Ahead of next February's Chief Strategy Officer summit in Melbourne, we spoke to Tanya Felton, National General Manager - Health Industry Development at Telstra. Tanya has worked at some of the world's most influential companies - including Honeywell and Microsoft - but is now working to build the presence of Telstra's solutions across the Australian healthcare market.
How do you design strategies which have the capacity to adapt in the face of a changing market?
Markets are dynamic and strategy needs to reflect that. It’s important to focus on core values, develop a framework that supports those values and use that to guide strategic and then tactical planning. Making sure the right people are consulted and involved in developing strategy that has the flexibility but delivers is critical.
What impact has technology had on company strategies?
Technology is constantly changing with a focus on increasing mobility of people, flexibility of working environment and the ability for just about everything to be connected. From a strategic perspective, there needs to be a decision on how much to embrace technology as an enabler to doing things smarter, analyzing historic and current data and predicting trends.
What is the link between culture and strategy?
Culture will support and drive strategy. The right strategy not supported by an aligned culture will fail.
Should all companies act like startups? Is it even possible?
Companies can certainly have some elements of acting like a start-up. A start-up attitude will keep innovation at the forefront, always with an eye on containing cost. In large companies this is particularly important. The ability to form informal networks that can achieve extraordinary outcomes makes great sense and is often the source of the ideas propel companies into future success.
What skills does the ideal leader possess?
I think the ideal leader is that great mix of inspiring, collaborative in gathering information, decisive, empowering. It is that person that individuals and teams will continually strive to deliver the impossible for.