Zombies in the Conference Room

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 … Continue reading Zombies in the Conference Room

Strategy Camp

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 … Continue reading Strategy Camp

The Strategylight Zone

There is a fifth dimension beyond that which is known to most managers. It is a dimension as vast as space and as timeless as infinity. It is the middle ground between art and science, between the qualitative and quantitative and it lies between the pit of a manager’s fears and the summit of their … Continue reading The Strategylight Zone

Strategic Thinker or Strategyless?

Here’s a quick quiz you can share with folks in your group to see how strategic people are (answers follow the quiz): 1. At the heart of business strategy is: A. The intelligent allocation of limited resources. B. Distributing resources across all potential growth opportunities. C. Working to be better and faster than the competition. 2. Successful business … Continue reading Strategic Thinker or Strategyless?

SWOT’s “So what?”

How often have you and your colleagues completed a SWOT Analysis (strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats) and asked, “So what?” What did you actually do with it? Too often SWOT Analysis become a “check-the-box”; exercise, adding little or no value to your business planning efforts. I’ve created a sequence of three steps to go from … Continue reading SWOT’s “So what?”

It’s Lonely At the Top

If strategy were a physical summit in your company, business unit or functional area, would you be the only one standing at the top? For many leaders, the depressing answer is ‘yes.’ While you may have built a mountain of expertise shaped by strategic insights, the great leaders are the ones who help the rest … Continue reading It’s Lonely At the Top

Top 5 SWOT Analysis Traps

As with any business model, the reason a SWOT analysis is performed is to generate insights about the business and drive planning efforts. There are five SWOT traps that we need to be aware of to prevent our efforts from being an exercise in futility: 1.  The Laundry List When listing the individual elements under … Continue reading Top 5 SWOT Analysis Traps