Strategy’s Success Can Start With Taboo

September 3, 2015

I recently led a strategic thinking and planning program with a Fortune 500 company. During the Value Mining exercise in which the group explored new areas to deliver value to customers, one idea was met with the comment, “That’s taboo around here.” Others agreed, but a few asked the question, “Why?” We then discussed other ideas that were traditionally taboo:…

What CEOs Think About Strategy

July 8, 2015

I recently led a webinar on strategy and innovation for Chief Executive Magazine and 300+ CEOs. Throughout the program, I used polling questions to gauge their perspectives on three strategy topics and wanted to share the results with you. Question 1: How often do you and your team meet to update your strategies? An overwhelming majority of the CEOs (83.6%)…

Are Your Managers Beach Bums or Strategists?

May 26, 2015

You’ve likely noticed during your daily encounters with bosses, colleagues, direct reports, customers, suppliers, and other individuals that strategic thinking comes in varying degrees, ranging from brilliant to nonexistent. To help you refine your idea of strategic thinking, I have taken the results of research I conducted among senior managers from 154 companies and have identified four types of strategic…

Strategic Thinking Can Smash Silos

May 19, 2015

Whether you work in a company with 10 employees or 10,000, there’s a good chance you have structures used for the bulk storage of grain, coal, or wood chips, commonly referred to as silos. For more than one thousand years, silos have been an effective method of containing and protecting valued materials. Silos are good at keeping things in and not letting…

Differentiation Demands Strategic Thinking

April 30, 2015

Every product and service can be differentiated. Capitulating to a “me-too” mindset is weak and unforgiving in the market. Learn why “better” doesn’t exist and what customers really want to know from you.

Strategic Thinking for CIOs

April 24, 2015

Never before has the power of technology been more important to a company’s long-term success. Technology is providing a digital infrastructure for efficient processes, deepening customer relationships, and transforming business-as-usual into a dynamic, mobile and interactive experience. The IT leaders of today champion technology’s role in the enterprise and strive to enhance the organization’s profitability and productivity. As your world…

April Fools’ Strategy

April 1, 2015

In an effort to improve mankind, or at least the state of business strategy, I hereby declare April 1 Strategy Fools’ Day. We are hijacking the day of hoaxes and harmless pranks to shine a light on the well-intentioned, but misguided and misinformed attempts to create, communicate and execute strategy. So here is a condensed list of foolish strategies with…

Developing Strategic Thinking Habits

March 12, 2015

We are the sum of our actions. Each day, we choose to do some things and not others. Over time, the actions we continually repeat become habits. Some are productive habits and others not so much. The following strategic thinking infographic outlines how to create positive strategy habits to driver your business success.  

Are You Getting Better?

March 3, 2015

As you swivel around in your next conference room meeting or multitask during this week’s conference call, see if you can spot the “Fine Wine” phenomenon. You’ll know it when a manager talks for more than sixty seconds and says exactly nothing of substance. Sure, it may have sounded important, with a few “strategics” thrown in for good measure, but…

You, Strategist

January 29, 2015

Imagine a world where there was no direction, no purpose, no thinking. A constant flow of aimless activities consumes your existence. Products and services slowly become commodities, like mass-produced parts on an assembly line. People stare blankly into their computer screens, searching for answers in a sea of PowerPoint slides and Excel spreadsheets. A seemingly endless stream of time-sucking teleconferences…