What’s your strategy for 2015?

December 18, 2014

In its simplest form, strategy is a bridge for getting from where you are today to where you want to go. Whether in business or in your personal life, strategy is how you plan to get from your current position to your desired goals. A bridge provides passage over a gap—something that’s missing. For many of us, there are gaps…

The Joy of Strategy

November 21, 2014

“The truth is all of us attain the greatest success and happiness possible in this life whenever we use our native capacities to their greatest extent.” Dr. Smiley Blanton, American Psychologist Ever notice how strategy in many organizations is like a birthday: They both happen once a year, they receive less fanfare as the years pass and they’re usually accompanied by…

Zombies in the Conference Room

November 5, 2014

When you get around to your annual strategic planning process, do you feel like one of the extras in a zombie-apocalypse movie? Looking around the room, you notice the enthusiasm being sucked out of the group. A half-hearted SWOT analysis reveals a too-long laundry list of exactly what the group already knew and nobody actually does anything with it. Then…

The 1,000-Foot View

October 9, 2014

The “30,000 foot view” of the business is a common phrase used to describe getting to a high enough level to see the big picture. The next time you’re in a commercial airplane and cruising around 30,000 feet, take a look out the window and note what you see—some clouds, large swaths of land, maybe a mountain range. The reality…

Stop Firefighting and Start Leading

October 2, 2014

One of the most destructive habits in business is the fire drill. You know the scene: Frank the fireman fires off an email alarming the group to an urgent issue about a new competitor activity, anxious customer request or the next internal flavor-of-the-month initiative. This sets off a chain reaction of emails, teleconferences and meetings to handle the issue as…

Strategy or Saturday’s To-Do List

September 26, 2014

Fall is a wonderful time of year to get things done around the house. With the workweek behind, Saturday morning is the perfect place to start. Hanging on the refrigerator or sitting on the counter in the laundry room is sure to be your to-do list. It might include tasks like raking leaves, cleaning out the garage, and fixing the…

Strategy’s Dirty Secret

September 4, 2014

When is the last time you said no to an internal request? If you can’t recall, there’s a good chance you’re a tactical order-taker. Being a tactical order-taker is fine if you’re working the drive-through window at a fast food restaurant, but not so good if you’re leading an organization. The dirty secret about being “strategic” within an organization is…