Category: Business Strategy

Driving without your headlights

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 […]

Rate of Change Balance

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 […]

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

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 […]

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: Execute Well and Fail Faster

You need a strategy before you can execute successfully There’s a saying that people pass around a lot like it came from King Solomon: “It’s all about the execution.” As if strategy doesn’t matter. But, of course, it does. Executing brilliantly on the wrong strategy only makes you fail faster. As Sun Tzu said in […]

Business Strategy: How To Get Rid Of A Headache

I bent over to fill the cat bowl the other night and vaguely remember slipping on a rug. The next thing I remember is waking up with my wife holding my head and my brain doing flip-flops. I’m still not sure exactly what happened, but am sure—based upon my head pain—that I smacked my noggin […]