Defeating the Dastardly Dr. Yes with Strategic Thinking

May 28, 2019

Here is a sobering thought: every half-hearted “yes” to something that’s not helping you achieve your goals is a concrete “no” to more valuable activities. Most managers practice passive disengagement, which means instead of pulling the plug on projects, activities and tactics that are no longer adding value, we continue to passively allow them to occupy our time and attention. Research…

Are Silos Destroying Your Business?

April 9, 2019

The word ‘silo’ has its roots in the Greek term ‘siros,’ which means ‘corn pit.’ Later, the word ‘silo’ was used by Western military units to describe underground chambers that were used to house missiles. Now, managers use the term ‘silo’ as an analogy for business systems, groups, or processes that work separately from one another.  Silos can destroy a…

How to Practice Strategy Skills

March 20, 2019

How do you develop strategy? More important, how do you get better at developing strategy? Strategic thinking and planning skills don’t magically appear when you get promoted. They need to be practiced and honed just like any other skill. Research shows the #1 cause of business failure is bad strategy. Not being strategic is no longer an option. The good…

The Same is Not Strategic

March 13, 2019

How often do you find your company doing the same things in the same ways as your competitors? Many managers are trapped in this loop of operational effectiveness: doing the same activities in the same tactical ways as others. A study of 200 companies found that 93 percent of the top 20 percent of performers have a strong form of…

Strategic Thinking Can Kill Bad Meetings

March 7, 2019

A company’s annual conference, whether it be for marketing, sales, or a new product launch, is an amazing opportunity to create real dialogue on key business issues across the organization. Unfortunately, the majority of these meetings are 80 percent presentation and 20 percent conversation. The dog and pony show meetings have to go. While it may seem like a good…

Strategic Thinking for Executive Management Teams

March 5, 2019

“One-third to one-half of new chief executives fail within their first 18 months.” —Harvard Business Review  A popular mantra today is “fail fast and fail often.” If you follow this practice as a senior leader, research shows you will soon be an unemployed senior leader. As Twitter co-founder Jack Dorsey said, “What’s the worst advice you see or hear given…

No Plan = No Clue

February 26, 2019

A professional football coach has a thorough and detailed game plan each week. Heck, I know Pee Wee football coaches who watch hours of video and have comprehensive game plans for their team’s nine-year old opponents every Saturday. A professional pilot would never operate a plane without a flight plan. Professional tennis player Roger Federer, a 20-time Grand Slam Tennis champion, had this to say about the importance of…

Beware the Fire Driller

February 21, 2019

How many times per week are you and your team taken off course by a fire drill? No, not the kind you remember from school where a bell rings and students are marched outside for 20 minutes until the “all clear,” is given. I’m referring to the office fire drill where someone creates a commotion about an urgent, but unimportant…

Defeating Internal Dysfunction

February 19, 2019

Many leaders spend countless hours worrying about the competition and reacting to their every move. However, a survey of senior executives showed that their biggest barrier to continued profitable growth is internal dysfunction. In this brief video, I’ll share three techniques for helping your team overcome these challenges using strategic thinking, strategic planning and strategic leadership.

Super Bowl Strategy

February 5, 2019

Super Bowl 53 (or LIII for those who still speak fluent Latin) will be remembered as a defensive battle that yielded the fewest total points in Super Bowl history. While the New England Patriots were slight favorites, the Los Angeles Rams boasted a high-octane offense which averaged 32.9 points per game. Unfortunately, they ran into the NFL’s best strategist in…