I have to confess that I knew nothing about Michele Ferrero until I read of his passing. Which is not surprising. As The Economist noted in his obituary, this Italian businessman from the Piedmont gave only one interview in his entire life. It was to Italy’s La Stampa and he did so wearing sunglasses, to shield his weak eyes a well as to recede into the background.
Strategy management processes and the so-called “best practices” most organizations follow have not kept pace with the demands of the marketplace and the performance expectations of shareholders. By definition, best practices are “tried and true,” meaning they have been around for a long time—too long.Read More›
I have been a Digital Marketer, a Genius, a Business Representative, and a Shift Manager. I have guided through the titles that life has graciously provided me, without a true understanding of what it meant. Now, I find myself in this position again as a Chief Innovation Officer. When people ask me, “Brody, what do you do?” I tell them my respective title. When they look at me with a puzzled ‘yeah right!’ face, I say something to the effect of – “That means I sit in a chair and think about things.” It’s not wrong, that is my job, and for those only seeking your title, that’s all they care about.Read More›
While having lunch with a number of writers, Ernest Hemingway claimed he could write a short story that was only six words long.
When the lofty group of writers scoffed at the notion, he invited each of them to put ten dollars on the table, saying that if he was wrong he’d match it. But if he was right he’d keep the money.Read More›
You will make the best decision you can make.
That advice comes from a scene in the movie, 13 Days in October, about the Cuban Missile crisis. It was a time in 1962 when the United States and the USSR came about as close as they could to nuclear war.
In the movie recreation Kenny O’Donnell, de-facto chief of staff (played by Kevin Costner), has a conversation with President Kennedy (played by Bruce Greenwood) before Kennedy is to go on television.
Five Paradigm-Shifting Principles
Repeatable processes and procedures add great value in stable and predictable times. Those are not the times we live in today or likely in the future. Strategy that works has got to be based on something that proves successful in unpredictable, fast moving, and changing times. Principles, not process and procedures, provide the overarching guidance in any situation for making the right decisions and taking the best action.
A move toward the Advantage Strategy Paradigm begins with the adoption and commitment to a set of principles that guides all executives in the decisions and actions they take related to developing, planning, and executing strategy. Principles provide a broad context for strategic action and guidelines that can be communicated and taught at all levels of the organization, eventually becoming part of the organization’s culture. Throwing out standard process and procedures in favor of a handful of powerful but easily remembered principles for managing strategy will soon begin to show improvements in your business results.Read More›
Like him or not, in my view President Obama is the epitome of a master communicator. Next time you see him on television notice his use of communication strategies including body language, voice inflection, gestures, and the intuitive ability to establish and maintain trust.
Communication is critically important for personal and professional effectiveness. In my experience as an executive coach and counsellor, most relationship issues, especially conflict can almost always be attributed to poor communication.Read More›
Most organizations, and even most strategy consultants, are using strategic planning frameworks built for business models that were designed during the industrial age. These methods are antiquated in both efficiency and effectiveness. They are complex – they are costly – they are slow – they are broken.
Whether you are a working at a company-wide, business unit, functional, or product level, formulating strategy, planning it, and executing it has become too complex, too structured, too rigid, too slow, and more than half of the time does not produce the promised results.Read More›
Now, before you think I’m going to get all religious on you, let me define the word “sin.” In the original Hebrew language, sin is defined as ‘missing the mark’, much the same as an archer may miss the mark when shooting for a bull’s-eye.
In my opinion, leadership starts with deep reflection to be aware of any limiting blind spots. The following nine (9) deadly sins will help you reflect on how you may be limiting yourself both personally and professionally as a leader. In my experience everyone has at least one of these primary flaws that are dominant in their personality, so which one(s) can you identify with?Read More›
Sometimes it’s better lead with your heart rather than your head, and I should know because I tried it. As some readers know I play piano for fun. Over the past six months I have been playing in a local senior center and recently was invited to play at a second senior facility. No big deal except this other facility has a tradition of inviting student musicians from the University of Michigan to play concerts. Such young people have exceptional talent; many will one day make their living playing professionally.
The Red Badge of Courage is a novel by Stephen Crane (1871–1900). Taking place during the American Civil War, the story is about a young private of the Union Army, Henry Fleming, who flees from the field of battle. Overcome with shame, he longs for a wound, a “red badge of courage,” to counteract his cowardice. When his regiment once again faces the enemy, Henry acts as standard-bearer.Read More›
When you are faced with a huge problem, sometimes a short-term solution might be the best option.
Case in point is Dr. Mark Schlissel, president of the University of Michigan, asking James Hackett to be interim athletic director after the resignation of David Brandon the previous AD. Brandon had been a lighting rod for criticism about the failure of the football program on the field and the negative publicity for the program off the field.