Strategic Thinking and Leadership: General Electric’s Lightbulb Dims

By | June 25th, 2018|

It turns out that erasing $100 billion in market value takes less time and energy than bolting together parts to achieve it initially. It doesn’t take the brightest bulb in the chandelier to see that keeping the trains on the tracks, the coal-fired turbines spinning or the airplanes flying all at the same time is [...]

You Must Know The Critical Elements Of Strategy

By | June 18th, 2018|

“Having determined your destination, you set sails, motivate rowers, adjust for winds and currents, avoid shoals and rocks, allow for surprises, and expend finite energy efficiently. You control some things, but align yourself with others. You balance, while never forgetting that the reason you’re balancing is to get from where you are to where you [...]

Business Strategy: Is a Competitive Advantage Sustainable?

By | April 16th, 2018|

If your strategy doesn’t identify what specific markets you compete in and why people will buy from you versus your competition, then your strategy is bad. You’re going to need to rely on luck. In fact, if you’re in a high-margin business, you may not know it but you’re being hunted. High-margin businesses naturally attract [...]

Strategy Isn’t Problem Solving!

By | February 5th, 2018|

I received a notice from a well-known university for a strategy workshop to “master strategy consulting skills,” which they say is the skill of “structured problem solving.” Using templates and tools, they’ll teach you how to develop recommendations for clients. Problem solving isn’t strategy, and telling people what to do is rarely effective. Does it [...]

IBM: I Be Movin’ or Interminably Bad Management?

By | January 29th, 2018|

IBM, one of the most storied companies on the planet, just had its first quarter of year-over-year growth in 23 quarters! Market cap, as I write this, is about $134 billion, so still a significant organization, but down from $210 billion in 2006. Many investors have bailed on IBM, growing impatient as Big Blue gives [...]

Requirements For Business Reinvention: Guts, Capital and Support

By | January 15th, 2018|

A recent article in the Wall Street Journal highlighted the different yet intertwined paths of Xerox and Fujifilm. Xerox, once one of the world’s most admired companies, now has a market value that is less than 20% of what it used to be. As a former executive at Kinko’s, I used to rub elbows with [...]

What Exactly Is a Strategic Thinker?

By | December 4th, 2017|

Being tagged as “strategic” or “not very strategic” can be a boon or a bust for your career in the business world. Unfortunately, you must dig deeper to understand what the compliment or curse means. Have you ever met a strategic payroll clerk? Probably not, though I bet there are some. Some positions are thought [...]

The Gift of Time

By | November 20th, 2017|

As I write this in late 2017, Walmart is successfully competing with Amazon online. It’s about time! No, really, it is about time. Walmart didn’t snap its happy fingers last quarter and find a solution; it started working on the “internet thing” years ago with some false starts and many headlines saying it was failing. [...]

Half Assed Strategy, Complete Failure!

By | October 2nd, 2017|

“We tried, but it didn’t work,” said the CEO about his new strategy. What he didn’t say was that the general idea for how he’d win in his marketplace wasn’t wrong. He just didn’t understand that all the pieces had to be in place at once for it to work. Imagine you have a product [...]

Monetizing Community

By | August 15th, 2017|

One of the fascinating ways to generate loyalty, relationships and even income is by building communities. A great strategic question that you might ask about your business model is, “How could we develop a community (or multiple communities) that would allow people to connect and learn while allowing us to deepen the relationships, educate and [...]