• About John

    Formerlife: CEO of Jacobs Suchard (Nabob, Kraft), Strategy/Branding Consultant. Afterlife: Fortune & Forbes Contributor, Wannabe Novelist.

    Want to Cut Complexity? Kill Your Darlings.

    by  • December 7, 2014 • Branding, Human Resources, Leadership, Life, Marketing, Strategy • 0 Comments

    2dPic (3)

    There are plenty of generic strategic choices to drive a business forward. Risk-averse CEOs find comfort in the ‘doing more of the same’ strategic mode. Yet, when things get tough, they quickly knee-jerk into ‘doing more of the same, with less.’ Some leaders strive for scale by ‘doing more with less,’ usually meaning fewer employees. […]

    Read more →

    Charismatic Leadership: Style or Substance?

    by  • November 2, 2014 • Branding, Human Resources, Leadership, Marketing, Strategy • 0 Comments

    jobs

    Have you ever watched a charismatic person “work” a room? At the outset, they assess the collective mood. Then they advance to the gathering with a demeanor that suits the environment and their desired role within it. Moving from one person to the next, they engage each individual, albeit briefly, as though that person was […]

    Read more →

    Brand NBA: A Sterling Silver Case of Crisis Management

    by  • April 30, 2014 • Branding, Leadership, Life, Marketing, Uncategorized • 0 Comments

    clippersCall it a hiccup or a long-term slump; large or small, every business faces a crisis. The crisis can be brought on by a direct competitor (Blockbuster trumped by Netflix), a sudden shift in consumer habits (The Beatles haircuts on Brylcreem Hairdressing), a product recall (GM’s ignition switches), the mishandling of an environmental disaster (BP‘s oil spill), or the personal misbehavior of an executive.

    Read more →

    Boldness Should Never Stand Alone

    by  • March 3, 2014 • Human Resources, Leadership, Marketing, Strategy • 0 Comments

    boldnessA couple of years ago I read a book about RAF fighter pilots in World War II. One particular passage stood out. It was this: There are old fighter pilots and bold fighter pilots, but there are no old, bold fighter pilots. The author was making the point that the very best dogfight pilots were young, because of superb eyesight and lightening reflexes. What do fighter pilots have to do with the world of business? Not much, although their courage could surely come in handy in several C-suites.

    Read more →

    What’s Holding YOU Back?

    by  • January 20, 2014 • Human Resources, Leadership, Life • 5 Comments

    Chains6“What is holding you back?” is the fundamental question everyone should answer BEFORE setting goals, objectives and resolutions. This applies to your personal life and your professional life. I know nothing of your personal life, but I do know a thing or two about business life, having lived there more years than I care to remember.

    Read more →

    Why HR Needs to Be a Marketer

    by  • December 29, 2013 • Branding, Human Resources, Leadership, Marketing, Strategy • 0 Comments

    MrktgHRGreat marketing begins with great strategy. Great strategy seldom happens without sacrifice. Sacrifice is the natural path to differentiation. The best brand custodians know that you never promise a smorgasbord of benefits; trying to be all things to all people is a recipe for disaster. There’s more: a marketer’s product or service better deliver on the promise. If it doesn’t, great marketing cannot exist. What does this have to do with HR? Everything.

    Read more →

    Retired? 7 Insights on Getting Back in the Game

    by  • November 18, 2013 • Human Resources, Leadership, Life, Strategy • 0 Comments

    retire-work-road-sign1Twenty years have passed since I sat in the corner office of a multinational consumer goods organization. Five years ago I removed my consulting shingle from the home office wall. Am I happy in the CEO afterlife? You bet. I’m busy pursuing other dreams that are inspirational and meaningful. So why, you might ask, would I come out of retirement and accept a temporary assignment in the C-suite of a business in America.

    Read more →