Don’t sacrifice that time to something more immediately urgent, you will pay for that in the end. And be honest; are you actually back-ending all the work because you have too much to do now? Keep it simple, over engineered implementation plans can be overwhelming, cut them down to the key things that really count in landing your plans. 

And how to move from theory to practice? 

Plot some prompts into your diary for the next 3 to 6 months, weekly and monthly. Even if you only manage 50% of them you you will be in a better place than you are now.

Things are tough now, and in a lot of flux. If you like me to help you and your senior team make sure you are delivering to your strategy and intent, or you know you need to pivot but aren’t quite sure how, just get in touch. 


“The quality of everything we do depends on the quality of the thinking we do first.

The quality of our thinking depends on the way we treat each other while we are thinking.”

Nancy Kline

LTD co.



Edinburgh, Scotland.