Encouraging Innovation-Driven Dialogue As A CEO.

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It’s surprising how often CEOs and their boards make decisions that defy the three most important inputs that drive strategy creation:  

1/ Their own POV about the future of their industry based on informed strategic foresight

2/ Their own intuition about what creates sustainable shareholder value based on the core activities the company should engage in

3/ Their own understanding of the economics of the business based on minimal or optimized scale and scope   

Every CEO is under constant pressure to deliver short-term profits, provide effective new structures for reorganization, and avoid oversimplification of their business model the pressure of which, when not monitored, can lure them into a negative downward spiral. To stop this spiral,…
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Most Companies’ Crisis Are Worse When Compounded By Industry Disruptive Forces With A Leadership Crisis.

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Companies that are facing industry disruptions are bad enough; during these times leadership faces the most important test – the ability to lead during a crisis. The need of foresight, change and organization design are what true leadership looks like. Some sees this an opportunity to gain power and fulfill their thirst for greed and this needs to be stopped. Because strategic leadership matters… whether through malice or naïveté, those who abuse or tolerate the abuse of leadership place companies at risk.

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Poor leadership cripples businesses abilities to accept new realities, correct mistakes and make strategic bets. At lower levels in the…
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Random Thoughts On Maturing Companies and Start-Ups. When Do You Need A Reset?

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In an interesting conversation with clients this week and discussions were around the question: “should companies plan for the distant future (10 years and beyond) and what is needed to get out of a death spiral where a slow death is in the making?”

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There is a big difference between growing with age and growing old. With age, it sometimes comes with wisdom. With more than a dozen of C-suite execs that I have worked with or coached, for most of them, the wisdom came one day after they had passed the age of 50. Growing comes with age, which sometimes take away the energy and urge to make radical change. Ask…
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Even If You See The End Is Coming. You Still Need A Strategy Out. It Is The Time To Think New Game.

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Almost all companies at some point face some serious crisis. Sometimes it is clear that the end is near or coming and no can see the light at the end of the tunnel, at least not until you see it. Sometimes you know there is a way out but not sure how.Facing with disruptive changes driven by innovative technologies or shifting regulations, it is clear that the strategy is no longer working. You see the demand of your products is disappearing or new business models or low cost payers are eating your lunch. What do you do?

There is often a short window of opportunity to do something radically different; it has to be drastically different. Any incremental change or window dressing will push you closer…
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There Is A Difference Between Business Turnaround and Business Transformation. It Is Easy To Tell Which Is Harder.

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All companies go through some kind of crisis at some point but what does it take to get out of it? There aren’t many successful turnarounds in large companies and the bigger the company and the longer the history, the more difficult it is for any turnaround and its success rate is lower. 

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Harley Davidson in mid-life crisis when Richard Teerlink joined the company in 1981 as CFO, the company had US market share of 15% and reported a loss of $15m. The company was killed by its strong Japanese competitor led…
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Robert Parker’s Wine Scoring System Can Be Applied In Business Too.

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Robert Parker is the most widely known and influential wine critic in the world today. His popular wine scoring system was the first simple way to determine the quality of wine. Parker is known for his preference for powerful reds from Napa and the Rhone and has inadvertently made becoming a wine critic almost impossible, since— in part because of the success of his scoring system. That takes a lot of fun away. Can you imagine we have scorecards for wine, food, paintings, music and dance? We can do that for business but not for art. Wine is art. Well perhaps business is art too!

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Five Deadly Mistakes of Organization Transformation That Leaders Must Avoid.

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So you are ready to transform your organization? You want your organization to leapfrog the industry? You want to deliver above industry average growth? And do you know what are the most common mistakes that leaders and even very smart and experienced leaders make? The most common one is sticking with the usual way, the easy way and the proven way. There is no usual, easy and safe way if the company has not been doing well or satisfactorily underperforming. It is not just about making a good product anymore. Leaders need to ask how does one make a meaningful contribution to society with product?

Whenever I was tasked to help global enterprises to move the next level, the first thing I did was to stop…
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Design Leadership Is More Than Simplicity. It Is About Design Discipline.

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El·e·gant, an adjective and define or characterized by or exhibiting refined, tasteful beauty of manner, form, or style. Marc Jacob? Chanel? Jil Sander? Hermes? All are unquestionably elegant by design in the fashion world. How about smartphones or interfaces? Can they be elegant? Or what about customer experiences? Can you describe a banking or customer service experience as elegant? Most people don’t.

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Is elegant a word reserved solely for tangible product? The design world likes to use words such as “elegant”, “simple” and “user friendly”, many designers understand how to subtract in creating simple and elegant design solutions. Human factors usually subtract…
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In The Near Future, Instead of Choosing Between AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile, You Can Also Pick Google or Apple As Your Mobile Carriers

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The US mobile industry has been in a clear state of duopoly with Verizon and AT&T occupying about 70-75% of both consumer and enterprise market. T-Mobile is attempting to disrupt the current status but the impact will not be sustainable although its Uncarrier attack effort is causing a lot of noise. To maintain competition and sustainability for all is a tricky balance and the key is to ensure it will not endanger the long-term ability for players reinvest in next generation networks. InterDigital, Qualcomm, Ericcson, and Samsung are actively involved in 5G wireless development and carriers need to be ready for the next upgrade cycle in 3 years.

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The “Internet of Useless Things” or IuT Is Everywhere. Not Every Player Has A Plan.

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The CES is a good one this year. Everywhere is IoT. And honestly I am little tired of hearing IoT or “Internet of Things” which is estimated to become a $7 trillion industry where thermometers, clocks, garbage cans, toilets, washing machines, watches, smartphones, fridges, baby monitors, garage doors and coffee makers are all connected digitally, allowing seamless interactions and smart living for us. Sensors are cheap and can be deployed everywhere collecting data, unnoticed. Data on how you move around in your home or office, in the gymn, on bike around your community, in a car, in public transit etc. How much water and electricity you use, and when; how much garbage you produce and dispose….
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