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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Leadership Without Consensus Is Great Leadership. Great Leadership Means Deciding On What Is Best For the Company. And Sticking With It.

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Many times when people walk out of a meeting and look happy it is because they have achieved consensus and can now move forward. I always question if this is a sign of a good outcome or not. While having everyone on the same page and sharing the same vision is without question a good thing. But arriving on a strategic decision based on consensus may not.

So they say a good team worker knows how to get consensus. It is an overly simplistic way of management decisions making. The best teamwork and team leadership is not about getting quick consensus. 99% of the time consensus making is a time wasting exercise (much like those UN meetings) and is a false ideal that many young managers…
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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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7 Important Business Lessons You Can Learn From a Bank Robbery

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During a bank robbery in China, the bank robbers dressed in fake Hugo Boss fashion, carrying AK47s shouted to everyone as they rushed into a bank: "Everyone don't move. This is a robbery. The money belongs to the People. Your life belongs to you. Your designer handbag we will not take. We don’t take your IDs and we are not identity thefts, that’s not ethical at all. We will take only the money from the bank."

This is called “Staying Focus!”

The older robbers shouted “Don’t do any tricks. I know them because I used to work in a bank too. Just do as you are told.” One guys asked. “Which bank did you work for?”. He replied “The Sperm Bank. But we never had…
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In Algorithms We Trust. Do We?

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Let's try to paint a likely not-too-distant future. In this future, everything around us will be managed by algorithms. They manage and recommend what we want to watch; they control traffic of our driver-less cars; they control those drones which deliver our pizza; predict for you which one of your friends will become your future spouse, etc. They will make our life effortless and predict what things will happen next or what's best for us. We all wish that it is that simple.

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As we are picking up massive data every second,…
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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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The Best Kept Secrets Of Breakthrough. Everyone Should Start Practicing Them.

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Everyone is looking for a breakthrough. The massive shift in generation differences in consumer behavior and rapid technological shift are casuing many companies to fail…. and it will happen fast. Companies that are stuck in their old mental model cannot breakout for many reasons. It is usually a combination of all that causes them to be irrelevant. It includes leadership’s blind sight, organization legacies and lack of foresights and the list goes on and on…

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How often companies can act swiftly and not taking a wait and see attitude? All the time. It takes strong leadership to take bold decisions even though…
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Let’s Not Confuse Drawing Circles And Arrows With Real Sensemaking.

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As everything is moving faster and less predictable as it seems while organizations struggling to understand what it means and what options to take and how to land on the right decisions at the right time.The results often are inactions or delayed repsonses that cost companies.

Both senior and middle managers’ job include understanding, interpreting and communicating options for executive decisions, both as change agents and advocates. The toolkit that they have is very limited. Sensemaking is a vital skill and a new managerial discipline that is lacking across many organizations and functional units. How do we define sensemaking? It is how we try to make sense of the world and associated challenges so we can see and act in it. It also carries the concept…
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