Category: Business Strategy

Metrics Over Mission–Making Pigs Fly

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 […]

Job Opening: Captain of a Sinking Ship

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 […]

Taking the Dogfight to a Higher Plane

It’s about doing something different By Todd Ordal I used to fly airplanes. Most of my time was spent in a twin-engine aircraft flying business trips. It was an efficient way for me to get around because, at the time, I was in charge of hundreds of retail stores countrywide. In addition to flying business trips, […]

Half-Caf, Nonfat Strategy

Taking a hard right with your strategy is a harrowing experiment. Just ask Ron Johnson and Bill Ackman, JCPenney’s former CEO and his previously supportive board member, respectively, who’ve both been bounced out of the company. Reed Hastings at Netflix also understands this, but so far he’s been relatively successful. The difference between the JCPenney […]

Business Strategy: Be Different!

At the end of the day, there are really only two ways to win in business, assuming you have a viable market: (1) be like others and execute better or (2) be different. I’ve had clients who’ve succeeded in both camps, but those who took a different approach were more successful — both in top-line […]

Business Strategy: Ready for Your Road Trip?

Years ago when my four children were small, my wife and I took them on a road trip to see their grandparents. I had told the three oldest kids that we were getting up in the morning to drive to the Midwest. Our youngest son Danny, who was 3 at the time, was already in […]

Business Strategy: Craftsmanship

My brother is in management at a large financial firm but is as good at construction as any contractor. Whether it’s a deck, a finished basement or a sauna, he builds it perfectly. Likewise, my friend, John — an engineer — is a great woodworker. He builds grandfather clocks that Angela Merkel would be pleased […]