Beware the Boogie Monster — False Assumptions

By | December 19th, 2016|

A friend asked me if I knew a guy the other day, and I said something like, “Yeah, but what a cold, indifferent cat he is!” My friend responded, “Are you kidding? He’s a great guy!” Shame on me. He is a great guy once you get to know him. The fact that he’s introverted [...]

Damn Woodpeckers!

By | December 12th, 2016|

I’m on my third cup of coffee sitting in my warm home office looking out the window — where it’s 10 degrees — at a woodpecker banging away at one of our trees. My wife says it’s an ash. I wouldn’t know an ash from my own … forehead. She also thinks the tree has [...]

Being Different

By | December 5th, 2016|

If you’re fascinated by business strategy, by how you can address a market differently than everyone else, you might enjoy this story. If you’re just trying to be like everyone else, skip this one and crawl back into your hole. I recently had coffee with the founder of a successful company in the outdoor product [...]

Inconvenient Truth

By | November 28th, 2016|

It is important to be “all in” when you decide on a strategy. Alignment of your team and your investments is the quickest path towards success, as long as you choose a viable direction! However, you need to make sure that you are not ignoring the truth just because you are emotionally attached to a [...]

People or Strategy — Which Comes First?

By | November 14th, 2016|

I had the business equivalent of the the chicken vs. the egg discussion with a colleague the other day. Which first, people or strategy? He voted egg, but I'm a chicken guy. Getting the right people on the bus, as author Jim Collins suggested in his book “Good to Great,” is imperative. But like all [...]

Two Italian Restaurants–The Value of Consistency

By | August 15th, 2016|

I have a weakness for pasta and red sauce (Sunday Gravy, for you Italians), so on two recent business trips in the same week, I went out in search of a meal that would put a smile on Tony Soprano's mug. The first restaurant was in an uptown environment, had a nice façade, an expansive wine list, [...]

Crafting Strategy—Intuition or Algorithm?

By | June 27th, 2016|

In an article from “Knowledge@ Wharton” a piece of research is cited from Daniel Kahneman—noted behavioral economist and author of “Thinking Slow and Thinking Fast”— where he articulates the challenge of “intuition” with a number of examples of how it fails us, from medical diagnosis, to ratings of performance in work settings. He points out [...]

Will Lightning Strike You Twice?

By | June 13th, 2016|

I’m reading “The Vitality Imperative: How connected leaders and their teams achieve more with less time, money, and stress” by Mickey Connolly, Jim Motroni and Richard McDonald. I love an analogy they put forth. “Eons ago, humans valued fire and yet could not create it. When lightning struck (literally), people captured the fire and tended [...]

Looking for Love (and Strategy) in All the Wrong Places!

By | June 6th, 2016|

I’m a fan of looking for examples of great strategy and leadership in unusual places. Although I focus on for-profit business leaders, I’ve seen some great examples from other venues such as the Girl Scouts and the United States Marine Corps. A recent story on NPR caught my attention. Ogden, Utah, has the highest percentage [...]

Confusing Leadership With Mathematics

By | December 8th, 2015|

Henry Kissinger said, “To plan policy on the assumption of the equal possibility of all contingencies is to confuse statesmanship with mathematics.” Let’s change three words to make this a brilliant statement regarding business strategy. “To craft strategy on the assumption of the equal possibility of all contingencies is to confuse leadership with mathematics.” Opting [...]