Elevate Your Thinking

April 3, 2014

When you hear the word strategy, what comes to mind? For many managers, the word strategy means gigantic PowerPoint decks and overstuffed 3-ring binders collecting dust. Great strategy doesn’t come from an Excel spreadsheet or PowerPoint deck. Great strategy comes from great strategists. The word innovation is most commonly associated with a cool new technology that will change the world….

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?…

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…

The Strategic Insight Sundae

April 6, 2012

On a warm spring night, it’s hard to deny the appeal of an artfully crafted ice cream sundae. Whether it’s a banana split or peppermint chip drizzled with hot fudge and peanuts, it’s a mouthwatering sight to behold. And when it’s first made, all of the ingredients can be seen clearly in their places. But wait twenty minutes before eating…

“But” Disease

June 17, 2011

Recent research by Egon Zehnder and McKinsey and Co. showed that the ability to come up with insights was the most important trait for executives in top-performing companies. Where do you record your insights or learnings about your business? How often do you record these insights? In my work helping managers develop their strategic thinking skills, a great deal of focus…

The Discomfort of Strategy

January 21, 2011

“If you are not genuinely pained by the risk involved in your strategic choices, it’s not much of a strategy.” Reed Hastings, CEO of Netflix Think you have a tough group of competitors to deal with? Take a look at this list and see if you’d like to trade: Walmart, Amazon, Blockbuster and Apple. Any takers? So how does one…

In Data We Trust

September 20, 2010

Real-time data is becoming more common in a variety of areas, which has the potential to significantly impact the way we do business. This past week, I had the opportunity to chat with Matt Egan, writer for FoxBusiness.com, on a story he wrote entitled, “NFL Tackles Real-Time Sales Data.” The article describes a new technology just implemented by the New York…

The Art of Strategy

August 10, 2010

British artist Damien Hirst has his fans and his critics. What can’t be argued is his ability to differentiate himself and his work through a well-conceived strategy that has jolted the business world of art. While his art works such as “The Physical Impossibility of Death in the Mind of Someone Living,” featuring a shark in a tank of formaldehyde,…

Devo Differentiates It Good!

June 15, 2010

If you’ve ever dreamt of men wearing red flower pots on their heads, you’ve probably seen a Devo video. Harken back to 1980 and their hit “Whip It,” and you can see and hear why they stood out from the crowd. Fast forward to present day and they’re still standing out, sans flower pots. In USA Today, music reviewers Edna…