10 Exceptional Strategies For Extraordinary Executives

Most extraordinary executives would agree that business practices evolve over time, and our experiences turn into knowledge. My such experience has inspired this article, 10 exceptional strategies for extraordinary executives. As a coach, my goal is always to see my client succeed. I want to high-five them when they hit a home run or score a touchdown. I want them to have experiences that will…

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IBM Study Points to Millennials as Key Driver to Better Security of Personal Information

There is hope on the horizon that the field of identity protection will continue to evolve and improve. It appears that the next generation of working adults is championing the use of new and enhanced methods of security. Late last month, IBM announced the release of its Future of Identity Study, which reported (and I quote): Security outweighs convenience: People ranked security as the highest…

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The Value of Value Chain Analysis in Transforming Your Business

I have a different take on value chain analysis. Most think of it as positioning a business within its ecosystem. I think of a value chain as a graphical representation of all of the work that must be done by a business or work area in order to provide its goods/services (i.e., "value") to its customers. Value chains are a valuable means of presenting a normalized view of the business. It is free…

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Emotional Intelligence As Competitive Differentiator

People with high emotional intelligence quotients (EQ) are easy to talk with. They are great listeners and strong communicators in both the written and spoken word. People with high EQ know who they are and are the ones that can resolve conflicts before they escalate beyond repair. These people regulate their reactions to everyday work situations and can keep their cool no matter what comes their…

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Continuous Business Optimization is a 21st Century Next Practice

Business optimization efforts have been around for years and are aimed at redefining the way work is performed within a business area. They explore issues surrounding what work is performed, how it is accomplished, when it's done and by whom. It's not unusual for a firm to totally reconstruct its departmental workflow and reorganize its workers during a business optimization. In most cases, these…

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How to Drive Strategies By Assessing Your Company Capabilities

Every company has a set of capabilities that, when properly leveraged, can serve to devastate the competition. So, it's essential for leadership teams to pinpoint and honestly assess these capabilities. Once a solid profile is established, it can be used to inform the strategic planning processes used to build a winning strategic plan. Here's a simple framework that I use with clients to form…

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What is Your Company’s Human Operating System?

I bet if I asked you what your company is all about you'd give me that same ol' rehearsed elevator pitch. You'd be able to tell me what it does and why it's important. But, if I asked you how. You just might stall. The answers on "how" a business does what it does lies in its unique combination of systems that governs how it executes its mission. I like to call this collection of systems the…

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The “Next Practices” of Strategy-Setting

Are your strategic planning practices flat and uninspired? Have you reduced your planning process to a once per year, budgeting exercise? Do your senior people feel disengaged and removed from your strategic planning? Does the rank and file even understand what's in your strategic plan? Clearly, it's time for a new strategic planning paradigm to emerge - one that features the right set of "next…

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Strategic Planning Must Change With The Times

If you’re frustrated by your organization’s current strategic planning and execution processes or the outcomes from that work, you’re not alone. Whether they’re developed in-house or brought in by outside strategy firms, many strategy methodologies are of little value if they don’t keep up with the times. So if you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always got.…

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How to Get to What Happens Next

All of my strategy, culture and organizational design work over the years comes down to one thing - enabling my clients to differentiate themselves from their competitors so to dominate the markets that they serve.  Consequently, the topic of industry best practices always comes up.  Most leaders want to be sure that their organizations are remaining competitive within their industry.  While the…

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Welcome to Business 2.0 as Powered by New IT

Business 2.0 represents a new way of thinking and doing for early 21st Century companies. Unlike e-commerce where consumer transactions are done via the Web, Business 2.0 is about using the Internet-based services to drive entire business processes. Indeed, the work of transforming an enterprise to Business 2.0 is quite an undertaking. But, this transformation has an ally in "New IT"--a…

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Welcome to Strategic Planning 2.0

As a strategy consultant, I have had the opportunity to review a lot of strategic plans over the years. It's been truly amazing to discover just how many major organizations develop strategic plans that contain little more than a whole lot of budget estimates and revenue projections. Those firms practice what I call "Strategic Planning 1.0". Clearly, a new kind of planning approach is required to…

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How to Select the “Right” Approach For Your Next Strategic Initiative

Many of my clients struggle with how to determine the best way to tackle strategic opportunities as they arise through the strategic planning frameworks that I've help them to institutionalize. They ponder questions, like: "Does the new proposed effort lend itself to being managed as a project? "Does the work at hand deserve to be designated as program in order to achieve the desired results?"…

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Business Planning for Funding Your Start-Up Part III: Financial Modeling

This 3-part series is intended to decipher the business planning process--making it easier for you to build one that can help you to secure the funding that you need to grow your business into the powerhouse that you want it to be. Part I covered the Business Synopsis section and Part II covered the Marketing and Sales section. We will survey the Financial Modeling Section of a standard business…

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How to Build a Compelling Marketing Plan for Your Startup

This 3-part series is intended to illuminate what goes into developing a superior business plan-one worth funding. I hope that you enjoyed Part I of the series last week. In this installment, we will examine the Marketing and Sales Section of the typical business plan. The Marketing and Sales Section is the "guts" of a business plan. Generally divided into three parts, the section traditionally…

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How to Create a Fundable Business Plan for Your Startup

Seeking funding from lenders and investors for your start-up can be an arduous task. Most will require that you create a business plan that covers all the major aspects of your business from organizational design to product development and distribution to financial forecasting. This 3-part series is intended to demystify the business planning process-making it easier for you to find the funding…

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