Strategy Insanity

December 18, 2013

“Insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.”  Albert Einstein, Really Smart Guy The close of the year provides that one precious opportunity to look back before looking forward. It’s a time to reflect on what we did this past year. Was it much different than the year before? Or, the year before that?…

Frankenstrategy Terrorizes Managers on Halloween

October 31, 2013

As the cool, white fog covers the ground on Halloween, beware the creatures lurking in the shadows of your company’s hallways. Nestled amongst the darkened offices is a single light, perhaps a candlelight, continuing to burn deep into the night. And there in that laboratory of an office, rising from the PowerPoint slides of Hell comes a creature pieced together…

The Three Roadblocks to Strategy

October 10, 2013

The business you lead is built on an idea. In the turbulent current of daily work filled with product specifications, customer projects, internal meetings and hundreds of other items, it’s easy to lose sight of the idea. The idea started in someone’s mind, maybe even yours. Over the years, the idea transformed into offerings in the form of products, services,…

The Strategic Use of Time

September 26, 2013

“Time is the coin of your life. It is the only coin you have, and only you can determine how it will be spent. Be careful lest you let other people spend it for you.” Carl Sandburg, Pulitzer-prize winning writer As one’s leadership responsibilities increase, their disposable time can decrease proportionately. More meetings, more email–seemingly more of everything that eats…

The Heart of Strategy

September 12, 2013

Let’s start with the following multiple-choice question and please select one answer: Successful business strategy is about: a. Creating differentiated value b. Being better than the competition c. Having the “right people on the bus” d. Growing the business Try asking this question at your next internal meeting. If everyone on your team picks just one answer (the correct answer), give yourself…

Strategy Camp

June 28, 2013

As a young boy, all my friends went to a beautiful wooded summer camp where they swam, shot arrows and frolicked. Being highly allergic to frolic, I was sent to strategy camp instead. One night around a bonfire roasting spinach and tofu on sticks, the strategist-in-training camp counselor wearing a tan short-sleeved dress shirt, plaid shorts, black socks and Cordovan wingtips told us…

Different vs. Better

June 18, 2013

In a world where people strive to be the best at what they do, we often lose sight of the fact that there is no “best” when it comes to products and services. There is no best car. There is no best restaurant. There is no best hotel. The concept of “best” or “better” is subjective. Is blueberry pie better…

The “Yes” Leader is Killing You

June 4, 2013

During the past few years, many companies have made it clear to their people that they must follow the adage, “Do more with less.” Layoffs and firings have reduced many departments to skeletal staffs where fewer people are expected to accomplish the same amount of work that larger teams accomplished in the past. This may be reasonable in the public…

Strategy + Innovation = Competitive Advantage

May 23, 2013

As summer approaches and you head back to your local amusement park to ride gravity-defying roller coasters, eat deep-fried food and marvel at people’s tattoos, don’t forget to stop by the bumper cars. Whether you’re six- or sixty-years-old, there’s nothing quite like bouncing into other vehicles and not requiring a tow truck for the ride home. Hopefully, you’re not working…

“Let’s think about that”

April 30, 2013

Imagine Noah was once again building an ark (we have been getting quite a bit of rain in the Midwest). And instead of taking two of each animal, he showed up at your office and said, “I’m taking two of each type of worker. Please pair up as I call your type and walk onto the ark: administrative assistants–those who…