• About John

    Formerlife: Jacobs Suchard CEO (Kraft, Nabob), Strategy Consultant. Afterlife: Palgrave Macmillan Author, Business Blogger, Wannabe Novelist

    Three Words. One Big Idea

    by  • February 3, 2016 • Leadership, Strategy, Uncategorized • 0 Comments

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    3 WORDS. 1 BIG IDEA. The word “DO” represents resolve and action. It is an expectation placed upon us at a very young age. “LESS” is the noun that contradicts everything we see and hear in this busy world. “BETTER” is the adjective that expresses our desire to do well at whatever we undertake.

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    Who Makes Resolutions Come True? YOU

    by  • December 27, 2015 • Branding, Human Resources, Leadership, Life, Marketing, Strategy, Uncategorized • 0 Comments

    fingerThe approaching New Year invites the contemplation of resolutions. Before setting goals and objectives for your personal life and your professional life, I suggest you consider a fundamental question. What’s holding you back? Now, its fair to say that 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.

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    Leadership Lessons from Nine-Year-Olds

    by  • December 10, 2015 • Leadership, Life • 2 Comments

    children-488409_640Five years ago, I became a blogger. With 45 years of business experience as a foundation, I began sharing personal reflections and contemporary insights on leadership – fully aware that my content would not matter a damn had I not kept pace with the pulse of the new economy and the changing dynamics of customers and the workforce.

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    How to Cut Corporate Complexity and Chaos

    by  • November 2, 2015 • Branding, Human Resources, Leadership, Life, Marketing, Strategy • 1 Comment

    chaos-485491_640There are plenty of generic strategic choices to drive a business forward. A host of CEOs strive for scale economies by trying to ‘do more with less,’ usually meaning fewer employees. Optimists favor ‘doing more with more,’ in other words, placing bets that higher sales and profits will pay for increased investments in headcount and technology. These are the strategic approaches  that often add complexity to an organization, and when there is complexity there is chaos.  

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    Leading Without Direct Reports

    by  • October 18, 2015 • Branding, Human Resources, Leadership, Life, Marketing, Strategy • 1 Comment

    music-433930_640Leadership does not begin when you step upon the first rung of the management ladder. One direct report does not make you a leader; nor does ten. Yet, the moment you have direct reports, you are EXPECTED to lead. And when you fail to demonstrate traits critical to successful leadership, the expectations of your colleagues and subordinates are dashed.

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    Knowledge Is Power. Data Isn’t.

    by  • September 8, 2015 • Branding, Human Resources, Leadership, Marketing, Strategy • 0 Comments

    man-65049_640How many times have you heard that “knowledge is power?” I’m guessing that without much thought, you readily nod your head in agreement. In every vocation, from academics to business to politics, the knowledge theorem and its power corollary is seemingly undeniable. 

    Knowledge Theorem:  Information + Knowledge = Better Decision-Making. 

    Power Corollary:  Better Decision-making = Power

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    Stop Trying to Do More and More

    by  • August 5, 2015 • Branding, Human Resources, Leadership, Marketing, Strategy • 0 Comments

    2dPic (3)In Theodore Levitt’s The Marketing Imagination, the renowned marketing professor said there was no such thing as a commodity, only people who think like commodities. Differentiation is still the name of the marketing game. Distinction in service, image and promise allows a brand to occupy a piece of a customer’s busy mind. More importantly, differentiation is the brand’s raison d’être, its reason for being that causes customers to think of it when they are ready to shop. And when they do shop, this is the brand that goes into real and virtual shopping carts.

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    Stubbornness and Strategy: Birds of a Feather

    by  • July 16, 2015 • Branding, Human Resources, Leadership, Marketing, Strategy, Uncategorized • 0 Comments

    canada-geese-348290_640From as far back as my days in brand management, I have held a deep affection for strategy. This might have something to do with the fact that I can be stubborn. Good strategists are also stubborn, even pigheaded. Why is that? Because without strategic stubbornness, the hard barrier lines that contain the strategy will blur. And when a brand or company’s positioning blurs, customers become confused.

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