• What Connects Coca-Cola, Lego, In-N-Out, Intuit, and Nike? Focus.

    by  • March 18, 2015 • 1 Comment

    LegoComplexity has many definitions; excessive complication is the simplest. In today’s business, chronic complexity is stifling, stagnating, and bringing companies to their knees. This is why we hear so much about focus from C-suites and corporate boards. CEOs talk focus all the time and nod to its importance, but few take the necessary measures to cut through complexity and clear a path to clarity and coherence.

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    50 Shades of Decay

    by  • March 7, 2015 • 1 Comment

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    Now that I have your attention, the decay I am actually referring to is the 50 warning signs of corporate decay. Watch out for them in your organization. If you spot four or five, work on resolving them, now. Ten to fifteen? You are already in the quicksand. Revival is not too late, but whatever you do . . . remember, the steps you take must be transformational, not incremental. Sick companies are never turned around by doing more of the same, better.

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    Board of Directors Resolution: Pay Attention to Culture

    by  • February 20, 2015 • 0 Comments

    zappos-vector21st Century corporate governance is a busy job. Acting on behalf of shareholders, boards of directors are paying attention to an escalating list of risks and rewards from a firm’s undertakings. Like many activities within any organization, “the squeaky wheels get the grease.” Other than in desperate situations such as ‘turnarounds,’ culture seldom ranks as a pressing matter in the boardroom. That’s a big mistake. 

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    How to Thrive Against Giants

    by  • February 4, 2015 • 0 Comments

    PrintWhen you know that your company will never be the low-cost producer nor will it ever have enough cash to outspend the big cat, there’s no choice but to find other ways to skin that cat. Thousands of small to medium sized businesses are successfully doing this. “How?” you ask. The answer lies within those factors that do not require fat bank accounts. There are far more than you think.

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    How to Create a Personal Brand Strategy Statement

    by  • January 22, 2015 • 0 Comments

    Personal-BrandingBranding has flourished big time—we  have product brands, service brands, country brands, political brands, cause-related brands, even cultural brands. In this post I want to help those of you who are keen to create your personal brand. To do that, you’ll need a brand strategy. The strategy and the positioning for a personal brand isn’t that different from a product or service brand; your intent is to position yourself in the best way possible to achieve the desired objective. To most of you the objective is to advance your career.

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    The Power of Strategic Sacrifice in a Complex World

    by  • January 14, 2015 • 1 Comment

    LargeDo Less Better isn’t the first book on focus, nor will it be the last. But the element that separates this book from the others is the “how” – how one finds focus in a business world that is more complex than ever. All the way from the C-suite’s choice of markets in which to compete to a person’s daily “to do” list, the “how” is the capacity to make tough strategic choices and tough strategic sacrifices.

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    Why Complexity Sucks

    by  • December 18, 2014 • 1 Comment

    complexityComplexity is in the eye of the beholder. To me, astrophysics is a complex discipline; to Stephen Hawking it is not. People engaged in complex situations fall into two categories: those who accept complexity as a fact of life and work with it, and those who fight it every inch of the way. I’m in that later camp.

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    Charismatic Leadership: Style or Substance?

    by  • November 2, 2014 • 0 Comments

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    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 a VIP. Regardless of authenticity, personality can be an irresistible force.

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    The Moral of Workplace Morale

    by  • June 16, 2014 • 0 Comments

    WholeFoodsWhen it comes to workplace morale, there is no shortage of articles suggesting the ways and means to build and/or enhance cultures that motivate employees to deliver the goods. Beyond their intent to boost morale, the commentaries have one thing in common – the counsel is generic. In other words, the pundits inherently assume that their morale-lifting tactics and strategies apply to any organization, no matter the product or service in which they are engaged. They are correct in this regard. But, there is a catch. One cannot assume a constant success rate because there is more at play.

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    The Best Things in Business are Free

    by  • May 20, 2014 • 0 Comments

    freeNegotiating for a lower price or something extra is the modus operandi of every antique retailer, real estate broker, flea market merchant and automobile dealer. Everyone is looking for a good deal, a real bargain. I’m not taking issue with that. Bargaining is a terrific way to create and stimulate economies.

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