Archive | strategy

McChrystal on Leadership

Seven years ago (!) I wrote a blog titled Management by Marching Around which suggested that traditional command and control leadership no longer worked in business – or in the military. Instead, I believe in management by influence (suggesting direction) more than by control (enforcing rules). I also recommend management by exception (tell me about…

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Thinking About Big Data? Go For Big Outcomes Instead

The buzz around big data is deafening but I believe that much of the conversation has missed the point. Big data is not just a technological challenge; it’s a cultural challenge. Collecting and analyzing data is not enough. We need to start with business outcomes to truly leverage big data. Culture trumping technology was the underlying theme…

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How Strategy Really Works

The 1993 HBR article ‘Customer Intimacy and Other Value Disciplines’ argued that every company had to become champions of one of three value disciplines — operational excellence, customer intimacy, or product leadership. Since that book was published, virtually every business meeting I’ve been in has used at least one of these phrases to describe strategy….

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Orchestrator or Autocrat?

This weekend’s Wall Street Journal contained an article by former Chrysler and General Motors executive Bob Lutz called “Life Lessons from a Car Guy.”  Lutz believes that different kinds of organizations require different kinds of leaders.  A loosely-connected conglomerate like General Electric requires a leader with vision and portfolio management skills; investing/divesting lines of business,…

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Culture eats strategy for breakfast

A little more than six months ago, I took a new role with a group that was described as in need of a “turn-around” and an “updated strategy and direction”. I was urged to introduce a new mission/vision, strategic objectives, and revised key performance indicators. Given my performance management background, this seemed like a reasonable…

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