Category: Business Strategy

People or Strategy — Which Comes First?

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

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?

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?

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!

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

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

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 […]

Extreme Zoom

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

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 […]