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Strategy

Leadership & Management

Of Mice and Elephants

Graham Birkenhead, August 16 2022

I have worked with senior managers and executive teams who wouldn't recognise strategy if it bit them on the proverbial; conversely, I have worked with great strategic thinkers in the most unexpected places with much less responsibility.  The ability to think strategically has nothing to do with your role or seniority, although one hopes that execu...

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Leadership & Management

Strategy is a Verb

Graham Birkenhead, August 9 2022

We often have a strategy for this and a strategy for that - and we have strategic plans etc. Having quantized approaches to achieving goals can work well, especially when you know where you are and you well understand the nature of the system around you.  However, when we are running businesses, with bigger, fuzzier and further out goals and much m...

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Market Strategy

The World is Going to VUCA

Graham Birkenhead, August 2 2022

Anyone remember VUCA?  It’s an acronym that stands for Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity and Ambiguity. I’ve used VUCA as a strategic planning tool when trying to understand what was going on around me and so increase the chances of coming to an optimal course of action. As a concept, it was first described by the leadership guru Warren Bennis in...

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Channels

How I Think about Sales Channels

Andrew Penny, July 5 2022

Most people think outward from themselves through their sales channels on then on out to their end users. That approach is wrong. It leads to a channel centric sales approach. Instead think about the ideal customer for each product or service you are selling and then think about the best way to connect with them. The channel is in fact a bridge bet...

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Market Strategy

Classic Cars - Best in Class

Andrew Penny, June 28 2022

I spent most of last week with about 500 people at the North American MGB convention. Between us, there were about 250 cars - most of which were made before 1980. People came from all over the continent in a spirit of friendship and friendly competition. The highlight of the show was Wednesday’s “Car Show”.

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Market Strategy

What is Market Position?

Andrew Penny, June 14 2022

One of the most useful things in business is to know where to play and how to win. It would be great if you could stake your claim and then settle in for a lifetime of success. Unfortunately, someone, somewhere is trying to steal your business.  So, what to do? I typically ask four questions when I meet a new company:

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Leadership & Management

I don't have a Toxic Culture – Do I?

Graham Birkenhead, May 31 2022

A recent UK employee study paints a rather troubling picture of company life. It found that: The study went on to identify that roughly half the people would leave a negative on-line review about their company, and that nearly 50% wouldn't even apply to a company that had negative online reviews.   At a time when so many companies are struggling to...

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Leadership & Management

The Secret Ingredient for a World Leading Culture

Graham, May 17 2022

We intuitively know the correlation between company culture and company success (including success in attracting and retaining great people). Research shows that companies who’s staff describe their culture as good or excellent seem to be thriving in all respects. We also know how to build an outstanding culture:

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Leadership & Management

"Spring is nature's way of saying, 'Let's Party!' "

Andrew Penny, March 22 2022

In the northern hemisphere spring has sprung. In my part of the world, spring seems to last but a week as we quickly move from snow-covered fields and bare trees to warm summer sun. Leaves burst forth and flowers bloom and, very quickly, we are into summer and the world has found a new equilibrium.

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Leadership & Management

It's Happening Again

Graham, March 15 2022

- Great Uncertainty needs Exceptional Strategic Thinking - This war is creating LOTS of uncertainty, and in times of uncertainty, some good strategic thinking is the order of the day.  I have written before about the effects of uncertainty (Insidious Uncertainty); we humans, and I include business owners in that, really dislike uncertainty. When fa...

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