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…

Survival of the Fittest

September 15, 2009

When your jeep first rolls through the plains in Africa, you are immediately dazzled by the muscle tone and vitality of the animals. As you watch a pride of female lions stalk zebras in the distance, you are mesmerized by their sleek, powerful bodies. With each step they take, their cut muscles ripple through their fur, while the scars on…

Is HR a Strategic Partner?

September 10, 2009

During my recent trip to England to lead a strategy program for executives from Europe, the Middle East and Africa, an interesting topic came up. Several of the European business leaders wanted to know what role HR plays in strategy in the United States. They were surprised to hear that over the past five years, HR executive’s own assessment that…

The Challenges of Thinking Strategically

September 8, 2009

What stops us from thinking strategically? During the past ten years, I’ve asked thousands of managers from around the world this question and their strategy challenges can be grouped into three areas: #1.  Resources—most people simply don’t have enough time to get things done and in many cases, the organization doesn’t support people taking time out to think. We’ve replaced…

New Growth Comes from New Thinking

September 4, 2009

Last week I had the opportunity to do the keynote speech at the Illinois Society of Human Resource Managers annual conference. I asked the 400 HR executives, “How many of you are looking for new growth for your business next year?” 100% of hands went up. My follow-up question: “How many of you have given your managers new concepts, tools and…