Connie Steele established the consulting company Flywheel Associates, launched the awesome Strategic Momentum podcast, and still manages to integrate her work life with her family – and she does it all with a grace and an openness parallelled by few.
Connie and I have known each other as friends and colleagues for many years and I just had to have her on the podcast because, well, her journey has been so badass!
I’m particularly pleased to be able to share this conversation with you because it focuses on something extremely important (and too often misunderstood) that Connie and I have been talking about forever: Strategy!
AOL: Our origin story
Before starting her own company, Connie was a marketing executive in companies both large and small, including AOL, which is where we met and worked very closely together.
And as a leader in that environment, you had to set a course, cast a vision, and establish a goal – then you had to figure out how to do it because, at that time, there was really no roadmap for what the business was doing.
Connie learned to align the execution idea to data, however much was available (often not a lot), allowing her to articulate the rationale to everyone and show the why behind her strategic decisions – she was getting insights before it was cool!
“So, it really had set me up to think the way that I do today, approach things in the way that I do today, and has been invaluable for me.”
Flywheel Associates & Strategic Momentum
Flywheel Associates is all about teaching businesses to propel themselves forward by helping them understand how to bridge the gap between strategy and execution; developing the strategic momentum you need to break through business inertia.
When starting any initiative or project, it's about listening, it's about discovering, it's about connecting all those seemingly disparate dots that would exist in one's organization. Getting that perspective can be difficult to do from within the organization itself, but when you understand the environment and you get those data points through listening, you start to see that connective tissue.
But most people are also still used to working within their silos or within their own little box – “they don’t realize there's an interconnectivity that has to happen for their own initiatives to move forward, and for the broader corporate or organizational initiatives to move forward.”
Although born out of the fast-paced environment of early tech companies like AOL, that holistic strategic thinking – the combination of the creative mind, the operational mind, and human relationships – is really critical to your success in any industry these days.