Culture: Strategy Tsunami or Supporter?

December 3, 2009

I had a conversation with a fascinating writer named Wayne Hurlbert in which we discussed how to build a strategy that can flourish in good times as well as bad. Wayne made an interesting point that while we often focus on the nuts and bolts of strategy development and execution, we often overlook something that can drive or destroy it all….

Idiocy in the Ivy

November 25, 2009

When it comes to strategy, the world of sports provides plenty of examples of what not to do. Case in point: the Harvard-Yale football game last weekend. Harvard prevailed 14-10 due to one of the biggest strategic blunders in the history of sports. Leading the game 10-7 with only 2:25 left, Yale’s first-year coach Tom Williams decided not to punt…

The Future is Now…Almost

November 16, 2009

I had the opportunity to provide a ten-minute presentation on strategic thinking at FutureForum 2010, which was moderated by Michael Arndt, editor of BusinessWeek’s innovation and design coverage. I was joined by several other authors on the panel, including Scott Davis, author of The Shift and Bridget Brennan, author of Why She Buys. Scott and Bridget both brought some excellent…

Diving Deep

November 12, 2009

A recent article in Forbes Magazine by Lee Gomes said that a more effective form of innovation than disruption is to do a Deep Dive. Since this also happens to be the title of my new book on strategic thinking (Deep Dive: The Proven Method for Building Strategy, Focusing Your Resources and Taking Smart Action), I decided to investigate further….

The Holy Grail: Competitive Advantage

November 3, 2009

What is your competitive advantage? If you’re not able to answer this question, there’s a good chance you don’t have one. And if you don’t have one, there’s the distinct possibility that your company won’t be around much longer. We can break competitive advantage into three areas, starting with your capabilities. What are your key resources, assets and core competencies?…

Innovation’s Unforced Errors

October 29, 2009

One of the top issues on senior executive’s agendas is the quest to inject a bolus dose of innovation into their businesses in order to meet continually demanding growth objectives. Innovation can have the positive results of differentiation, productivity and neutralizing a competitor’s advantage. Unfortunately, research has shown that the most common result of innovation efforts is waste. As innovation…

Innovation = New Value

October 27, 2009

The topic of innovation can send people in a lot of different directions. Perhaps the simplest definition of innovation is “something that provides new value to customers.” When we think about innovation as providing new value, it opens up a world of opportunities to us. And customers can be both external and internal. So innovation can enable us to provide…

Strategy Soprano’s Style

October 13, 2009

Last week I was in Atlanta for a television appearance on FOX TV to talk about how companies and managers can be successful in a tough economy. As I sat in the Green Room (actually only the door was green) waiting for my interview, in walked Federico Castelluccio (aka Furio, from the HBO series “The Sopranos”) who was also a…

So What Exactly is Strategy?

September 24, 2009

I’ve heard a number of clever academicians say that strategy can’t be defined, it can only be studied on a case by case basis after the fact. Bull. I define strategy as the intelligent allocation of limited resources through a unique system of activities to outperform the competition in serving customers. No, I didn’t get this from a Dilbert cartoon….

Do You Have Experience or Expertise?

September 22, 2009

It’s a common belief that the truly great ones—Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, Wolfgang Mozart, Gary Kasparov, etc. have been blessed with tremendous innate talents that ordinary folks like you and me haven’t been given. It also happens to be dead wrong. Research in the past twenty years has shown quite conclusively that the notion of talent’s “chosen ones” is a…