When everything looks the same and you don’t stand out, you’re going to get hit.Read More
I was admonished via email yesterday for not having posted in blog in recent times.
My repost was simple. I quoted David Ogilvy's office memo to Ogilvy and Mather employees. Recently, doing has eclipsed writing.Read More
Wool-suited, french-cuffed and tied (at that time), executives can sit cooly for hours in 40C heat but don’t ever extinguish the projector. Nothing brings on a perspiratory flash-flood faster than the prospect of delivering a slide-less presentation.
An executive should be able to communicate her or his strategy in 10 mins or less. They should be able to do so engagingly and with clarity.
Any Executive who cannot do this surrenders their right to admonish sub-ordinates who are similarly fuzzy in their communication of the strategy.
Can’t past the test? Fortunately a remedy is at hand.Read More
It’s official. Tim Cook has stepped out of Steve Jobs’ shadow.
Under his watch (no pun intended), the stock price has doubled, market capitalisation has gone from ~ $300bn to $660bn, and contribution of revenues from subscription services has boomed.
Cook filled a big pair of shoes—and now he’s using them to walk to a destination far from Apple’s roots.
But at what price?
Apple is about to lose it's key competitive advantage: making us creators and communicatorsRead More
The Riot Point Research scientists have been incredibly inventive in recent months. We have been trialling and refining a number of new products, and we are now ready to launch the first batch.Read More
The Ancients knew a thing or two about Strategy.
The early Greeks viewed life as a voyage in which you would head in a general direction. Constantly navigating between Cosmos and Chaos—Order and Disorder with the realisation that winds from both sides could provide useful momentum. But sailing too close to the craggy shoreline of either extreme would lead to destruction.
Contrast this with the modern, titanic, corporate warriors. Insulated out of necessity (internal meetings, financial reviews, presentations to analysts, fear of bad customer feedback), they delegate strategy to staff who, with finger-crossed confidence, report that every future has been anticipated, every contingency planned. This well engineered business will withstand any iceberg. Nothing left to chance.
Or so they believe. It usually ends in tears—or an unfriendly take-over.
So what can we learn?Read More
I was reminded this weekend that opportunities are not like London buses.
You can’t deliberately miss one, confident that another is soon to follow.
When Opportunity knocks, you need to ask yourself one question:
"Does this Opportunity open more doors than it closes?"Read More
Last week both Dennis Kimetto and I were in Germany. I was there to conduct a Problem-Solving Leadership workshop, and Kimetto was there to run a marathon. And though my programme went well, it was Kimetto’s performance that made the newspapers.
Dennis broke the marathon world record in Berlin by completing the course in 2:02:57, beating the previous record by almost 30 seconds.
This is a remarkable feat, but remarkable feats in distance running are not uncommon within Kimetto’s, Kalenjin tribe of Kenya. Their five million members have won an incredible 40% of the major international distance races since 1980.
Let’s put this into context: There are 17 American men in history who have run under 2:10 in the marathon. There were 32 Kalenjin men who did it in October 2011.
What is the secret of their success, and what can it teach organisations?Read More
Like any patient participating in a check-up, the leadership team has to be braced for any results arising from an examination. For some, this thought alone prevents an appointment from being made. But for those who do proceed, the feedback provides a prodigious increase in corporate confidence about future organisational health. The process lifts the fogginess on possible routes to growth.
Investigating if there's a gap between culture and strategy is unnerving for some. Participation means exposing ourselves to the brutal truth, and dealing with the consequences of the results. Our corporate bodies are no different.
We can, though, may the process more comfortable.
This CEO of global pharma business was never a shrinking violet. But this year, at his global Town Hall meetings he was positively pugilistic.
The strategy, wrestled for many hours on the 21st floor at Bockenheim headquarters, was failing to deliver. Well, in reality, it wasn't being implemented well enough to know if it could deliver.
The issue was crystallised for the CEO in a conversation late one evening. During post-presentation beer and sandwiches at their largest R&D facility, he exasperatedly asked the Site Manager, "why aren't you implementing the strategy?" To which the long-standing, retiring-in-a-year-after-20-years of service, replied, "why don't you give us a strategy we can implement?"
There are few occasions in business when scales from the eyes, but this was one of them. In one pithy response, the consequences of a mis-match between strategy and culture had been laid a bare.Read More
Large organisations are characterised by the size of their employee population. Engaging the group to co-operate for combined and individual benefits is the single largest challenge of leaders in such in an organisation. In fact, in some ways, it is the only thing they do.
Tom Schmidt has had a successful career within a number of large organisations. In this episode of 'This I have learnt' he shares with us some of his experiences on how to lead others, but also how to lead and develop oneself in order to be a better leader.Read More
The message is starting to sink in. At least with some.
If you bring the voice of the customer to the heart of the decision-making process, you will lay the foundation stone of a resilient strategy.
But this alone is not enough.Read More
Goodness we make things difficult for ourselves.
Before Christmas I participated in a conference on Strategy and Branding. I gave a presentation entitled, “Market-driving vs market-driven: consequences for organisational culture,”
I will amplify the content of the presentation in future articles, but I want to focus on a question which came up in subsequent presentations, and whose answer clearly has implications for the way we drive a business.
What constitutes a good brand?Read More
For those who have not visited Venice, the “Bridge of Sighs” may conjure up visions of cooing lovers gazing dreamily into each others eyes. The reason behind the name is, however, distinctly unromantic.
In conventional marketing, you provide the recommendation. You broadcast the signal to buy. Peer-to-peer chatter is distracting noise.
Digital marketing is the reverse. Peer-to-peer referral is the signal to buy and your broadcast is distracting, even annoying, noise.
And there you have it. The thrill and the threat, the opportunity and the danger of digital marketing.Read More
For the next few weeks, a restored Abbaye in the Dordogne is acting temporary HQ for the Riot Point. We are bringing certain projects to a close, and commencing others.
Constant renewal based on past successes (and tolerated failures) is a constant theme, all fuelled, of course, by a motivation to provide value to others and while receiving improvements in self. And we’re making progress. The beams emanating from the library in the photo above reflect the brilliance of some of the new material!Read More