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 [...]

The Magic Pill for Executing Business Strategy

By | November 12th, 2015|

My mother was overweight all of her life. She was, for the most part, a determined woman, but she couldn’t make herself eat right and exercise. However, that didn’t stop her from buying numerous pieces of exercise equipment (or trying to tell me how to eat). There was the treadmill, the NordicTrack® ski machine, some [...]

A Strategy Consultant’s Requirements for a Sharp Right Turn

By | September 17th, 2015|

As a strategy consultant, I can tell you that most projects result in incremental change. That is perfectly acceptable as long as those changes will allow you to get where you want to go. Radical change just for the fun of it is sadistic! If you are successful now and project success (however you define [...]

Extreme Zoom

By | June 10th, 2015|

Over a beer recently, a friend recounted putting together a new grill that he described as large enough to have a sleeping cabin. He said he had his head down focusing on the details only to realize when he stood back that he’d put the shelves on backward. I appreciate his experience because numerous times [...]

Management Is Prediction

By | October 22nd, 2014|

Prepare for bends in the road But know you can't predict everything Todd Ordal “Management is prediction.” —W. Edwards Deming I used to live in the Twin Cities and drive back to western Minnesota where I grew up to visit family. My wife and I joked that once you got onto I-94, you could fall [...]

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Driving without your headlights

By | October 13th, 2014|

The faster you move, the brighter they have to be Todd Ordal Author E.L. Doctorow once said: “Writing a novel is like driving a car at night. You can see only as far as your headlights, but you can make the whole trip that way.” This also describes running a business. You can only see [...]

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Rate of Change Balance

By | August 13th, 2014|

Moving forward for success Todd Ordal “If the rate of change on the outside exceeds the rate of change on the inside, the end is near.” —Jack Welch Although Welch’s statement is simply put, it’s a brilliant message that we too often ignore. There are many examples of this on the public stage. If you’re [...]

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If You Have A Strategy–Tell Me What It Is!

By | July 11th, 2014|

Where will you compete, and why will you win? Todd Ordal “Why will people buy from you versus your competition?” I asked a CEO. He recently went through a “strategic planning” process, so the question seemed reasonable. He couldn’t answer it. Some of you reading this can’t either. More often than not, CEOs believe they [...]

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Metrics Over Mission–Making Pigs Fly

By | July 2nd, 2014|

A friend expressed frustration with his company the other day. When I queried him about his frustration, he summed it up by saying that they had started to focus on “metrics over mission.” In this particular example, concern for improving the lives of their customers is starting to take a back seat to short term [...]

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Job Opening: Captain of a Sinking Ship

By | May 29th, 2014|

Prayer recommended Todd Ordal A recent Wall Street Journal article highlighted the challenge J. C. Penney, Target and American Eagle are having in recruiting new CEOs. They are all large, well-paying, prestigious jobs. Why is this a problem? All three are experiencing significant declines. J. C. Penney recently fired its CEO, who had previously built the Apple [...]

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