Strategy

Magic Wand of Strategic Planning

Imagine if Hogwarts, the mythical school of magic and sorcery in the Harry Potter books, taught strategic planning. You could use enchanted mirrors to gaze into the future with unerring accuracy. You could conjure up potions for warding off evil competitors, recite charms for turning lousy products into perennial moneymakers, and chant incantations for rendering customers intensely loyal under your ...

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Realistic Impossibilities

Being on the wrong end of the continuum between realistic and impossible is what plagues many of today’s large multi-national corporations. The fear of failure by employees who are only partially engaged and don’t entirely feel like valued members of the team, will always translate into goals and ideas that are mediocre and achievable and never ones that are innovative ...

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Do you have an innovation blind-spot?

My experience with most executives and entrepreneurs is that they are totally committed to and focused on success. As a result, many of them tend to have a major blind-spot (translation: weakness) when it comes to the anticipation of set-backs. While this is understandable, it is nonetheless naive, and it constitutes a major flaw in the business logic of most ...

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Predicting the Next Innovation

Recently I returned from over two weeks on the road. I was in and out of five airports. As you go through security, the routine is always the same… Take off your shoes Take out your liquids Take out your computer Why are we put through these security gymnastics? On December 22, 2001, Richard Reid was caught with plastic explosives ...

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What do you REALLY do?

If you’re a book publisher, you’re not really in the book business. You’re in the information business. How that information is shared is largely irrelevant, as long as it creates value for your customers and can be monetized. If you’re a newspaper, you’re definitely not in the printed news business. Certainly not anymore, or at least not for long. I ...

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10 Lessons Learned from 2009

Wow, what a year! 2009 has come and gone, and many of us are taking a huge sigh of relief. Going through one of the worst recessions in U.S. history will certainly take the wind out of your sails. But we appear to have weathered the worst of the storm. And while the economy might not rebound with the speed ...

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Keys to Growth for 2010

While today’s post is short, it truly merits the attention of anyone still grappling with 2010 budget concerns. I’m going to share something with you that you might not want to hear, and quite frankly, something that will likely send your CFO straight into apoplexy. You don’t grow a business by shrinking it. The key to corporate growth is not ...

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Getting Others to Think Strategically

Which is more important for a business to engage in – strategic planning or strategic thinking? If you answered “both,” you win the prize. What’s the difference between the two? Typically, strategic planning involves a formal process whereby company leaders and senior managers gather for a day or two and peer into the future to chart a course of action ...

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Who is Responsible for Innovation?

I run across a lot of organisations that say that ‘innovation’ is one of their core values, but their actions don’t support innovation at all. Every once in a while, one of them decides that it is time to get serious about innovation, and that’s when I get called in to help. As John has described, one of the first ...

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Will Avatar Spark More Originality?

Avatar, opening in the US tomorrow, has Hollywood holding its breath. The $350 million spectacle by writer/director James Cameron seems destined to one of only two possible fates: spectacular blockbuster or massive bomb. The middle road never seems open to Cameron, who famously drives Tinsel-town bean-counters bonkers with his uncompromising vision and gargantuan budgets. Sigourney Weaver calls him an “idealistic ...

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